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RSR ROBBINS Research - British Columbia Politics May 17, 2012
  May 17, 2012

Methodology - A targeted strategic sample of 832 BC voters from the British Columbia provincial general election of May 2009, on their party preferences -conducted May 10-15 2012, or one year prior to the next provincial election in May 2013. 'Voters' were also asked their opinion on an elected/abolished Canadian Senate; Election/Appointment of BC Supreme Court Justices; and Support or Opposition for Same Sex Marriages. This ROBBINS Sce Research (1998) poll features a Margin of Error (M.O.E.) statistically based - at 3.4% plus or minus, 19 times out of 20 @ 95% confidence.

Question #1
Which political party did you vote for in the 2009 provincial general election? (Q1 and 2 adjusted for comparison)
BC Liberal Party    47 %
BC New Democratic Party    42 %
BC Conservative Party    2 %
BC Green Party    7 %
Other    2 %
Question #2
If an election were held today which political party would you vote for? (Party number %ís shown up to 100%)
BC New Democratic Party    47 %
BC Conservative Party    23.5 %
BC Liberal Party    17.5 %
BC Green Party    9.5 %
Other Party    2 %
Undecided    9.5 %
Question #3
Which do you prefer?
An elected federal Senate in Ottawa    19 %
Abolish the Senate    56 %
Question #4
Should BC Supreme Court Justices be?
Elected by the people of British Columbia    64 %
Appointed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper    11 %
Question #5
Do you support or oppose same sex marriages?
Support    61 %
Oppose    22 %
The BC Liberal government continues their spiral downward in public support among British Columbians. There appears that nothing can be done to arrest this. The BC New Democrats appear destined to win a super majority of seats in the 2013 provincial election next year, while the BC Conservatives appear to be the party of the centre right voter in the future.
From 2009 voters lists BC Liberal support has migrated to BC Conservatives, BC New Democrats, and BC Greensóprevious supporters scramble for a new political home Ė away from the rapidly sinking government.
Three out of four decided voters in British Columbia currently support abolishing the federal Senate in Ottawa with an equivalent number supporting same sex marriage, while (85%) are desirous of electing BC Supreme Court Judges Ė and not leaving the appointment to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
BC New Democrats-58% (Vancouver Island); 47% (Lower Mainland); 37% (Fraser Valley); 38% (North and Interior).
BC Conservatives-19% (Vancouver Island); 22% (Lower Mainland); 35% (Fraser Valley); 34% (North and Interior)
BC Liberals-10% (Vancouver Island); 18% (Lower Mainland); 23% (Fraser Valley); 25% (North and Interior).
Support for Elected Senate Ė BC NDP (15%); BC Conservatives (29%); BC Liberals (32%); BC Greens (8%) Abolish the Senate-BC NDP (72%); BC Conservatives (44%); BC Liberals (30%); BC Greens (84%).
Elect BC Justices-BC NDP (78%); BC Conservatives (74%); BC Liberals (24%); BC Greens (82%) Stephen Harpers appoints- BC NDP (00%); BC Conservatives (29%), BC Liberals (32%) BC Greens (00%)
Support same sex marriage-BC NDP (87%); BC Conservatives (42%); BC Liberals (60%); BC Greens (91%); Oppose same sex marriage-BC NDP (14%); BC Conservatives (45%); BC Liberals (31%); BC Greens (2%)
Commentary: Robbins SCE Poll by Peter Kelly Political Earthquake on the Horizon
Another poll = more bad news for Premier Christy Clark and the BC Liberal Government. This is the second consecutive poll that has the BC Liberals trailing the upstart BC Conservatives and sitting a distant third place. This is quite a departure from the highs of their popularity of 58% when they decimated the former NDP Government, 77 seats to 2 in 2001. From the looks of this poll, what went around is about to come around.
Region by region, the NDP is poised to paint the Island a deep hue of orange without a trace of any other colour, should these numbers hold up. The NDP will also rout the BC Liberals in most places in the lower mainland with a couple holdouts perhaps in Vancouver Quilchena, West Vancouver Capilano, Richmond, and White Rock. Everywhere else, they would be lucky to come within 15 points of the NDP.
Where it gets interesting is the Fraser Valley and Northern/Interior polling regions as the support levels for the three parties are far more competitive to each other. The real battle will be between BC Conservatives and NDP. The parties will do well where they have a legitimate chance of winning. For example, in Prince George, the NDP is likely ahead of the BC Conservatives there; but not by a huge margin. In Kelowna, the race is more than likely BC Liberal vs Conservative.
If we were 15 days out from the election, Adrian Dix would be safe to talk of ordering new drapes for the Premier's office. We are a year out however, and history has shown us that they are uniquely able to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. If you remember, Carole James led Gordon Campbell for most of the 2005 - 2009 campaign, but was bested by the incumbent by 4 points provincially.
At this point, Dix would be wise to keep to his apparent front runner strategy and keep positive; only taking the occasional shot at BC Liberal policy and their legacy. Keeping out of the dirty campaigning has served him well so far, and while he might need to resort to a few fistfuls of mud, that tool ought to be reserved for a strategic moment.
Christy Clark is in trouble, clearly. But all is not lost. Recent data as trumpeted by the government seems to suggest that some new jobs have been added to the rolls and a gradual economic recovery underway. Iíll wait for more substantive proof on that one, but you can be well assured the BC Liberals will play this tune for all that its worth...and for good reason. The party sells that image of itself as the best ones capable of handling the economy; lower taxes and regulations. That is their path back to power too.
If the BC Liberals change their message to remind BC that the economic recovery is still fragile and should not be trusted to the reckless NDP, they may have a remote chance in pulling some of those disaffected BC Liberals back to the fold. That is their only tact though; should they continue to personally attack Adrian Dix and insult the NDP, they will continue to alienate their base and send them elsewhere; into the waiting arms of John Cummins.
Let's not dismiss the facts that a good chunk of voters who voted BC Liberal in the past are now committing to vote NDP. These are private sector union voters, college/university graduates and professionals and a handful of blue-collar type small business folks who have been completely abandoned by the Howe Street elite of the BC Liberal party.
In the past, the BC Liberals were able to count on a strong Green Party support level that was laced with disaffected NDP voters. This poll, showing the NDP at 47%, proves that the NDPís environmental voters are almost fully back in the fold. The Green Party is now holding more support than its 2009 election tally, and I would suspect a good half of that are socially liberal BC Liberals unhappy with Christy Clarkís attempt to turn right.
John Cumminsí isnít in a position to win power. The retired former MP who publicly endorsed an NDP MLA in 2009 wears an unfortunate namesake resemblance an increasingly unpopular Federal Conservative government. His party had endorsed the HST before the last election, and is socially offside with BC. There are some who want this in power, but his party has been portrayed as the spoiler. Whether this spoiler tag is fair or not is not the question; its a fact though.
The anti-NDP voters I know are more upset at the existence of John Cummins BC Conservative party than the NDP itself; they feel the provincial Tories could deny them a 4th term in office; completely ignoring the growing reality that a defeat would come because BC voters are simply done with the BC Liberals.

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