An Ipsos-Reid poll (their link), conducted between September 28, 2011 to October 3, 2011 sampling 1000 people had the following result for voting intentions:
BC NDP – 45%
BC Liberals – 38%
BC Conservatives – 12%
BC Greens – 6%
Excluded were 20% undecideds and assuming the sample was randomized and using a normal distribution at 95% confidence gives an error range of 3.1%.
There was also some supplementary questions regarding leadership of the four major party candidates, but the only non-surprise surprise that is gleaned out of the data is the fact that more women support the NDP and Adrian Dix than the BC Liberals and Christy Clark (54% of women support the NDP vs. 32% BC Liberal). The rest of the metrics concerning leader are proxies for general partisanship, mainly that BC Liberal supporters support the Premier, while NDP supporters support Adrian Dix, which is no shock.
The other note is that the BC Conservatives are slowly dragging themselves out of the wilderness and should be acknowledged as the “third party” in the province at the moment; this used to be the Green Party, but the Green Party has become seriously compromised as the environment continues to drift off the political landscape. As the BC Liberal party has done everything it can to advertise the existence of John Cummins, this number should rise in future polls, especially since Cummins has done a remarkable job of getting his name in the media on provincial-related matters.
The above poll is remarkably similar to my July 17, 2011 seat projection (NDP: 50, BCL: 28, CON: 5, IND: 2), which is currently my working model. There are scenarios at play that involve larger NDP majorities (up to 70 seats!), but I am finding it very difficult at present to conceive of scenarios where the NDP will not form a majority government.
A lot can change in 18 months, but Adrian Dix has shown himself to be much more of an opposition leader than Carole James was. There are several data points I can point to that easily confirm his political savvy – the latest one being supporting the 2 cent gasoline tax for Translink along with the BC Liberals. Dix continues to be underestimated and dismissed, but this is at the peril of those that have those beliefs. The analog that I like to use is that Stephen Harper is to the political right as Adrian Dix is to the political left; both are very intelligent, policy-driven leaders that are electable as credible contenders for government. Stephen Harper managed to shed right-wing baggage that allowed him to achieve something most people said he never could – a majority government. It worked for Stephen Harper and Adrian Dix will be doing the same between now and May 2013.