British Columbians Not Impressed with What's in Their Provincial Cabinet

24 of 25 Cabinet Members Have More Negative than Positive Ratings Solicitor General Kash Heed the Only Exception (17% Positive, 15%Negative) Public

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Vancouver, BC – A new Ipsos Reid online poll shows that British Columbians are more likely to have a negative impression than a positive impression of nearly every member of BC’s provincial Cabinet. In fact, negative impressions are higher than positive impressions for 24 of the 25 members of Cabinet. The lone exception is Solicitor General Kash Heed, who has 17% positive impressions and 15% negative impressions.

The question asked was as follows.

Q. Listed below are the current members of BC’s provincial cabinet. Please indicate your overall impression of each person.

  • Positive impression
  • Negative impression
  • Neutral impression
  • Never Heard of Person

Survey respondents were shown only the name each member of Cabinet (i.e. their portfolios were not included).

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Reid online poll conducted between December 9 and 15, 2009. For this survey, we interviewed 500 British Columbia adults from Ipsos' Canadian online panel. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population in British Columbia according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100% response rate would have an estimated margin of error of +/-4.4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20 of what the results would have been had the entire population of adults in BC been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

The Full Set of Ratings

The complete scores for each member of Cabinet are listed below, sorted in alphabetical order by last name. Survey respondents were asked to indicate their overall impression of each person as being “positive”, “negative”, “neutral” or “never heard of this person”.

Awareness Rankings

The members of Cabinet are ranked below in descending order of public awareness. As shown, awareness of most is low, with only 9 of the 25 registering with at least half the public.

With near universal awareness, Gordon Campbell (97%) has the highest awareness of anyone in Cabinet. The Premier is followed by Mike de Jong (73%), Colin Hansen (72%) and Bill Bennett (68%).

Ben Stewart, at 18%, has the lowest awareness level of anyone in Cabinet.

Making an Impression (Positive or Negative) Rankings

Awareness is not the same thing as making an impression. For example, while 97% of British Columbians are aware of Gordon Campbell, only about eight-in-ten (78%) have formed an impression (either positive or negative) of him. Other British Columbians have a neutral impression of Campbell.

Gordon Campbell is the only member of Cabinet to have registered an impression with a majority of British Columbians. Colin Hansen is next highest, registering an impression with just less than half (49%) of British Columbians. Hansen is followed by Kevin Falcon (42%), Mike de Jong (39%) and Rich Coleman (39%).

At the bottom of the rankings, Steve Thomson has registered an impression on only 5% of British Columbians.

Best Overall Impression: Positive minus Negative Rankings

One established way to rank impression scores is to calculate a NET score by subtracting negative ratings from positive ratings. Members with a NET positive score have more positive than negative impressions. Members with a NET negative score have more negative than positive impressions.

As can be seen in the table below, 24 of the 25 current members of Cabinet have a NET negative impression score. The lone exception is Kash Heed who has 17% positive impressions and 15% negative impressions for a NET score of +2. The next best ratings go to Blair Lekstrom (NET -1) and Moira Stilwell (NET -1).

At the other end of the spectrum, the worst NET impression scores belong to Gordon Campbell (NET -48), Kevin Falcon (NET -16), Shirley Bond (NET -13) and Colin Hansen (NET -13).

Best Overall Impression: Among Ten Highest Profile Members

The rankings in the previous table are somewhat deceiving in that members of Cabinet with lesser profiles (e.g. Lekstrom, Stilwell, etc) tend to rank higher simply because they have low scores for both positive and negative impressions.

The table below shows the ratings for the top ten highest profile members of Cabinet (i.e. those with the highest total positive + negative impressions).

On this basis, the top ranked member of Cabinet is again Kash Heed, with NET score of +2. He is followed by Barry Penner (NET -4) and Bill Bennett (NET -6).

As in the previous table, the worst NET impression scores belong to Gordon Campbell (NET -48), Kevin Falcon (NET -16), Shirley Bond (NET -13) and Colin Hansen (NET -13).

For more information on this news release, please contact:
Kyle Braid
Vice President
Ipsos Public Affairs
(778) 373-5130

About Ipsos Reid

Ipsos Reid is Canada's market intelligence leader, the country's leading provider of public opinion research, and research partner for loyalty and forecasting and modelling insights. With operations in eight cities, Ipsos Reid employs more than 600 research professionals and support staff in Canada. The company has the biggest network of telephone call centres in the country, as well as the largest pre-recruited household and online panels. Ipsos Reid's marketing research and public affairs practices offer the premier suite of research vehicles in Canada, all of which provide clients with actionable and relevant information. Staffed with seasoned research consultants with extensive industry-specific backgrounds, Ipsos Reid offers syndicated information or custom solutions across key sectors of the Canadian economy, including consumer packaged goods, financial services, automotive, retail, and technology & telecommunications. Ipsos Reid is an Ipsos company, a leading global survey-based market research group.

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British Columbians Not Impressed with What's in Their Provincial Cabinet

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Kyle Braid
Senior Vice President / Vice-Président Senior, Canada
Ipsos Public Affairs
+1 778 373 5130