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

B.C. police watchdog group investigating after June 1 death of Kitimat man

The man was reported to have fallen a number of times while in police custody on May 30

Skeena MLA advocates for small LNG project in Terrace

Many questions unanswered about project, say opponents

CGL completes first in-field pipeline welds for Kitimat section of project

‘I never thought I’d live to see this day:’ Skeena MLA praises start of pipeline welding in Kitimat

B.C. government eyes antlerless moose harvest increase in bid to save caribou

Antlerless moose hunts reduce predation for threatened mountain caribou, says ministry

Housing committee recommends District deny strata application for 1425 Nalabila Boulevard

Council is set to consider the matter at their June 1 meeting

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

School District 82’s first week of in-person class is in the books

First classes held since schools closed March 17 due to COVID-19 pandemic

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

‘Great Regional Air Hug’ being organized by the Vanderhoof International Airshow Society

A multi-aircraft flyover over the region is being planned for August 15.

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

Most Read