The poll results are in, and not looking very good for Robertson’s bid for premier
A poll released by Angus Reid Strategies a few days ago got a lot of media attention as it pertained to the political scene in Victoria. What many people might have missed was the fact that the mayors of Metro Vancouver’s two largest cities were actually incorporated into some of the polling questions.
Survey respondents were asked, "If Gordon Campbell were to step down, do you feel each of the following would make a good premier?" Included in that list provided were a number of provincial cabinet ministers, the leader of the opposition as well as both Gregor Robertson of Vancouver and Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts.
What the poll results showed is that Gregor Robertson’s honeymoon may in fact have come to an end, as Vancouver Sun columnist Miro Cernetig predicted a while back. 33% of those polled thought that Watts would make a good premier, while Robertson was 5 points back at 28%. More importantly, only 19% of respondents felt that Watts would make a bad premier, while a whopping 37% felt that way of Robertson.
The numbers simply don’t lie. It will be hard for Robertson’s supporters to claim that an 18% gap between His Worship and Watts is not significant. Robertson’s negative rating was even higher than that of embattled Finance Minister Colin Hansen (who has received several weeks of media drubbing), and Health Minister Kevin Falcon. In fact, only Carole James, leader of the opposition had a higher "bad" rating than Robertson at 47%.
What does this all mean to Robertson this early in his mandate? Probably not much considering that the poll was conducted throughout the province, and not simply in Vancouver. What it will likely mean is the Mayor’s promoters (and there are many out there drinking Robertson’s Happy Planet message) who would like to see him take a run at the Premier’s job, may want to think twice.
Robertson is high profile, and as a result his every move is scrutinized. When he implements backyard chicken policies, or rips up the front lawn of city hall to plant a vegetable garden, everyone in the province is likely to hear about it. It’s been these types of policies over the last nine months that have earned him nicknames such as "bubble boy" and "farmboy mayor." Even his supporters grudgingly refer to him as being "flaky."
I’m pretty sure that Councillor Raymond Louie, the guy who wanted to be mayor is pouring through the Angus Reid data and telling his colleagues "I told you so." With the negative ratings Robertson received, I wouldn’t blame him if he did.
UPDATE: Read today’s column by Vaughn Palmer in the Vancouver Sun to get his take on the poll results.