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British Columbians remain divided on electoral reform: poll

Last Updated Nov 20, 2018 at 11:08 am PST

The 2018 Referendum on Electoral Reform package and mail in ballot from Elections B.C. is pictured in North Vancouver, B.C., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS /Jonathan Hayward)
Summary

With the deadline on the electoral reform referendum quickly approaching, a new poll shows B.C.'ers remain divided

The poll also found a clear divide between baby boomers and millennials

Meanwhile, 15% of voters remain undecided

VANCOUVER NEWS 1130) – With only a few days to go before referendum ballots on electoral reform are due, a new poll is showing there is still no clear favourite.

The new Research Co. poll found 40 per cent of British Columbians will “definitely or probably” vote for the current First Past the Post system, while 40 per cent say they will “definitely or probably” vote for a proportional representation system.

RELATED: One in five registered B.C. voters have returned electoral reform ballots

“It’s a very complex scenario, it’s a moving target in a way because of the intricacies of the voting system and the fact that we’re mailing in all of these ballots at the same time,” said Mario Canseco with Research Co.

WATCH: BC Referendum – What’s on the ballot?

The poll also found millennials and baby boomers have very different views on the issue.

“What I think the survey shows is a really wide generational gap,” Canseco said. “If you’re 18 to 34 you’re more likely to want to change the system. You’re probably dissatisfied because you voted for a candidate that couldn’t win a riding under the first past the post system and you want to do something differently.”

RELATED: No side calls for extension to voting system referendum

The biggest surprise was how many people are looking to keep the current system because they can’t understand the option on the ballot, Canseco added.

“The idea of having a ‘fairer’ system if you will, which is one of the arguments for the PR crowd, is not resonating as loudly,” he said. “So it’s more about confusion that is motivating the First-Past-the-Post voters versus the ‘fairness’ aspect which is motivating those who want to change the system.”

Meanwhile, 15 per cent of voters remain undecided.

The poll was conducted from Nov. 14 to Nov. 16 and has a margin of error of +/- 3.5 per cent. A total of 800 adults participated.