September 18, 2009 14:36 ET


Government Approval Falls to 32% - Lowest Level Recorded for Campbell Government

Attention: Business/Financial Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor VANCOUVER/BC/PRESS RELEASE--(Marketwire - Sept. 18, 2009) - Four months after the BC Liberals were elected to a third consecutive majority government, a new Ipsos Reid poll shows only one-in-three (32%) voters approve of the overall performance of their provincial government. This is a drop of 21 points from the last time Ipsos Reid asked voters to assess the provincial government's performance (53% in November 2008) and the lowest number recorded for the Campbell government since taking office in June 2001 (previous low was 37% in March 2004).

Lowered government approval has significantly impacted voter party preferences. The BC Liberals now have the support of 35% of decided voters, down 11 points from their 46% support in the May provincial election. The NDP leads at 45% (up 3 points), with the Green Party at 13% (up 5 points) and other parties at 7% (up 3 points).

For the record, at 35%, BC Liberal vote support is the lowest it has been since a September 1997 Ipsos Reid poll (33%). However, BC Liberal support was also close to current levels in May 2004 and July 2004 (37% in both polls). Also for the record, at 45%, NDP vote support is the highest it has been since an August 1992 Ipsos Reid poll (52%). However, NDP support was also close to current levels in May 2004 (44%).

Gordon Campbell's approval rating as Premier has also fallen a considerable amount. Currently, 35% of British Columbians say they approve of his performance as Premier, a decline of 15 points from March 2009. Campbell's approval numbers were last at similar levels during much of 2004 (34% in March 2004, 35% in July 2004 and September 2004).

Carole James has a 55% approval rating as NDP leader and Opposition Leader. This is a small increase of 3 points from March 2009 (52%) and equal to her average approval rating over the past 4 years (55% average from Sept 2005 to Mar 2009).

These are the findings of an Ipsos Reid telephone poll conducted between September 9 and 13, 2009. The poll is based on a randomly selected sample of 800 adult British Columbians. With a sample of this size, 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 adult population of BC 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 2006 Census data.

Government Approval Falls to 32% - Lowest Level Recorded for Campbell Government

One-in-three (32%) British Columbians say they approve of the performance of the BC Liberal Government, including 8% who "strongly" approve and 25% who "moderately" approve. Meanwhile, two-thirds (65%) disapprove of the government's performance, including 47% who "strongly" disapprove and 18% who "somewhat" disapprove.

Government approval is higher among higher income households (40% higher vs. 30% middle, 28% lower).

BC Liberals (35%, down 11 points) Trail NDP (45%, up 3 points) in Voter Support

The NDP currently have the support of 45% (up 3 points from May election) of the province's decided voters and a 10 point lead over the BC Liberals at 35% (down 11 points). The Green Party currently has the support of 13% (up 5 points) of decided voters, while 7% (up 3 points) support other parties. These results exclude the 14% of British Columbians who are undecided or express no preference.

The NDP lead by 16 points outside the Lower Mainland (48% NDP vs. 32% Lib) and by a smaller 6 point margin in the Lower Mainland (43% NDP vs. 37% Lib).

The NDP lead by 15 points among women (49% NDP vs. 34% Lib) and by a smaller 3 points among men (40% NDP vs. 37% Lib).

The NDP lead by 21 points among lower income households (47% NDP vs. 26% Lib) and by 17 points among middle income households (49% NDP vs. 32% Lib). The Liberals leads by 3 points among higher income households (45% Lib vs. 42% NDP).

Gordon Campbell's Approval Rating Also Drops (35%, down 15 points); Carole James Makes Small Gain (55%, up 3 points)

Gordon Campbell's approval rating as Premier has dropped substantially. Slightly more than one-third (35%, down 15 points) of residents say they approve of Campbell's performance, including 7% "strongly" and 28% "moderately". More than six-in-ten (63%, up 16 points) disapprove of his performance, including 47% "strongly" and 16% "moderately".

Campbell's approval rating is higher with higher income households (41% higher vs. 30% middle, 35% lower).

Carole James' approval rating as NDP and Opposition leader is up a small amount. A slight majority (55%, up 3 points) of British Columbians approve of her performance, including 11% "strongly" and 44% "moderately". Roughly four-in-ten (38%, unchanged) residents say they disapprove of her performance (19% "strongly", 19% "moderately").

James' approval rating is higher outside the Lower Mainland (61% vs. 51% in LM), among women (64% vs. 47% among men) and among lower/middle income households (62% lower, 60% middle vs. 50% higher).


Contact Information

  • Kyle Braid, Vice President, Ipsos Reid Public Affairs
    Primary Phone: 778-373-5130
    E-mail: kyle.braid@ipsos.com