Our Top 13 Insights from 2013

Insights West released its 50th press release in 2013, and we have covered some pretty diverse topics—from how many of us believe in UFOs to the number of us who are addicted to smartphones.  We are pleased to share with you our compilation of our Top 13 from ’13 Insights below.

13. Research CAN still predict Election outcomes.  Voters in Calgary and Edmonton took part in municipal elections in October. Our research correctly predicted victories for Naheed Nenshi and Don Iveson, and showed that three-in-four residents were satisfied with the work of their respective city councils.

12. We have become less polite as a society.  Three-in-five British Columbians believe that we have lost our sense of civility, and practically nine-in-ten saw someone swear in public. Most residents blame apathetic parents and cold technology for the rise in unruly behaviour.

11. Alberta rallies around flood victims.  The floods in Alberta brought out the best in the province, with two-in-five residents making a donation to those affected and first respondents getting an overwhelmingly positive rating for their role in tackling the emergency. Two thirds of Calgarians expressed satisfaction with how Premier Alison Redford dealt with the effects of the floods.

10. Despite what the media has portrayed, Vancouver supports bike lanes.  While many stories have been written about the supposed animosity of Metro Vancouverites to separated bike lanes, our research shows that three-in-five residents support the initiative, and seven-in-ten welcome a bicycle sharing system.

9. Cross border shopping has gone crazy.  BC’s Lower Mainland residents love to cross border shop, with three-in-four residents making the trip to Washington State an average of 5.2 times in the past year, and 85% of us agreeing with the notion that “prices for the same or similar products are lower in the U.S. than in Canada.”

8. Loyal employees are now in the minority.  Employed British Columbians and Albertans give their current workplaces a rating slightly higher than 7 in a scale of 1-to-10 (only 49% give an ‘8’, ‘9’ or ‘10’), but more than half of us would leave our current job if the right opportunity came along.

7. Smartphone addiction takes hold.  Not only do two-thirds of British Columbians now own a smartphone and use it an average of two hours every day: 18% claim to be addicted to them, a proportion that increases to 27% among 18-34 year-olds.

6. Our dream job is working 9-5 at a Crown Corp?  Our research on the “Dream Employer” of British Columbia showed that residents are split on whether a private company (39%) or the public sector (36%) would be their preferred dream job—with 14% selecting self-employment. Tops on the list include Electronic Arts, Hootsuite and Lululemon, but also organizations like BC Hydro, UBC and the Government of British Columbia.

5. As a society, we believe in some pretty outrageous things.  April Fool’s Day and Halloween provided two opportunities to assess the beliefs of British Columbians. Most claim they believe that UFOs exist, almost half think ghosts and haunted places are real, but just one-in-twenty believe Elvis Presley is alive.

4. We still don’t like the idea of oil pipelines crossing our Province.  While support for the Northern Gateway Pipeline has increased markedly since our first read last February, almost half of British Columbians remain opposed to this project, with most citing lingering concerns over oil tanker traffic and the risk of a spill.

3. We still hate bridge tolls.  Despite years of persuasion, Metro Vancouver (56%) and Fraser Valley residents (72%) are decidedly against bridge tolls.  Our research also shows that drivers are seeking new routes and altering their behaviour in order to avoid the Port Mann Bridge toll.

2. The leader’s debate was the turning point of the BC Election.  In early May, and after the leaders’ debate, the BC NDP’s lead over the BC Liberals was cut in half to only six points, setting the tone for one of the greatest upsets in BC election history.  Insights West was the only polling company who suggested the results could be close based on this number and our analysis of the undecided voters.

1. Christy Clark won because voters changed their minds at the last minute.  Since the BC provincial election in May, there has been a lot of speculation and introspection about the state of public opinion polling. Our survey conducted immediately after the election found that one-in-five voters settled on a candidate on the last 72-hours of the campaign, and that 17% of actual BC Liberal voters had window-shopped as NDP supporters.