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RSR ROBBINS Research - British Columbia Politics April 21, 2013
  Apr 21, 2013

Question #1
Which leader and party in British Columbia would you vote for if the provincial general election were held today?
Adrian Dix and BC New Democrats    43.36 %
Christy Clark and BC Liberals    24.33 %
John Cummins and BC Conservatives    14.88 %
Jane Sterk and BC Greens    14.29 %
Independent/other    3.15 %
Question #2
There is discussion surrounding the issue of potential lack of interest in this BC provincial election - and the possibility of another election featuring low voter turnout. Assuming this is the case this election, which of the following response choices (if any) BEST reflects why you believe British Columbians are disinclined to vote?
Lack of trust and accountability in government    44.75 %
Lack of competence and talent among the political actors    18.88 %
It's unlikely that positive change will occur from one government to the next    36.36 %
Undecided/Other    12 %
Question #3
Which (if any) of the following choices do you believe would create the greatest positive change to the political system in the Province of British Columbia (pick one only).
Banning corporate and union donations    33.71 %
Introducing some type of proportional representation    16.06 %
Including a place on the voting ballot in all elections in BC which says    18.12 %
None of the above    16.6 %
All of the above    19.62 %
Question #4
In a hypothetical business circumstance "A", a BC company owned by one family earns $3 million in revenues in a one year period. The company earns a net profit of $600 thousand in the year - a 20% net profit. This company "A" earns all of its revenues selling its products and services to other BC businesses and consumers with no government contracts. There are a total of 30 full time and part time employees with the average worker earning $16 per hour with no benefits. Which of the following response choices BEST describes what you think the company should do next?
The company should expand and hire more workers    30.28 %
The company should pay the workers it has more money and benefits    20.27 %
The company should pay higher taxes    3.38 %
The company should keep doing what is doing    36.49 %
Question #5
In a hypothetical business circumstance "B", a BC company earns a net profit of $600 thousand dollars or a net 20% profit. This company "B" earns an estimated 70% of its total revenues by selling its products to the government by way of contract and 30% to other businesses and consumers. There are a total of 30 full time and part time employees with the average worker earning $16 per hour with no benefits. Which of the following response choices BEST describes what you think the company should do next?
The company should expand and hire more workers    22.58 %
The company should pay the workers it has more money and benefits    34.58 %
The company should pay higher taxes    12.1 %
The company should keep doing what is doing    29.84 %
Commentary
ROBBINS offers a point system designed to reflect support for each leader and party. This point system support is adjusted for gender, population and voter turnout patterns for each constituency located in each of six regions in the Province of British Columbia.
The BC New Democrats score as follows: Vancouver Island (33,950); Vancouver City (26,780); Vancouver Suburbs (66,000); Langley and Fraser Valley (18,500); South Okanagan (18,000); Northern Interior and Kootenay region (12,500).
Total score BC New Democrats (177,770).
The BC Liberals score as follows: Vancouver Island (14,000); Vancouver City (15,390), Vancouver Suburbs (36,000), Langley and Fraser Valley (12,500), South Okanagan (13,750); Northern Interior and Kootenay region (8,100).
Total score BC Liberals (99,740)
The BC Conservatives score as follows: Vancouver Island (7,700); Vancouver City (9,690); Vancouver Suburbs (23,250); Langley and Fraser Valley (10,500); South Okanagan (6,250); Northern Interior and Kootenay region (3,450).
Total score BC Conservatives (60,990).
The BC Greens score as follows: Vancouver Island (14,700); Vancouver City (9,690); Vancouver Suburbs (18,750); Langley and Fraser Valley (5,750); Southern Okanagan (6,250); Northern Interior and Kootenay region (3,450).
Total score BC Greens (58,590).
Independent/other scores as follows: Vancouver Island (1,400); Vancouver City (570); Vancouver Suburbs (5,250); Langley and Fraser Valley (2,500); Southern Okanagan (2,000); Northern Interior and Kootenay region (1,200).
Total score Independent/other (12,920).
The first set of data we want to point out to our readers - from the scores provided - is that the BC New Democrat win every one of the six regions across the province. The party dominates Vancouver Island and Vancouver City with a total of (60,730) while the BC Liberals score (29,390) across the same two regions.
The second data we observe is that the total score of the BC NDP (177,770) is higher than the total scores for both the BC Liberals and BC Conservatives at (160,730). This gives the BC New Democrats a percentage lead of (52.5%) to (47.5%) over the combined percentage of both the BC Liberals and BC Conservatives.
The third data we observe is that the BC Liberals score a total of (65,390) across Vancouver Island, Vancouver City and the populous Vancouver Suburbs, while the BC Greens score (43,140) across the same three regions. This gives the BC Liberals a percentage lead of (60%) to (40%) against the 'upstart' BC Greens.
The fourth data we observe is that the BC Liberals score a total of (34,350) across Langley and the Fraser Valley, the Southern Okanagan and the Northern Interior and Kootenay regions, while the BC Conservatives and Independent/other category of respondent scores a total of (34,750) or a near 50/50 split.
This data makes it very clear that the BC New Democrats are performing at or slightly better than their 2009 provincial election totals of 42.15%. It is also clear that the BC Liberals and Christy Clark have lost an estimated (47%) of the 45.82% the party achieved in the 2009 election.
The BC Liberals may not be out - but they are definitely down.
For background ROBBINS Sce Research (1998)in its BC Election 2009 Poll-ROBBINS Final Answer published on May 8, 2009 predicted the BC Liberal totals at (46.54%), the BC New Democrats at (44.73%) and BC Greens at (6.31%). The actual voting results were BC Liberals 45.82%, BC New Democrats at 42.15% and BC Greens at 8.10%. ROBBINS overstated the BC Liberals by 75 basis points or less than 1%, overstated the BC NDP by 2.58% and understated the BC Greens by 2.69% for a polling average error of (2%) - tying them with Angus Reid for most accurate polling in the 2009 B.C. provincial general election.
The ROBBINS polling in 2009 was equivalent to a poll sample of 2,400.
This ROBBINS survey - Walk Softly - Carry a Big Stick concludes a slightly lower support total for the leading BC NDP than does either Angus Reid or Ipsos polling firms who suggest support at between 45-48%.
ROBBINS suggest lower support for the BC Liberals than both Ipsos and Angus Reid and slightly higher support for the BC Conservatives than the two mainstream pollsters.
ROBBINS suggests higher support for BC Greens at this time than both Angus Reid and Ipsos do.
It appears that in the first week of the 28 day provincial election the BC New Democrats have solidified their political base, while it is not certain if the BC Liberals are moving forward or vulnerable to a back slide.
The overarching theory which results at this point in the election is that it is likely the BC NDP will win a majority, possibly a Super majority.
The outstanding question is whether or not the BC Liberals will be able to salvage 25 seats - 15 seats or even no seats.
Having made the necessary points surrounding voting possibilities and suggested outcomes, our ROBBINS question 2 provides some insight into how British Columbians perceive the problem of voter turnout and general lack of interest in the election. "Lack of trust and accountability in government" is perceived by most respondents (45%) as the dominant problem.
'Unlikely that positive change will occur from one government to the next' follows with an estimated (37%) of British Columbians perceiving this as the explanation for why voters are 'disinclined to participate'. Less than one in five respondents perceive the reason to be 'a lack of competence and talent among the political actors'.
Question 3 provides some insight into how British Columbians perceive the how the problem posed in question 2 may be solved.
'Banning corporate and union donations' tops the list of response choices. After factoring "none of the above" and "all of the above" into a statistical average - this response choice reflects average support of (45.03%) of British Columbians.
The BC New Democrats have promised to bring in legislation to ban corporate and union donations, but no party has ever brought up the popular "None of the Above" voting option. Any guesses why not?
Changing the electoral system to proportional representation attract less than the option of "None of the Above" at (27.32%). This is noteworthy but is likely a result that the more popular choices are easier to implement and voters are desperate for less complicated fixes sooner than later.
In our questions 4 and 5 we describe 2 hypothetical small businesses "A" and "B". The circumstances in the description of each scenario are equivalent, save that circumstance/company "B" includes the condition that the companies annual earnings and handsome net profit are derived from a percentage of government purchase - contributions to revenues and earnings.
The response choices for each circumstance are identical. The responses alter however between the two circumstances.
"The company should expand and hire more workers" response goes from 30.28% in the first circumstance "A" down to 22.58% in circumstance "B" where 70% of company revenues are derived from 'government'.
"The company should pay the workers it has more money and benefits" moves from 20.27% to 34.38% through circumstance "A" to "B" - a dramatic change. The demand from respondents for higher taxes (3.38% to 12.1%) is also dramatic.
"The company should keep doing what is doing" stays similar (36.49% to 29.84%) but clearly the involvement of the government - without clarification of how that occurs significantly alters the perception of this companies fortunes.
The hiring of more workers, and more pay and benefits for those workers increases from 50.5% to 57% when we introduce the contribution of the government contract to the results for the company in circumstance "B".
The demand for more taxes from this successful small business - when 70% of their business is derived from 'government' increases by 350%.
Although there are a number of interesting considerations that might be ascertained from these outcomes, it is perhaps most interesting to see how a significant number of respondents gravitate to "The company should pay the workers it has more money and benefits" increase by (70%) when company "B" is seen to profit well when (coincidentally) 70% of its business is derived from government contract.
Is it that some British Columbians distinguish between profit made from a circumstance where earnings are produced from entirely free enterprise relationships - to a circumstance where the government contributes significantly to that business success?
Methodology-A targeted sample of 862 respondents who have indicated that they voted in the 2009 BC provincial general election. This ROBBINS survey features a margin of error of 3.34%, 19 times out of 20 at 95% confidence. The BC NDP has a statistical lead over the BC Liberals of between 18.8 to 19.2% with a 100% probability of a 'lead', while the BC Liberals have a 10.8% to 11.2% lead over the BC Conservative and BC Greens with zero probability of a statistical 'lead'. This survey was conducted April 15-20, 2013.
Special thanks to Jim Van Rassel - who keeps the beat in the band - and oxygen in the tank - and who requested the questions on the two small businesses "A" and "B" in this survey.

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