Abacus Data has come out with a new poll on BC's provincial scene, perfect because, if you don't know yet, the Left Coast is in the middle of an election. This will be Abacus' first release in the province as well, so keep that in mind when looking at the results.
Abacus Data (BC Provincial - April 23-26, 2013 - +/- 3.1%)
New Democratic: 43% - 52 seats
BC Liberal Party: 33% - 32 seats
Green Party: 12%
BC Conservative: 9%
Independents: 1 seat (Huntington)
This poll is definitely one of the better ones for Clark's campaign as of recent, and its in line with other recent results as well, including the last Angus Reid poll. However, the key difference between AR's release and this one are the regionals, where you'd be surprised at how competitive the Liberals are, according to Abacus.
For one, the BC Liberals lead in Northern & Central BC, 36% to 31% for the NDP, something that AR very much disagrees with. This lead, while small, means that Arthur Hadland fails to win his seat according to my projection - however, given that there is a large "others" vote, at 10%, it seems likely that my projection could be wrong.
The Liberals are also fighting a closely fought battle in the Interior (38% to 41% NDP, which AR's numbers agree with) and in Metro Vancouver (37% to 40% NDP, which AR's numbers don't agree with). That kind of close race, if it is what we see on election day, would actually be an excellent result for a governing party that outstayed its welcome - it would at least show there is still some resiliency in the brand.
However, the big exception to all of this is the Vancouver Island regional numbers. There, the NDP lead with 57% to the Green's 24%, then the Liberal's 14%. If it weren't for those numbers, the topline would have been much closer. Instead we see that its the Greens who have taken up second place, at least according to Abacus. Unfortunately, at 57% the NDP hold a commanding lead in almost every riding, and even the Green's amazing numbers at 24% on the Island isn't enough to win them a seat. The closest they come to is in Oak Bay-Gordon Head, with 49.5% NDP to their 32.5% according to my projection.
Abacus also asked some other basic questions, but I'll only focus on one, which is the likelihood people would consider voting for the parties.
First up, only 41% of respondents said they would consider voting for the BC Liberals, which means that we can roughly assume if the planets align and Clark surges, she may only get to 40-45% before it peters out. That number drops down to only 31% of respondents on Vancouver Island. 38% said they would not consider voting for the Liberals. 62% of federal Conservatives and 66% of federal Liberals would consider voting for the incumbents, while only 15% of federal NDPers say the same.
50% of respondents said they would consider voting for Dix's NDP, while 32% said they would not. Those are good numbers to have, and Dix could easily manage a strong sweep on May 14th; at the same time, I get the sense that this probably isn't going to be a repeat of 2001, except with the Liberals ending up with only two seats instead of the NDP. There seems to be at least a third of voters that are committed anti-NDPers, and most of them seem to be lining up behind the Liberals. Interestingly, when you break it down by federal party vote, 58% of federal Conservatives and 36% of federal Liberals say they wouldn't consider voting NDP.
23% said they would consider voting for the BC Conservatives (49% said they would not). For a party that has really only come into being since 2011, when Cummins took over, they've managed to piss a lot of people off. Unlike Clark's Liberals, most of the Opposition comes from federal NDP and federal Liberals, tied at 66% each saying they wouldn't consider voting for this fledgling Conservative party.
Finally, 34% would consider voting Green, while 42% said they would not. Its a wonder why, given how inoffensive the Green Party is. However, 64% of federal Conservatives and, amazingly, 51% of federal Liberals said they wouldn't consider voting for the Greens. I guess if non-NDPers federally are going to choose a party to vote for, its going to be one of the big two, not the little parties. 49% of respondents on Vancouver Island said they would consider voting Green, which is good news I suppose.
I'll update the projection tomorrow, but here for tonight is a map of the results based on this poll: