BREAKING NEWS - CKNW'S SEAN LESLIE REPORTS THAT NDP MLA KATRINE CONROY WILL RESIGN AS CAUCUS WHIP AT 1 P.M. OVER LEADER CAROLE JAMES' EXPLUSION OF MLA BOB SIMPSON. MORE HERE LATER AS IT BECOMES AVAILABLE.
Premier Gordon Campbell's resignation has quickly narrowed the gap between the BC Liberal Party and the BC New Democrats, according to a poll just released by the Mustel Group this morning.
With Campbell heading out of the picture, the BC Liberals are now at 37% popular support while the BC NDP is at 42% - the same level as they held in the May 2009 election.
The Green Party is at 10%, the BC Conservatives at 9% and "Other" at 3%.
The poll is not good news for BC NDP leader Carole James in two ways: in addition to the NDP holding the exact same 42% it had in Mustel's last poll in September 2010 despite all the BC Liberal disasters, James personal approval rating has dropped 9% from 42% to 33% since September.
That's likely primarily due to fallout over her expulsion of Cariboo North MLA Bob Simpson from the NDP caucus.
Gordon Campbell's approval rating is only a point behind James at 32%, a drop of 2% since September. The poll of 502 British Columbians took place Nov 4-15 by telephone and had a 4.4% +/- accuracy rate.
The approval rating and party support polling differ considerably from the most recent Angus Reid Public Opinion poll released November 5 which put the NDP at 47% and the BC Liberals at 26% but that online poll of 807 voters was completed before Campbell announced his resignation and had a +/- 3.5% accuracy rate.
James approval rating in that poll had fallen to 25% from 27% and Campbell's had risen from 9% to 12%.
Mustel Group polls have generally shown somewhat lower NDP and higher BC Liberal support levels than Angus Reid or Ipsos-Reid polls, explained in part by different methodology. And of course each poll is taken with different respondents at diffrent times.