Friday, March 11, 2011

Innovative Research Group - Greg Lyle's firm - polling for BC Liberals in Vancouver-Point Grey by-election test

Firm that employs Christy Clark's new Chief of Staff Mike McDonald and owned by Greg Lyle - Gordon Campbell's former Campaign Manager - is testing the waters for Premier-Designate to run in by-election


By Bill Tieleman

Innovative Research Group - the public opinion firm owned by former Gordon Campbell election campaign manager Greg Lyle - is polling for the BC Liberal Party in Vancouver-Point Grey to see if Christy Clark could win a by-election there.

Greg Lyle

One of the people polled last week contacted me and provided a telephone number associated with Innovative - or more precisely with Selective Field Services, a separate telephone fielding firm also owned by Lyle.

In a telephone interview tonight from Toronto, Lyle declined to confirm or deny the identity of his client but said McDonald is a principal of Innovative and will continue working for the firm owned by Lyle and his wife until McDonald takes up his new job with Clark on Monday.  McDonald has worked with Innovative since 2005.

My source confirmed information that the Vancouver Sun's Janet Steffenhagen first reported on her blog - that polling was taking place in Vancouver-Point Grey and called me because I was listed as a possible NDP candidate there, along with Vision Vancouver's Patti Bacchus - Chair of the Vancouve Board of Education.

According to my source, the poll tested both my and Bacchus' recognition before asking first if the respondent would vote for either of us without identifying any party affiliation, then again asking but with each of us described if we were "the NDP candidate" against BC Liberal leader Christy Clark.

My source believed a third potential NDP candidate name was also tested but could not remember it.

The poll also asks respondents how they feel about the Harmonized Sales Tax, whether Christy Clark's leadership would increase the likelihood of voting BC Liberal, whether the government was headed in the right or wrong direction and if the government should be defeated.

Perhaps the most interesting question though was this one that Steffenhagen reported:  "Did it matter if Christy Clark sent her son to a Catholic School?"  

Her son Hamish - whose father is Clark's ex-husband Mark Marissen, a longtime federal Liberal Party strategist who also worked on Clark's successful leadership campaign - was prominently featured as a hockey goalie in media opportunities after her win but I do not believe his schooling has been discussed publicly.  

Bacchus has all but ruled out a run, while former Vancouver-Point Grey candidate in 2005 and 2009 - community activist Mel Lehan - has said he would consider a by-election nomination.

As has previously been reported elsewhere, I will not be a candidate for the NDP in the riding, though as I told the Georgia Straight's Charlie Smith, it would be fun to ask Clark all the questions about the Basi-Virk/BC Legislature Raid case that she has avoided or dodged throughout the BC Liberal leadership race. 

Lyle was Campbell's campaign manager in the losing 1996 provincial election against the NDP's Glen Clark.  Lyle also was chief of staff to former Manitoba Conservative Premier Gary Filmon.

McDonald has previously been BC Liberal Caucus Communications Director and a federal Liberal Party of Canada activist.  His estranged wife Jessica McDonald was Deputy Minister to Campbell from 2005 to 2009.

Lyle said in an interview that another poll conducted by Innovative Research first reported by Public Eye's Sean Holman was conducted for the firm's syndicated subscribers, not Clark or the BC Liberal Party. That poll nonetheless asks a lot of questions that the BC Liberals would want answered, like:

"Which of the following statements regarding the policies and programs of the BC Liberal party comes closest to your own view? Please select one response only.

* Their policies and programs are working well and need no change OR

* Their policies and programs are working OK but need minor changes OR

* Their policies and programs are not working well and need major changes OR

* Their policies and programs are fundamentally wrong and should be reversed.

* Don't know."



Anonymous said...

I'm sad to hear that Tieleman will not run against Clark. I thought that the battle of media titans. Tieleman, like Clark, has a soap box to run on (24 hours), and while ultimately he probably would not be successful, I couldn't see Christy coming from that fight unscathed. It's not necessarily what you bring up against her, its how its done, and more to the point seen to be done. For that purpose Tieleman would have been the better of the 3 names listed as possible NDP candidates.

There is a greater good angle to this story, almost kamikaze like. Someone needs to take the gleam off of Christy, and Bill would have been the guy to do it the most effectively.

Anonymous said...

One factor I haven't seen mentioned in any of the speculation about which MLA might be getting pressured to step down for Christy. I don't think MLAs who haven't completed even one full term won't be getting a pension.

Anonymous said...

The BC Liberals will be under a black cloud, until Campbell's corrupt sale of the BCR is cleared up. This was Campbell's election lie, the BCR wasn't for sale. The other election lie, the HST wasn't on Campbell and Hansen's radar.

I do wish Bill would have run against Christy. We are so tired of the lies and deceit, from the BC Liberals. BC people need to be able to give, a sigh of relief. BC citizens feel as though, we are living in a dictatorship regime. Campbell thieved from the province and the people. We are so sick of this non-stop robbery.

Anonymous said...

prediction CC won't run in Point Grey

Anonymous said...

Assuming this is the same poll, they called a couple of days ago and the third possible NDP candidate was Mel.

Anonymous said...

Nothing new.

The NDP has also been polling, and relies on the Centre for Policy Alternatives.

Bill wouldn't be the best candidate for that area. He's not in favour of people doing good, focuses on those who constantly complain, and represents the old NDP, so hence he is supporting Adrian Dix and his tax and spend policies.

We need more positive people like Mike Farnworth for leader.