B.C. Premier Christy Clark’s rebuke this week of polling firms — and the Angus Reid firm in particular — is shocking and unprecedented, a company spokesman says.

The premier said Thursday that Angus Reid’s polling drives public cynicism and that polling results from many companies are not as believable as they once were.

"I think the Angus Reid poll contributes, first of all, to the growing cynicism about polls in general," Clark said in a conference call from Japan. "I think polls are getting less and less accurate, and I also think that these internet polls that some of the companies are doing now are the least accurate of all."

Angus Reid vice-president Mario Canseco said he's never heard such comments from any leader.

"You know, this is a sitting head of government saying there is a company that cannot be trusted," Canseco said.

Liberals hired Angus Reid

Clark made the remarks in response to a question about an Angus Reid poll this week that showed continued strengthening of support for the B.C. NDP. The poll suggested the NDP’s popularity was more than double that of Clark’s ruling Liberals.

Canseco said the Clark government hired Angus Reid to poll voters about the Liberals’ jobs plan.

"If this is a government that can trust our research, why is it now suddenly — because the NDP has a 27-point lead — being cast aside as a bunch of has-beens who get elections wrong, which is a blatant lie."

Canseco conceded his firm was wrong in the recent Alberta election when it predicted the opposition Wildrose Party would form the government. The Conservative Party ended up winning a strong majority, which no polling organization predicted.

Canseco said that in the last B.C. election in 2009, Angus Reid did correctly predict the close result.

 

With files from the CBC's Jeff Davies