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December 6, 2012

Difference in 2012 Polls

A difference has emerged in what is revealed by BC's two major pollsters. As of December 6th, in 2012 Angus Reid published eight polls on provincial voting intention; Ipsos Reid published four. On most points, party rankings, best premier, approval/disapproval and various demographic breakdowns, the two polling companies produced roughly similar results over the year. Their polls are not very close on voting intentions for men. That difference explains most of the difference between them on the overall horserace numbers.

On December 4th Ipsos Reid published results of its most recent poll under the headline: "BC Liberals Take Back the Right". It showed the Liberals with 35% support compared to the NDP's 48%. The headline came from the BC Conservatives being down 3 to 9% (relative to its September poll), matching the Liberal's 3 point gain.

Angus Reid's November poll had the Liberals at 29% compared to the NDPís 47%. The overall horserace numbers for all of the polls conducted by the two companies are listed in Table 1. If you click on any month under the Angus Reid or Ipsos Reid columns, a new window should open in your browser with the detailed tables from the corresponding company for that month. Note the table presents the polls according to the month they were published; frequently a poll was conducted in the last week of a month and published the first week of the following month. Tables 2 and 3 below compare what each pollster found when voting intentions are listed separately for men and women (those figures come from the detailed tables linked in Table 1).

Throughout 2012, in all 12 polls, both Angus Reid and Ipsos Reid found that the NDP has a lead of at least two to one over the Liberals among women. However, while Angus Reid usually found a significant lead for the NDP among men, three of the four polls conducted by Ipsos Reid show a statistical tie for men and even its June poll is close to a tie. We will never know which pollster is most accurate about the voting intentions of men.

Political parties do their own polling, but they are more interested in what issues and arguments are most likely to influence the decision voters will make. Unfortunately, that kind of polling is rarely made public.

Table 1 2012 Polls from Angus Reid and Ipsos Reid on Voting Intention
Angus Reid
NDP
Lib
BC Cons
Green
Ipsos Reid
NDP
Lib
BC Cons
Green
Jan 2012                    
Feb
42
28
19
10
Feb
44
32
16
7
March
   
April
43
23
23
8
   
May
50
23
19
6
   
June
June
48
29
16
6
July
45
23
22
8
   
Aug
49
22
19
9
   
Sept
46
25
19
8
Sept
49
32
12
6
Oct
49
26
16
7
   
Nov
47
29
12
9
   
Dec 2012
Dec
48
35
9
7


Table 2 2012 Polls from Angus Reid and Ipsos Reid - Voting Intentions for Men
Angus Reid
Ipsos Reid
NDP
Lib
NDP-Lib Difference
NDP
Lib
NDP-Lib Difference
Jan
Feb
37
32
5
37
39
-2
March
April
35
31
4
May
45
28
17
June
41
35
6
July
35
29
6
Aug
45
29
16
Sept
42
30
12
41
40
1
Oct
46
31
15
Nov
46
33
13
Dec
41
43
-2
 
Table 3 2012 Polls from Angus Reid and Ipsos Reid - Voting Intentions for Women
Angus Reid
Ipsos Reid
NDP
Lib
NDP-Lib Difference
NDP
Lib
NDP-Lib Difference
Jan
Feb
47
24
23
51
25
26
March
April
52
15
37
May
55
17
38
June
56
24
32
July
51
17
34
Aug
53
15
38
Sept
51
21
30
57
24
33
Oct
52
21
31
Nov
49
25
24
Dec
56
27
29