B.C. split on favoured voting system, 1/3 still not sure: poll

With less than a month before ballots are mailed to voters, B.C. appears to be headed for a tight race

It appears British Columbians are rather split on whether to change up our current voting system or keep it the way it is – according to a new Angus Reid poll, at least.

Meanwhile, one-third of B.C. voters remain unsure how they plan to vote on this key question.

It’s roughly one month until referendum packages will be mailed to 3.25 million registered voters in the province, asking which of four voting systems are preferred: first past the post – the current way to vote – or one of three proportional representation (PR) systems.

In results to two polls conducted by Angus Reid Institute and released Friday, 31 per cent of respondents said they will vote for first past the post, while 33 per cent said they’d vote for a PR system. Thirty-three per cent aren’t sure, and one per cent said they wouldn’t vote.

Those who favour first past the post also are more certain of their choice, the poll suggests, madeup mostly of those who voted for the B.C. Liberal Party. While 56 per cent of those voters say there is no way they’ll change their mind, only 45 per cent feel as sure about voting for PR.

Roughly half of those who voted for the B.C. NDP favour PR, as well as 46 per cent of B.C. Green supporters.

READ MORE: The 4 options offered for B.C.’s voting referendum

READ MORE: How to get your B.C. referendum package if you’re going to be away

Other key findings include that 61 per cent of respondents believe a system that more closely reflects parties’ actual popular support would increase voter turnout, but they’re torn on the possibility this will lead to minority governments in the future. Roughly 48 per cent don’t like that prospect.

The ballot, mailed out Oct.22, will include two questions: First, if you’d like to keep the current voting system or something different and second, which of the three PR systems you want to replace the old system with.

According to poll results, a mixed-member proportional system is the clear favourite with twice as many first-choice votes as any other option.

While the poll suggests we could be heading for a tight race come Nov.30’s voting deadline, “groups that have historically been more likely to vote – including older respondents and those with higher household incomes – are more likely to say they plan to vote for [first past the post],” Angus Reid researchers said.

“These dynamics drive the months-long campaign, with advocates on both sides having their work cut out to mobilize their bases and convince those on the fence to send in a ballot for their side…”

WATCH: How to start thinking about a new voting system


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

20-storey hotel proposed for downtown Victoria

Wintergarden Hotel proposed for block of Blanshard Street between Fort and View streets

‘I’ve fallen through the cracks’: Victoria woman calls herself new face of homelessness

Tonya Alton has had to move almost ten times since a ‘wrongful eviction’ in March

New University of Victoria president to take over leadership role this fall

Kevin Hall selected to lead institution for five-year term

Missing python found under vehicle in Victoria

The snake was located more than six kilometres from where it went missing

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

B.C. announces multi-year plan to double treatment beds for youth with addiction

This will bring the total number of new beds specific to those 12 to 24 years old to 247 province-wide

B.C. man who nearly died from COVID-19 reflects on one-month battle

Robert Billyard was in an induced coma to ensure his body would not fight the ventilator to breathe

Cowichan’s Dillabaugh checks in from the NHL bubble in Toronto

Flyers’ Duncan-born goalie coach weighs in on hockey restart

Wedding party bear sprayed at Okanagan campsite irks locals

Latest criminal activity at the Meadows leaves locals frustrated

Paramedics fired for allowing patient to crawl for treatment on Downtown Eastside: court documents

The man spent three days in intensive care and three months recovering in hospital from sepsis

Feds seeking private consultant to design firearm buyback program

The ban covers some 1,500 models and variants of what the government considers assault-style weapons

Face masks for teachers can impact learning on young children, experts say

Face coverings, mandatory in most indoor public places across the province, can help limit the spread of COVID-19

Most Read