February 2011 Update on BC NDP Leadership Contenders

Mike Farnworth is Public Favourite in Race that Few are Following

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Vancouver, BC – A new Ipsos Reid online poll shows that Mike Farnworth continues to be the most positively viewed NDP leadership contender among British Columbians. The poll also shows declining public interest in the race.

It is very important for readers to note that this poll is a survey of British Columbians as a whole, not of NDP members. References to NDP voters refer to 2009 NDP voters and not to NDP members.

How Closely Following Leadership Contest

Only about four-in-ten (39%) British Columbians say they have been following the provincial NDP leadership contest either “very closely” (8%) or “somewhat closely” (31%) so far. This is a drop of 14 points from a January poll (from 53% to 39%).

Past NDP voters (55%, down 9 points) are much more likely than past BC Liberal voters (31%, down 25 points) to be following the contest closely, although interest has dropped among both sets of voters.



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Impressions of Leadership Contenders

Impressions among All Voters: Among all British Columbians, Mike Farnworth has 36% positive impressions versus 13% negative impressions, for a NET impression score of +23, which places him well ahead of the four other leadership contenders. John Horgan is next best with a NET impression score of +1, followed by Nicholas Simons (-5), Adrian Dix (-11) and Dana Larsen (-12).

These results are consistent with a poll taken in January.

Perhaps a more important finding is that many British Columbians have little or no impression of these leadership candidates. Only about half (49%) of British Columbians have formed either a ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ impression of Mike Farnworth at this point. This is slightly higher than for Adrian Dix (45% have formed an impression) and much higher than for John Horgan (19%), Dana Larsen (18%) and Nicholas Simons (11%).



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Impressions among 2009 NDP Voters: Among those who voted for the NDP in 2009, impressions are by far the most positive for Mike Farnworth (NET +44). Past NDP voters are also more likely to have positive than negative impressions of Adrian Dix (NET +18) and John Horgan (+13). Both Nicholas Simons (NET +2) and Dana Larsen (-2) have about an equal number of positive and negative impressions.

These results are mostly consistent with the January poll, although Adrian Dix has improved slightly (from NET +11 to +18).

Even among past NDP voters, there are many with little or no impression of these leadership candidates. Only a slight majority (54%) have formed either a ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ impression of Mike Farnworth. This is higher than for Adrian Dix (42% have formed an impression) and much higher than for John Horgan (19%), Dana Larsen (12%) and Nicholas Simons (8%).



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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 (33%) than negative (20%) impression ratings (NET +13).

Past BC Liberal voters are most negative toward Adrian Dix (NET -35) and Dana Larsen (-25). They are also somewhat negative toward John Horgan (NET -7) and Nicholas Simons (-14).

The biggest change since January is that 2009 BC Liberal voters now have even worse impressions of Adrian Dix, with his positives dropping 8 points (from 18% to 10%) and his negatives rising 8 points (from 37% to 45%). Positive impressions of Mike Farnworth have also dropped 7 points since January.



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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.

On this measure, Mike Farnworth continues to be well ahead of the other candidates. Among all voters, Mike Farnworth leads at 25%, with Adrian Dix well back at 9%. Six-in-ten (59%) British Columbians said ‘none’ (37%) or ‘don’t know’ (22%).

Among past NDP voters, Farnworth leads Dix by 42% to 14%. And among past Liberal voters, Farnworth leads Dix by 18% to 5%.



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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.

Among all voters, Adrian Dix is first at 19% followed by Dana Larsen at 9%. Six-in-ten (60%) British Columbians said ‘none’ (20%) or ‘don’t know’ (40%).

Among 2009 NDP voters, Adrian Dix (16%) is first, followed by Dana Larsen (10%). Among 2009 BC Liberal voters, Adrian Dix (25%) is far ahead of 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 February 17-21, 2011 with a representative sample of 800 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 ±3.5 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, please contact:

Kyle Braid
Vice President
Ipsos Reid Public Affairs
(778) 373-5130
kyle.braid@ipsos.com

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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February 2011 Update on BC NDP Leadership Contenders

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Contact

Kyle Braid
Senior Vice President / Vice-Président Senior, Canada
Ipsos Public Affairs
+1 778 373 5130
kyle.braid@ipsos.com