Last weekend Mr. Mason, he of the Globe (AndNoLongerEmpire) Mail, published a piece in which he implied that, even if their (then) slightly favourable poll numbers were to hold, the Dippers probably won't win:
Elections in British Columbia are always an uphill battle for the New Democratic Party and, despite polls putting it ahead, this one is no different.
As the electoral history of this province has demonstrated, a lot has to go right for the NDP to win a general vote. More often than not, triumph is the result of some breakdown in the centre-right coalition that has ruled British Columbia, under a couple of different political institutions, for all but 13 of the past 65 years. The conditions for that type of wholesale collapse are not evident this time around...
Interestingly, Mr. Mason relied on a pollster by the name of Greg Lyle for a big thwack of faux sage-brushed wisdom in his piece:
...While British Columbians are undoubtedly dissatisfied with the Liberal government on many counts, Mr. Lyle does not believe that enmity is deeply entrenched. In his (own) March poll, he asked those surveyed to respond to the assessment: “I am so angry at the BC Liberal party I will never vote for them again.” Just 34 per cent of respondents agreed.
“That is a pretty low number,” Mr. Lyle said in an interview. “People might be upset at the government, but how motivated are they to do something about it? That is the key question. And our poll indicated that the anger level is not very deep, so the Liberals would have to be encouraged by that.”...
...While Mr. Lyle holds the view the NDP is in tough given the significant seat advantage the Liberals hold, he is someone who knows first-hand anything can happen. He was campaign director for the Liberals in 1996, the year Gordon Campbell led them into battle and lost, even though the party received more of the popular vote.
Could that happen again? Mr. Lyle thinks so, but this time it could be the NDP at the bitter losing end of that equation.
“The more likely scenario this time would be NDP wins more votes, but Liberals win more seats because of the distribution of votes among seats,” he said. “What has changed since ‘96 is the Libs have strengthened their hold on rural seats and the NDP have done better in urban seats. So that means, bottom line, the NDP could be a bit ahead in the polls and still lose the election.”...
Why would an old Socred/BC Liberal hand like Mr. Lyle, a most fine fellow who in the past has worked on joint projects with Mr. Mike MacDonald, the Clarklandian insider who also just happens to be the spouse of the current CEO of BC Hydro, have been throwing NDP expectations lowering advice Mr. Mason's way, based on an old poll, at that specific moment in time (i.e. late last week)?
I mean, it's almost as if Mr. Lyle was staring into the heart of some very dark internal numbers last Thursday/Friday that were telling him that the wizards of Clarklandia were in big, big trouble in the wake of the first radio debate.
And then, today, courtesy of Simon Little at CKNW we get....
We’re getting a look at the first set of numbers to come out since last week’s radio leaders debate, and they suggest the NDP has the advantage.
The Main Street/Postmedia poll, conducted April 20-22, suggests despite what some had characterized as an over aggressive debate performance the NDP has built a ten per cent lead provincewide among decided and leaning voters.
The survey pegs the NDP at 44 per cent (+5), the BC Liberals at 34 (-3), and the BC Greens at 22 per cent (+1)...
I, for one, await Rob Obvious' mea culpa with barely bated breath.