Ipsos Reid

Ipsos Reid

June 21, 2005 13:42 ET

A LOOK AT PROVINCIAL AND FEDERAL POLITICS IN BRITISH COLUMBIA

Most British Columbians Satisfied with Provincial Election Outcome; Stephen Harper trails Jack Layton and Paul Martin in Job Approval; Widely Divergent Approval Ratings for Prominent BC MPs Attention: News Editor VANCOUVER, B.C.--(CCNMatthews - June 21, 2005) - According to a new BC Ipsos-Reid poll, most (71%) British Columbians are satisfied with the outcome of last month's provincial election that saw the BC Liberals returned to power and the NDP established as a strong opposition. Satisfaction with the election outcome is highest among BC Liberal voters (89% satisfied), but also above majority levels for NDP voters (57%), Green voters (57%) and non-voters (66%).

Turning to the federal political scene, Stephen Harper has lost significant favour with British Columbians over the last few months. Harper's current approval rating of 38% is down 14-points from March and well below the approval ratings of his rivals Paul Martin (53%, down 5 points) and Jack Layton (63%, up 2 points).

British Columbians appear to have reached some common ground on the performance of two BC MPs who have played prominent roles in national politics over the last few weeks. The reviews are very positive for Surrey North MP Chuck Cadman (63% approve vs. 10% disapprove) and very negative for Newton-North Delta MP Gurmant Grewal (19% approve vs. 62% disapprove). Meanwhile, British Columbians are much more divided in their assessment of Vancouver South MP and Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh (47% approve vs. 39% disapprove).

These are the findings of an Ipsos-Reid telephone poll conducted June 8th to 13th, 2005 with a randomly selected sample of 800 adult British Columbia residents. The results are considered accurate to within ±3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire BC adult population been polled. The margin of error will 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 the 2001 Census.

Most (71%) British Columbians Satisfied with Provincial Election Outcome

Seven-in-ten (71%) British Columbians say they are satisfied with the outcome of last month's provincial election. Two-in-ten (22%) are "very satisfied" with the election outcome, while half (49%) are "somewhat satisfied".
Not all British Columbians are happy with the results of May 17th. Three-in-ten (28%) BC residents say they are either "very dissatisfied" (11%) or "somewhat dissatisfied" (17%) with the results.

A substantially reduced majority has not dampened the spirits of BC Liberal voters. Nine-in-ten (89%) BC Liberals say they are satisfied with outcome of the provincial election. And a majority (57%) of NDP voters are satisfied with the outcome, despite their party's loss to Gordon Campbell and the BC Liberals. Even a majority of Green Party voters (57%) and non-voters (66%) are satisfied with the election outcome.

Satisfaction is also well above the majority level across all regions and demographic groups.

Stephen Harper (38%) trails Jack Layton (63%) and Paul Martin (53%) in Job Approval
Stephen Harper's approval rating as federal Leader of the Opposition is plummeting in British Columbia. His current approval rating of 38% is down 14-points from March (52%). Only 6% of BC voters "strongly approve" of Harper's performance, while three-in-ten (31%) "moderately approve". The majority of BC residents disapprove (57%, up 15 points) of Harper's performance, including one-third (32%) who "strongly disapprove" and one-quarter (25%) who "moderately disapprove".

·Stephen Harper still has the support of most Conservative Party voters. Three-quarters (77%) of current Conservative supporters say they approve of Harper's performance as Leader of the Opposition. Harper has much lower approval ratings among Liberal supporters (21%) and NDP voters (31%).

Paul Martin's approval rating as Prime Minister has also taken a hit over the last three months, although the decline is much less severe than for Stephen Harper. Paul Martin currently has an approval rating of 53% (down 5 points), including 9% "strongly approve" and 43% "moderately approve". Nearly half (46%, up 6 points) of British Columbians disapprove of the performance of the Prime Minister, including one-quarter (24%) who "strongly disapprove" and 22% who "moderately disapprove".

·Eight-in-ten (83%) Liberal Party supporters say they approve of Martin's performance, compared to just less than half (45%) of NDP voters and one-quarter of Conservative Party voters (26%).

Jack Layton has the highest approval rating of any federal party leader in British Columbia. More than six-in-ten (63%, up 2 points) approve of the job Layton is doing as NDP leader, including 16% who "strongly approve" and 47% who "moderately approve". Only about one-quarter (27%, down 3 points) of BC residents disapprove of Layton's performance, including 11% who "strongly disapprove" and 16% who "moderately disapprove".

·Layton's approval rating is very high among NDP supporters (85%), but also at the two-thirds level among Liberal supporters (67%). Conservative supporters are split in their impressions of Jack Layton (43% approve vs. 49% disapprove).

Widely Divergent Approval Ratings for Prominent BC MPs - Chuck Cadman (63%), Ujjal Dosanjh (47%), Gurmant Grewal (19%)

Three British Columbia MPs have played starring roles on the federal political stage over the last few weeks. The reviews are very positive for Chuck Cadman, very negative for Gurmant Grewal and mixed for Ujjal Dosanjh.
More than six-in-ten (63%) BC residents say they approve of the way Surrey North MP Chuck Cadman has performed as a Member of Parliament. This includes one-third (34%) who "strongly approve" of his performance and three-in-ten (29%) who "moderately approve". Only one-in-ten (10%) residents say they disapprove of Cadman's performance (2% strongly, 8% moderately).

·Cadman's reviews are favourable across the political spectrum. He draws majority approval from Liberal supporters (68%), Conservative supporters (67%) and NDP supporters (60%).

While Chuck Cadman has a 63% "approval" rating, Newton-North Delta MP Gurmant Grewal has a 62% "disapproval" rating. Only 19% of BC residents say they approve (2% strongly, 17% moderately) of the job Gurmant Grewal is doing as a Member of Parliament. Nearly half (47%) of residents say they "strongly disapprove" of Gurmant's performance, while 15% "moderately disapprove".

·Gurmant's reviews are consistent across the political spectrum. He has mostly unfavourable ratings from Liberal supporters (15% approve vs. 68% disapprove), Conservative supporters (21% approve vs. 62% disapprove) and NDP supporters (22% approve vs. 56% disapprove).

British Columbians are split in their assessments of the performance of Vancouver South MP and Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh. He currently has an approval rating of 47%, including 9% "strongly approve" and 38% "moderately approve". Four-in-ten (39%) British Columbians disapprove of the performance of the Health Minister, including 22% who "strongly disapprove" and 18% who "moderately disapprove".

By way of comparison, Ujjal Dosanjh's final approval rating as BC Premier was 49% approval and 48% disapproval (March 2001).

·Dosanjh's ratings are best with Liberal supporters (60% approve vs. 26% disapprove) and also generally positive with NDP supporters (50% approve vs. 35% disapprove). Conservative supporters, however, are less favourable in their reviews of Ujjal Dosanjh (34% approve vs. 57% disapprove).

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For more information on this news release, please contact:

Kyle Braid
Vice-President
Ipsos-Reid Corporation
604-257-3200
kyle.braid@ipsos-reid.com

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