Christy Clark Defies Poll Pundits To Win Clear Majority
By Sunil Narula
The election results on Tuesday night came as a huge surprise to everyone, including diehard BC Liberal supporters. Only one person was not entirely surprised by the outcome. And that was Christy Clark herself.
All along Christy had been telling everyone that her party was going to win the elections and the BC Liberals did win in style taking 50 seats leaving pollsters’ favourite NDP far behind at 33 seats.
As Christy did say after the win, “it’s not pollsters, journalists and analysts who decide the outcome of the elections. It is the people who do it.”
Clark had reason to be skeptical about exit polls. Not too long ago the same political pundits were way off the mark while making such predictions in Alberta and Ontario.
Clark’s own team of analysts who were doing their research showed BC Liberals had a good chance of winning.
On Wednesday after the historic victory, Clark told reporters, “The polls do not tell us how people are going to vote, because voting day is the only day that they vote. It’s like me asking you what you’re going to have for dinner a month from now. You might make a guess at it, but your decision could change before then.”
Clark was bang on.
She went for the kill in the last days with more ferocity reminding everyone of the economic disaster that could follow if they risked bringing NDP to power. The voters were convinced with her aggressive style of campaigning.
Plus NDP`s own evasive, weak and unconvincing style of campaigning did nothing to help their own cause. NDP might choose to call their style of campaigning as positive. But the fact of the matter is you got to be more aggressive than that in politics, if you want people to vote for you. You got to tell them something. NDP told them nothing.
The Liberals had internal, more in-depth polling that showed it “competitive” with the NDP.
Dimitri Pantazopoulos, a pollster and political strategist with centre-right parties, did polling for Clark. He said according to their research the Liberals showed a steady growth in support.
“There was no wholesale change in public opinion in B.C. We definitely trended upwards during the campaign. The televised debate definitely had an impact,” he was quoted as saying.
Did Pantazopoulos predict the Liberals would win 50 seats? “On Saturday, I told the campaign committee that we would get 48 seats,” he said.
Veteran polling firm Angus Reid admits it needs to “earn back the trust” of Canadians after nearly all pollsters inaccurately predicted Tuesday’s BC election results.
Rather than trailing the NDP by the wide margins reported by many polling organizations, Premier Christy Clark’s Liberals actually gained seats over the shell-shocked NDP.
“We need to earn back their trust,” Mario Canseco, vice-president of Angus Reid Public Opinion, said Wednesday.
Angus Reid released a pre-election poll on Monday showing the NDP with 45 per cent support from decided voters, versus only 36 per cent for the Liberals — the exact opposite of how people voted on Tuesday.
“It was motivated voters, Liberals, who bested the NDP in the voting booth,” an Ipsos Reid release said after the results, crediting the Liberals’ negative-advertising campaign for the turnaround. “The Liberals had created enough momentum in the final days of the campaign for voters to put them over the top.”
The only rough point for Christy Clark was the fact that she lost in her own riding of Vancouver-Point Grey to NDP candidate David Eby. But that one is not a biggie. She has won the war. She just had to endure a loss in a personal battle.