BC NDP Widens Lead Over BC Liberals

Disapproval Ratings Rise for Both Christy Clark and Adrian Dix

Friday, March 15, 2013

Vancouver, BC – A new Ipsos Reid poll shows the NDP widening its substantial lead over the BC Liberals. The poll also shows growing voter disapproval for both Premier Christy Clark and NDP leader Adrian Dix.


The NDP has expanded its lead in terms of voter support in BC. The NDP, at 51%, hold a 19 point lead over the BC Liberals, at 32%, among the province’s decided voters. The BC Conservatives (9%) and Green Party (7%) both have single digit support among voters. These results exclude the 19% of British Columbians who are undecided or express no preference.

Since November, the NDP have picked up three points (from 48% to 51%), all at the expense of the BC Liberals (from 35% to 32%). Both the BC Conservatives (9%) and the Green Party (7%) are unchanged from November.

  • Region: The NDP continues to lead in all regions. They have a 21 point lead in Metro Vancouver (53% NDP vs. 32% BC Lib), a 25 point lead on Vancouver Island (56% NDP vs. 31% BC Lib) and a 9 point lead in the Southern Interior/North (43% NDP vs. 34% BC Lib).
  • Gender: The NDP has a 29 point lead among women (56% NDP vs. 27% BC Lib) and a smaller 8 point lead among men (45% NDP vs. 37% BC Lib). The NDP lead among women is unchanged, but their lead among men is an improvement from a 2 point deficit in November.

Leader Approval Ratings

Approval ratings for Christy Clark as Premier have worsened since November, with her approval rating falling by 4 points and her disapproval rating rising by 6 points. Currently three-in-ten (30%, down 4 points) British Columbians say they approve of her performance (6% ‘strongly’), while two-thirds (65%, up 6 points) disapprove of her performance (41% ‘strongly’). Only 5% (down 1 point) are undecided about her performance as Premier.

Half of British Columbians (51%, including 14% ‘strongly’) say they approve of the job that Adrian Dix’s is doing as NDP and Opposition leader, which is down a statistically insignificant 2 points from November. However, his disapproval rating of 40% (21% ‘strongly’) is up 6 points from November. Ten percent (down 3 points) of British Columbians are undecided about Dix.

Though still not good, the numbers have shifted in a positive direction for John Cummins as BC Conservative leader. His approval rating of 16% is up 3 points from November and his disapproval rating of 44% is down 7 points. Four-in-ten (39%, up 3 points) say they are undecided about John Cummins.

A majority of residents (56%, up 1 point) say they have no impression of the job Jane Sterk is doing as Green Party leader. Currently 23% (down 1 point) say they approve of her performance while 20% (down 2 points) disapprove.

Best Premier

Adrian Dix continues to be the leader who voters think would make the best Premier of British Columbia. Dix is selected by 37% (down 2 points) of British Columbians, placing him 14 points ahead of Christy Clark (23%, unchanged). Dix is the top choice across all regions, both genders and all age groups.

John Cummins is a distant third choice at 8% (up 1 point), followed by Jane Sterk at just 4% (up 1 point). Nearly three-in-ten (28%, up 1 point) British Columbians are unsure which of the four party leaders would make the best Premier.

Best Dinner Companion

Adrian Dix may have better numbers than Christy Clark for job approval and best premier, but he’s a second choice as the leader that British Columbians would most like to have dinner with. On this measure, Christy Clark ranks first at 31%, with Adrian Dix 12 points behind at 19%. Clark leads Dix across all regions, both genders and all age groups.

Green Party leader Jane Sterk is the choice of 12% of British Columbians, followed by John Cummins at just 6%. Three-in-ten (31%) residents are undecided as to which leader would make the best dinner companion.

Ethnic Memo

While three-quarters (75%) of British Columbians say they disapprove of the BC Liberal government’s ethnic outreach strategy memo, most of them do not think the memo reflects badly on the BC Liberal government alone. Overall three-in-ten (31%) single out the BC Liberal government and say that ‘I disapprove and think this reflects badly on the BC Liberal government alone’. A larger group, more than four-in-ten (44%), think this type of memo goes beyond the BC Liberal government and say that ‘I disapprove, but think this behaviour is typical of most political parties and governments.’

An additional two-in-ten (18%) say they are ‘not concerned about this issue’ and 7% say they ‘don’t know/I’ve not heard anything about this issue.”

Most Important Issues

No single issue dominates the political landscape as we move closer to a provincial election. The top two issues that British Columbians would like to receive the greatest attention from BC’s leaders include health care (24%) and the economy (21%). Secondary issues include deficit/budget/spending (10%), ethics and accountability (10%), the environment (7%), education (6%) and taxes (6%).

Best on Issues

If the BC Liberals are to have any chance in May, the focus of the election must not be on either the environment, or on delivering government programs and services. By a wide margin, British Columbians think Adrian Dix and the NDP would do the better job on these issues. In contrast, the BC Liberals still hold a slight lead over the NDP on issues related to the economy, jobs and the province’s finances.

We asked British Columbians to indicate which of the two main political parties would do a better job at five issues.

  • Adrian Dix and the NDP hold a 40 point advantage on ‘protecting the environment’ (56% to 16%) and a 30 point advantage on ‘delivering government programs and services’ (54% to 24%).
  • Christy Clark and the BC Liberals hold an 8 point advantage on ‘managing the BC economy’ (40% to 32%), a 5 point advantage on ‘creating jobs’ (38% to 33%) and a 4 point advantage on ‘managing the provincial government’s finances’ (38% to 34%).
  • These are the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll of 1,000 adult British Columbians conducted online using Ipsos Reid’s national online household panel between March 8 and 12, 2012. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100% response rate would have an estimated margin of error of ±3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The margin of error would be larger within regions and 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 BC population according to 2011 Census data.

    For more information on this news release, please contact:

    Kyle Braid
    Vice President
    Ipsos Reid Public Affairs

    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.

    To learn more, please visit www.ipsos.ca.

    About Ipsos

    Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. In October 2011 Ipsos completed the acquisition of Synovate. The combination forms the world’s third largest market research company.

    With offices in 85 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across six research specializations: advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, public affairs research, and survey management.

    Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.

    Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,789 billion (2.300 billion USD) in 2012.

    BC NDP Widens Lead Over BC Liberals


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