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It's a close race, poll finds B.C. voters still split on electoral reform

Last Updated Dec 7, 2018 at 11:22 am PDT

(Source: Sasha Lakic/NEWS 1130)

Pollsters say it's a neck and neck race between first past the post and proportional representation

The Insights West poll says last-minute voters may change the outcome of the referendum

Elections BC says most recent numbers show a voter turnout of about 41%

BRITISH COLUMBIA (NEWS 1130) – With only hours to go before referendum ballots are due, a new poll says the race is so close, that last-minute votes could determine the results of the referendum.

The Insights West poll showed an even split between the two voting systems.

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“We have almost exactly the same number saying that they prefer first-past-the-post, 49 per cent versus 48 per cent for proportionate,” says Steve Mossop with Insights West. “It’s one of those things that pollsters dread, is those really close election calls.”

Mossop says the final results really hinge on last-minute voters, who, according to him, are more likely to vote for proportional representation.

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“If all those voters actually follow-through, we could see the tide turn and see the new system actually win,” he adds.

As for which form of proportional representation voters want, Mossop says most prefer the mixed member proportional system.

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And despite complaints about the referendum being confusing and difficult to understand, Mossop says four in five British Columbians say they’re aware and familiar with the vote…

“People really did wrap their heads around it and people are very familiar with what’s going on.”

The online poll was conducted between Nov. 29 and Dec. 3. with 965 B.C. adults participating. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.2 per cent.

According to Andrew Watson with Elections BC, voter turnout so far is sitting at about 41 per cent.