It's often said that men and women seem to be from different planets, and that certainly seems to be the case when it comes to political attitudes in this province.
Women in B.C. are less worried about the economy than men, view health care as a higher priority and attach less importance on the government balancing its budget.
And they are decidedly negative toward the B.C. Liberals, particularly Premier Christy Clark.
Those conclusions can be gleaned from drilling down deep in the latest Ipsos-Reid poll, which shows British Columbians favour the New Democratic Party over the B.C. Liberal Party in a big way.
The NDP has been leading in public opinion for some time, but marked differences in public opinion on some key issues is what's most striking.
And they go a long way in explaining why the NDP has such a big lead in the polls these days. About one-half of the electorate is female, and it appears that close to 60 per cent of that base wants the B.C. Liberals out of office.
If we assume men and women voted in equal numbers in the 2009 election, about 375,000 women cast their ballots for the B.C. Liberals. Today's polling suggests more than 125,000 of them have deserted the party they voted for last time (Angus Reid pollster Mario Canseco says the B.C. Liberals are "retaining" only about two-thirds of their voter base in the last election, which suggests at least a third of their women voters have bolted).
And it's hard to envision a scenario that will lead to those female voters returning to the B.C. Liberal fold, particularly when you examine that party's re-election strategy.
For example, Clark and her party are trying to make the economy the key issue in the election campaign on the long-held belief that people don't trust the NDP when it comes to that issue.
However, one of the more telling findings of the Ipsos-Reid poll is the fact that women give the NDP more credit than the B.C. Liberals on those same economic issues Clark keeps emphasizing.
When it comes to job creation and managing government finances, women give the NDP a slight but noticeable edge. They're split down the middle on which party would best manage the economy.
When you factor in what appears to be a serious personal animosity among women toward Clark herself, it's hard to see how this gender gap is going to close at any time.
Almost half (42 per cent) of women "disapprove strongly" of the job Clark's been doing as premier. Men strongly disapprove of Clark's performance as well, but some of them seem more forgiving to her party and are willing to vote for it. A majority of women, however, now appear to be strong NDP supporters. The NDP boasts the support of 56 per cent of women, compared to the B.C. Liberals' level of just 27 per cent.
Aside from focusing on an issue - the economy - that half the electorate doesn't rank as the top priority and thinks the other party is better on anyway, the B.C. Liberals have another conundrum to solve.
Given that the premier seems to be fairly unpopular, does showcasing her in a 28-day election campaign - with constant appearances on television and radio - further entrench that unpopularity or help to reverse it?
Clark herself insists she's a great campaigner (although I don't think there's much evidence to back that assertion up) and can close the gap during the campaign.
But women voters appear to be turned off by her and her party in a big way and seeing and hearing more of her day after day may simply worsen the problem.
In fact, it can be argued Clark's unpopularity may indeed be linked to the fact she has been in campaign mode since she became premier. Everything she has done seems to be about politics and not about crafting government policy. There is plenty of internal grumbling within the B.C. Liberal government on just that point. The controversy over her staff crossing the line and mixing government business with partisan work for the party is an example of the constant campaigning that has been going on.
And a big portion of them, many of them women, have grown very tired of it.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
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Keith Baldrey is chief political reporter for Global BC Keith.Baldrey@globalnews.ca