Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Polling B.C.

Mustel Group came out with its latest polling numbers for British Columbia(opens a PDF). While on the surface the numbers look similar to the federal numbers, given regional factors in the province things could be rather interesting.

While some polling firms have had the Liberals in the lead in B.C., Mustel has the Cons in front at 37, with the Liberals at 30, the NDP at 21 and the Greens at 12. Here’s the chart:

The disappointment there has to be for the NDP, and also that the Cons aren’t stronger. The Libs are also off historic Mustel highs. That said, the Cons have been gaining at NDP expense. From the last election the NDP has dropped 8 points; Mustel has said most of that has gone to the Cons. Sounds odd, I know, but a lot of the B.C. electorate is anti-establishment, and the Liberals are still seen as the Eastern establishment, so swings between Cons and NDP are not uncommon. The recent NDP swings have been stark though, from 20 in March, a peak of 29 in June, and then a dive back down to 20 for October.

Despite gaining NDP support however, the Cons are still exactly where they were last election, meaning they’ve lost support elsewhere too, balancing the NDP gains. The Liberals are up one point, but look to have a fairly steady base to build on at 30-33 per cent. Also interestingly the Greens have been on a steady upward trend, from 5 in the election up to 12 today. Not seat territory, but enough to play spoiler. Also, with the May/Dion alliance it will be interesting to see where that 12 per cent goes on e-day; it may bode well for candidates like Briony Penn in Saanich-Gulf Islands.

To truly make sense of these numbers though we’d have to see where they break down. The Liberals are largely a non-player in a lot of interior and coastal ridings, where the Cons and NDP have and will likely continue to fight it out. If the NDP is truly losing support in B.C. we could see ridings like Skeena-BV (Nathan Cullen), Vancouver Island North (Catherine Bell) flip Conservative, possibly Nanaimo-Cowichan as well (Jean Crowder).

The Liberal vote in B.C. tends to be very efficient and urbanized, and in these ridings our opposition isn’t generally the Cons, but the NDP, putting ridings like Victoria (Denise Savoie) and Burnaby-New Westminster (Peter Julian) on the table, and making it a little easier to reclaim Vancouver-Kingsway from the Cons (David Emerson). It may also be time to finally unseat Nina Grewal in Fleetwood-Port Kells.

Looking briefly at some of the other numbers provided in the polls, here’s the approval figures for Stephen Harper and Stephane Dion (none were provided for other leaders):

If I were to spin here for a moment, although I think it’s sensible spin, Dion’s disapproval rating is only 4 points higher than Harper’s, and given that Harper is the PM spending billions of taxpayer dollars, and millions on attack ads targeting Dion, that’s pretty darned good. The big number is 39 per cent no opinion on Dion: that’s a lot of room for growth. On the downside, the 7 month trend is troubling, and should give the party pause.

On the government’s approval on issues, on the environment they’re 45approve/44disapprove, crime 47/38, Afghanistan 28/47.

And if you’re interested in the fine print, 851 BC adults were polled Oct. 10-22, with a MOE of +/- 3.4 per cent. And undecideds were 15 per cent.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What these numbers show is that the Greens are hurting the Dippers where they need to made gains from the 31 they have now.

That is in the BC Coast and the Interior.

The Greens will be running a candidate against Briony Penn, even if it is the STV run-off supported by the Shunt Lunn committee.