Independent media needs you. Join the Tyee.

The Hook: Political news, freshly caught

STV supporters' poll found 65 percent favour voting system change

A solid majority of people who were aware of British Columbia's coming referendum on electoral reform are planning to vote in favour of adopting the B.C. Single Transferable Vote, according to polling conducted last month for British Columbians for BC-STV.

“It's encouraging for us, but we can't rest on our laurels,” said Bruce Hallsor, a spokesperson for British Columbians for BC-STV. “[The polling results] are almost a month old now. They are not a current snapshot of voter intention, but they were useful for us for our planning.”

The poll, conducted by Angus Reid Strategies, found that only between 30 and 35 percent of potential voters were aware there would be a referendum on the voting system held along with the May 12 provincial election, said Hallsor.

Of those who knew about the referendum, 65 percent said they would vote to adopt the BC-STV system, which would have voters in larger, multiple-member constituencies rank the candidates in order of preference. (The demochoice website shows how the system would work in the current election.)

To pass the measure requires 60 percent support across the province, as well as at least 50 percent support in 60 percent of the constituencies. In 2005 a referendum on adopting BC-STV came within a few percentage points of passing.

“We have to increase awareness,” said Hallsor. “We don't take anything for granted.”

An April 20 “campaign insiders” e-mail to supporters from Fair Voting B.C. vice-president Roy Ball put the awareness of the referendum at 44 percent, slightly higher than the figure given by Hallsor. The campaign is planning news releases, grassroots outreach and an advertising campaign, the message said.

“We don't think they're right,” said David Schrek, a spokesperson for the No BC-STV Campaign Society, which is planning to release the results of its own poll, plus its first TV ad, on April 22. “We'll see what Ipsos Reid found compared with what Angus Reid said they found.”

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

What have we missed? What do you think? We want to know. Comment below. Keep in mind:


  • Verify facts, debunk rumours
  • Add context and background
  • Spot typos and logical fallacies
  • Highlight reporting blind spots
  • Ignore trolls
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity
  • Connect with each other

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist or homophobic language
  • Libel or defame
  • Bully or troll
  • Troll patrol. Instead, flag suspect activity.
comments powered by Disqus