Sean Holman of the Public Eye Online reports the following (and apologies to Sean for just ripping the entire article off, but I will try to add some value):
A union-commissioned poll shows provincial Conservative support has surged into double digit territory, Public Eye has exclusively learned. The poll, which surveyed 1,000 British Columbians between August 16 and 31, puts the Conservatives at 15.8 percent – just two percentage points below the governing Liberals. By comparison, the New Democrats are at 34.0 percent, the Greens are at 12.1 percent and the undecideds are at 13.1 percent. That leaves 7.2 percent of survey respondents who refused to say who they’d vote for, won’t vote or would cast their ballot for another party. With the undecideds factored out, the New Democrats are at 42 percent, the Liberals at 23 percent, the Conservatives at 21 percent and the Greens at 15 percent.
There is no mention of methodology (although the two-week period suggests telephone polling) and geographical spread, and questions asked. So this cannot be used as a standardized poll, but rather a good point of gossip. The rest of the discussion assumes the poll is completely valid.
A 1,000 person sample has a standardized error (normal distribution), assuming you exclude the 7.2%, of +/- 3.2%. Excluding the undecideds and “others”, you have an error of 3.5% at 95% confidence.
Sean Holman did get the normalization of the polling numbers slightly incorrect in his last sentence – assuming the undecideds/others intended on voting in proportion to the four main parties, we would have the following result:
NDP – 42.7%
BC Liberal – 22.3%
BC Conservative – 19.8%
Greens – 15.2%
If this was indeed the case, this would be an excellent performance by the NDP – conceivably you would see the BC Conservatives splitting votes in BC Liberal dominated ridings, and you could see the NDP pick up seats in areas that were not otherwise to be considered. Very informally (still working on the seat model), I’d estimate the BC Liberals would be left with roughly 10 seats, and the Conservatives would likely pick up a few. The NDP would sweep with roughly 70-75 seats. The Greens would have an outside shot of one or two, but I still project zero – they would be close with 16%, but not quite there.