January 2011 Update on BC NDP Leadership Contenders

Mike Farnworth Remains Best in Public Opinion, Adrian Dix Loses Favour with NDP Voters

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Vancouver, BC – A new Ipsos Reid online poll shows that Mike Farnworth is by far the public’s most positively viewed NDP leadership contender. The poll also shows declining impressions of Adrian Dix among past NDP voters.

How Closely Following Leadership Contest

A very slight majority (53%) of British Columbians say they have been following the provincial NDP leadership contest either “very closely” (16%) or “somewhat closely” (37%) so far.

Past NDP voters are somewhat more likely than past BC Liberal voters to be following the contest closely (64% of 2009 NDP voters are following “very closely” or “somewhat closely” vs. 55% of 2009 Liberal voters).

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Impressions of Leadership Contenders

Impressions among All Voters: Among all British Columbians, Mike Farnworth has 40% positive impressions versus 12% negative impressions, for a NET impression score of +28, which places him well ahead of the five other leadership contenders. John Horgan (NET +3) is the only other leadership candidate with more positive than negative impressions.

Harry Lali, with 8% positive impressions and 30% negative impressions, has the worst NET score (-22) of the six leadership candidates. Dana Larsen also has many more negative impressions (-16%) than positive impressions (2%) for a NET score of -14.

The public is fairly neutral or split for Nicholas Simons (NET -5) and Adrian Dix (-6).

Compared to a December 6-7, 2010 poll, public impression ratings have improved for Mike Farnworth (a positive move from NET +15 to +28) and worsened for Adrian Dix (a negative move from NET +6 to -6).

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Impressions among 2009 NDP Voters: Among those who voted for the NDP in 2009, impressions are most positive for Mike Farnworth (NET +45), with no other candidate even close.

Past NDP voters are also more likely to have positive than negative impressions of John Horgan (NET +13), Adrian Dix (+11) and Nicholas Simons (+1). The ratings are more negative than positive for Dana Larsen (NET -6) and Harry Lali (NET -19).

Mike Farnworth has the most positive momentum among NDP voters, as his NET score has moved from +27 in December to +45 today. John Horgan has also seen an improvement in his impression rating (+4 in December to +13 today).

At the other end of the spectrum, Adrian Dix has taken a negative hit among NDP voters since our December survey, with his NET score moving from +32 in December down to +11 today.

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Impressions among 2009 BC Liberal Voters: Among those who voted for the BC Liberals in 2009, only Mike Farnworth has more positive (40%) than negative (19%) impression ratings (NET +21). Past BC Liberal voters are most negative toward Harry Lali (NET -24), Dana Larsen (-21) and Adrian Dix (-19).

Both John Horgan (NET -4) and Nicholas Simons (-9) are slightly negative, but most BC Liberals don’t seem to have formed an impression of these two candidates yet.

Compared to December, the only notable change is an improvement in the impression rating for Mike Farnworth (+8 in December to +21 today).

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Candidate Most and Least Likely to Generate Interest in Voting NDP

Most Likely to Generate Interest: The poll also asked respondents to select the leadership candidate that would be most likely to get them to consider voting for the NDP in the next provincial election (note: this question is not compared to December because the list of candidates has changed substantially).

On this measure, Mike Farnworth is well ahead of the other candidates. In fact, he’s chose more often than all the other candidates combined by all voters, past NDP voters and past BC Liberal voters.

Among all voters, Mike Farnworth (27%) leads, with Adrian Dix well back at 9%. Among past NDP voters, Farnworth leads Dix by 34% to 16%. And among past Liberal voters, Farnworth leads Dix by 25% to 7%.

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Least Likely to Generate Interest: The poll also asked respondents to select the leadership candidate that would be least likely to get them to consider voting for the NDP in the next provincial election (note: question not asked in December).

No single candidate stands out overall, with Harry Lali and Adrian Dix topping the list with just 15% and 13% mentions respectively.

  • Among 2009 NDP voters, Harry Lali (19%) is first, followed by Adrian Dix (11%) and Dana Larsen (8%).
  • Among 2009 BC Liberal voters, Adrian Dix (18%) is first, followed by Harry Lali (14%) and Dana Larsen (9%).

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These are the findings of an Ipsos Reid online poll conducted on behalf of Global BC. The poll was fielded January 20-24, 2011 with a representative sample of 750 adult British Columbia residents. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100% response rate would have an estimated margin of error of ±3.6 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The margin of error will be larger for other sub-groupings of the survey population. These data were statistically weighted to ensure the sample's regional and age/sex composition reflects that of the actual British Columbia population according to 2006 Census data. The polling was conducted using Ipsos Reid’s “Voice of the West Interactive Forum” – an online panel of more than 6,500 British Columbians who have been recruited to match the overall characteristics of the adult residents of the province.

For more information on this news release and Ipsos Loyalty research, please contact:

Kyle Braid
Vice President
Ipsos Reid Public Affairs
(778) 373-5130

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January 2011 Update on BC NDP Leadership Contenders

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Press Release


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