Tuesday, December 14, 2010

BC goes topsy-turvy

At least, according to the always topsy-turvy Angus Reid company.

The topline numbers given the governing BC Liberals and the Opposition BC NDP 36% of the vote each, a big change from their last poll, which gave the BC NDP a 25(!) point lead, 49% to 24%.

This comes as both parties are now leaderless and squabbling amongst each other. But it is clearly a much better poll for the Liberals than it is for the NDP, and just goes to show that chucking out an unpopular leader might actually wipe the slate clean after all, or it could lead to even further devastation for your party.

One thing to take away from this is that there's clear indication here that the people of BC haven't forsaken their Liberal government, just their current Premier. And it's a testament to the fact that the Liberals have managed to keep their dirty laundry under wraps despite the perfect situation to do so, very unlike the NDP, who seem to jump at the chance.

AR also did some polling for leadership candidates for both the Liberals and the NDP (though for the latter, it's only speculative candidates). The results below show how favourable each candidate is viewed among people who voted for that party in 2009, and among British Columbians in general:

BC Liberals:
Christy Clark:  51% among Liberal voters, 41% among  BCers
Kevin Falcon: 42% to 29%
Mike De Jong: 40% to 27%
George Abbott: 35% to 24%
Moira Stilwell: 8% to 8%

BC New Democrats:
Mike Farnworth: 43% among NDP voters, 34% among BCers
Gregor Robertson: 35% to 27%*
Adrian Dix: 33% to 22%
Jenny Kwan: 29% to 27%*
Moe Sihota: 18% to 15%
Bob Simpson: 18% to 12%
John Horgan: 18% to 10%
Derrick Corrigan: 17% to 10%*
Bruce Ralston: 17% to 7%
George Heyman: 14% to 7%
*all declined to run for the leadership

So, there you have it: the people to beat are Christy Clark and Mike Farnworth. I suspected the latter would end up being the most popular choice among the NDP, but I wasn't sure about Clark. It appears, however, Kinsella's candidate is the best choice so far, at least if you go by the numbers presented here. Certainly she's the most popular of the candidates among the wider BC electorate, and maybe that's the thing the Liberals have to focus on next time.

But it's a close race still, and a lot can happen. The vote for the Liberal leadership is on February 26th, and I suspect the NDP's won't be long after (gotta steal the spotlight, right?). That's a long time yet.

Once again, take these numbers as you will from AR. I won't put faith in them, but they're essentially the first and most detailed polling to date covering the current situation in BC, so it's interesting nonetheless.

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