What does Ipsos-Reid Corp.'s most recent polling mean for provincial New Democrat leader Adrian Dix?
Last week, the public opinion research firm found 59 percent of respondents had a neutral impression of Mr. Dix or were undecided about him. This reinforces our earlier advice that he needs to let the public know who he is before the Liberals have an opportunity to do that for him. That advertising campaign would ideally capitalize on criticisms that Premier Christy Clark is all style and no substance by emphasizing Mr. Dix's knowledge of political and policy issues. After all, the New Democrats can't make Mr. Dix into something he isn't - nor should they. But they can create a contrast that could help them win the next election.
Ipsos-Reid's most recent polling also found a majority of British Columbians disapprove of the job the government is doing on a range of issues - from crime/justice to ethics and accountability. What does this mean for Ms. Clark?
It's unclear how much this disapproval has to do with the premier, her predecessor, her party or the institution of government itself. After all, it has been just two months and 28 days since Ms. Clark was elected to succeed Gordon Campbell. What the polling does suggest is there's a substantial amount of dissatisfaction among British Columbians with the state of politics in this province - a dissatisfaction the New Democrats have yet to fully harness, being two percentage points behind the Liberals. And that could create an opportunity for the province's third parties or independent candidates.
Speaking of third parties, how are the BC Conservatives faring in the polls?
Ipsos-Reid has described the party as being a "distant third choice," sitting at 10 percent according to its latest poll - which was conducted between May 9 and 13. That's around the same time Conservative leader-designate John Cummins was making headlines for his views on homosexuality, which he spoke about during a May 11 interview on CFAX 1070. But the same poll shows support for the party is strong in the southern Interior and the North, at 15 and 19 percent respectively. In addition, a Mustel Research Group Inc. poll conducted between May 5 and 18 puts the Conservatives at 18 percent - 11 percentage points higher than they were in December. But whether this is the beginning of a surge in support for the party remains to be seen.