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Poll suggests BC split on STV

A new poll from Angus Reid Strategies suggests that British Columbians favour BC-STV – but not enough to pass it on May 12.

The online survey of 800 British Columbians found 53 per cent of respondents favour switching to BC-STV.

To pass, the Single Transferable Ballot option requires at least 60 per cent of the total votes cast in the province-wide referendum as well as more than 50 per cent of the votes cast in at least 51 of B.C.’s 85 electoral districts.

In the Reid survey, conducted for CTV, 47 per cent of respondents said they prefer keeping the current First Past the Post electoral system.

Poll participants were asked the same question that will appear on the referendum ballot:

“Which electoral system should British Columbia use to elect members to the provincial Legislative Assembly?

“- The existing electoral system (First-Past-the-Post)


“- The single transferable vote electoral system (BC-STV) proposed by the Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform”

Perhaps surprisingly given the lack of coverage the STV debate has been given in the media, 45 per cent of respondents said they are “very aware” of the coming referendum.

Thirty-eight per cent said they are “moderately aware” of the referendum and 17 per cent were “not aware at all.”

The poll was conducted April 29 and 30.

Reid cites a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 per cent, 19 times out of 20 for a sample of this size. However, other pollsters and polling experts maintain that, for methodological reasons, it is not proper to quote a margin of error for online polls such as this one.

Tom Barrett reports for The Tyee.

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