Thursday, December 23, 2010

Clark, Farnworth, Angus, and Mustel - the new normal in BC politics

So I got a beep on my Blackberry today notifying me that I received an e-mail from Angus Reid Online, concerning their new poll for the BC provincial scene today. This is strange because I never signed up as part of their mailing list, so either someone signed my e-mail to their list, or someone from AR was trolling Blogger, noticed I said Angus Reid a lot, and added me, without realizing I was usually calling their results suspect.

No matter, the poll itself was interesting, though it simply reinforced the results they found in their last poll, with Christy Clark and Mike Farnworth being the prospective frontrunners to take over the BC Liberals and the BC NDP, but with Clark gaining an upper hand. AR also showed a still-tied result in BC, with the Liberals and NDP on 38% each, the Greens on 12%, and the BC Conservatives on 7%.

Here's how the prospective candidates fared, according to how positively they're seen:
(Name - % of BCers (change since last poll) - % of people who voted for the party in 2009 (change)

BC Liberals:
Christy Clark - 46% (+5) - 66% (+15)
Kevin Falcon - 28% (-1) - 45% (+3)
George Abbott - 25% (+1) - 34% (-1)
Mike De Jong - 23% (-4) - 34% (-6)
Moira Stilwell - 10% (+2) - 10% (+2)

Mike Farnworth - 40% (+6) - 49% (+6)
Adrian Dix - 24% (+2) - 37% (+4)
Derek Corrigan - 13% (+3) - 20% (+3)
Leonard Krog - 12% - 19%
John Horgan - 10% (=) - 20% (+2)
Harry Lali - 10% - 14%
Norm MacDonald - 10% - 14%
Bruce Ralston - 9% (+2) - 15% (+3)
George Heyman - 9% (+2) - 15% (+1%)
Nathan Cullen - 9% - 11%*
*confirmed will not be running for the leadership

As I said, Clark and Farnworth remain strong frontrunners, both among the general population of BC, as well as their own parties, though both have other candidates nipping at their heels (Adrian Dix and Kevin Falcon). They remain in strong positions however, with Clark retaining an advantage as thought more positively than Farnworth, both among the BC population and her own party. Indeed, if these numbers are true, Clark seems to be heading for a fairly supported and comfortable win.

Even more interesting, the Mustel Group, BC's other frequent pollster, came out with a poll yesterday that gave the BC Liberals the lead. Yes, the lead. A 5-point lead, 41% to 36%, with the Greens sitting back at 15%. That's amazing, but unsurprising; if the weird AR polls showed a tie, then it makes sense Mustel would show the Liberals getting the lead.

But, welcome to the new normal in BC. The Liberals now have an advantage with a more popular frontrunner, a better operation, and momentum. The NDP squandered their chance and now stand to go yet another term out of power. But remember - nothing is permanent in BC. By next week we could see Premier Jane Sterk (eugh).

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