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Battleground BC

Vancouver Island North-Coast: Pocketbook Voting

In this region, like most others, average household incomes correlate strongly with vote-shares.

By Will McMartin, 20 Apr 2005, TheTyee.ca

Income is a useful factor to consider when examining voting behaviour. The tables below list the seven electoral districts in Battleground BC's Vancouver Island North-Coast region, and the average household income from the 2001 census, ranked from highest to lowest, for each riding.

The first table also shows the percentage of the popular vote in the 2001 general election won by the BC Liberal party; the second shows the New Democratic Party's vote-shares.

There appears to be a correlation between income and voting in this region, insofar as the BC Liberals' won 62.6% of the popular vote in the riding with the highest average household income (Nanaimo-Parksville), and just 44.6% in the district with the lowest household income (Nanaimo).

The table for the NDP vote-share is less clear, although it suggests the reverse trend: the New Democrats obtain a larger share of the popular vote in those ridings with relatively lower household income; and vice-versa. A strong Green party performance in 2001 muddies the picture in this region. Green leader Adriane Carr finished third in Powell River-Sunshine Coast, but obtained a sizeable 27.0% of the vote, which seems to have suppressed the results for both the Liberal and NDP candidates. The Greens also did well in Comox Valley (18.7%) and Nanaimo (17.5%).

Table - Vancouver Island North-Coast: A Liberal Lens Average household income and the BC Liberals' 2001 vote-share

  • Nanaimo-Parksville - $55,244 - 62.6%
  • North Island - $54,474 - 57.1%
  • Comox Valley - $49,482 - 56.3%
  • Powell River-Sunshine Coast - $49,184 - 42.4%
  • Cowichan-Ladysmith - $49,010 - 52.2%
  • Alberni-Qualicum - $48,560 - 53.3%
  • Nanaimo - $41,728 - 44.6%

Table - Vancouver Island North-Coast: An NDP Lens Average household income and the New Democratic Party's 2001 vote-share

  • Nanaimo-Parksville - $55,244 - 21.1%
  • North Island - $54,474 - 26.4%
  • Comox Valley - $49,482 - 19.4%
  • Powell River-Sunshine Coast - $49,184 - 27.2%
  • Cowichan-Ladysmith - $49,010 - 32.0%
  • Alberni-Qualicum - $48,560 - 30.1%
  • Nanaimo - $41,728 - 30.2%

Check in daily for Battleground BC, Will McMartin's voting predictions and analysis, exclusive to The Tyee. You can reach him with tips, insights and info at will@thetyee.ca  [Tyee]