Thursday, June 10, 2010

New BC Angus Reid Poll - dramatic numbers

This poll was conducted by Angus Reid from June 1 to 6th.

  • NDP - 46% 
  • Liberals - 26%
  • Greens - 14%
  • Conservatives - 8%
  • Other - inferred at 4%

The NDP lead is dramatic and huge and would lead to a landslide victory if this was the result on election day and even province wide.  But at a closer look there numbers are not nearly as good for the NDP as one would think.

The NDP has only gained 4 percentage points from the 2009 election.   Also the distribution of their support is not helpful to them winning as many seats as one would expect.   The NDP support is up on Vancouver Island but they already hold 10 of 14 ridings.   In the North, the NDP and Liberals are tied.

The poll shows a dramatic drop for the Liberals, but the NDP does not gain a lot of support from this.  Really their support has remained on a roughly consistent level of marginally better than in the election last year.  It is the Liberal vote that has been crashing and their former supporters are seeking somewhere else and this could be the Conservative party.

The Conservatives managed 8% province wide and 16% in the interior, this is for a party without a leader and with no media profile.  The Conservatives are twice as popular with the low income than the high income and the same again with high school or less education versus university education.  This is says to me the Conservative support is very much classic western populist in nature.  While I am reading too deeply into the tea leaves here, the Conservatives could very likely be the leading party among the pick up crowd in the interior.

There is a significant discontent on the populist right and it is seeking a home.  There is a desire for a populist party like Social Credit or Reform federally.   What I think we are seeing is a shift on the right side of the spectrum and more than likely two major parties running in the next election.  One will be urban and oriented towards the well educated business people and the other being much more of a rural blue collar party.

The Anti-HST petition is doing best in the areas where the Conservatives are doing well.   Also, the leadership, especially in the interior, of the campaign strike me as populist right of centre people.   In many ways the campaign is rapidly building the network of people needed to run a serious province wide political party.

If the political landscape continues as it is now, the NDP is likely to win the next election, but I suspect with a lower percentage of the vote than they have achieved in the last two elections.  They may also be running two separate races because they will have two parties in two different types of ridings that will be the competitors.

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