Today, The Vancouver Sun's Doug Ward reported, "A key business supporter of Kevin Falcon has paid for two polls that suggest a victory by Christy Clark in the B.C. Liberal leadership race could split the party's centre-right "free enterprise" coalition." According to Mr. Ward, the supporter - Ryan Beedie - said in a leaked email the surveys confirm his "suspicion that Clark 'is the candidate who poses the greatest risk to the coalition, and thus the future success of the party.'" But, according to a copy of that email separately obtained by Public Eye, Mr. Beedie urged recipients to keep the information "confidential" and not to "share these polls with others, however you can make reference to having read them and what the conclusions are in your efforts to encourage people to support the best candidate for keeping the party united." The following is a complete copy.
From: Ryan Beedie
Date: February 22, 2011 4:43:09 PM PST
Subject: Polling Information
Please keep this confidential.
One of the many reasons why Kevin should be elected as leader of the BC Liberal Party (in addition to the fact that of the four candidates he will make the best Premier) is his ability to keep the coalition together. This is an absolutely critical point for the health of our province. This upcoming vote is our future.
In order to win the next election (2013) we must remain united. The NDP only wins when the centre-right vote is split (1972, 1991 and 1996). The 1996 election is the prime example where our party actually beat the NDP by about 2.5% percent in the popular vote, but lost due the way the vote split with BC Reform.
We have all seen the various polls stating that Christy Clark is in the lead. I felt it was important to have more information so I commissioned two polls. I received the results from the first one earlier in the month, and it more than confirmed what I suspected. In fact, the results shocked me and I decided to do a second poll to confirm the findings of the first (conducted on line by Leger Marketing). The results were even more pronounced than the first poll. It confirmed that of the contenders for leadership, Christy Clark is the candidate who poses the greatest risk to the coalition, and thus the future success of the party.
I have attached the links to each poll below. What I would draw your attention to are two critical questions:
1. When those who identified themselves as BC Liberal supporters were asked which leadership candidate made them LESS likely to vote BC Liberal in next election, Christy Clark was, far and away, the number one choice (18% in the first poll and 25% in the second). This is very concerning as this is our base of support we need in order to win.
2. When those who identified themselves as BC Liberal supporters were asked if Christy Clark was leader, would they vote BC Conservative or seriously consider voting BC Conservative, the results were 19% in the first poll and 21% in the second. Another worrisome result.
The links to the polls are as follows:
Why is Christy doing well in overall polls? I think she is picking up some of the softer NDP supporters, however history shows that these voters always come home to the NDP (2001 excepted) . Even Glen Clark was able to get 38% (and win the election due to the vote split on the centre-right). By creating exposure on the right flank of the party, she is actually the candidate who poses the greatest risk.
I will be emailing you tomorrow on the details of how the election process works (we must select, at least, a first and second choice candidate).
It is absolutely imperative that we reach out to our networks and stress the importance of "getting out the vote".
Please do not share these polls with others, however you can make reference to having read them and what the conclusions are in your efforts to encourage people to support the best candidate for keeping the party united. For those supporting Mike DeJong and George Abbott, we need to encourage them to have Kevin as their second choice.