British Columbians Want Referendum Outcome to Be Respected

Supporters of all three major provincial parties in the province believe the will of voters should stand.

Vancouver, BC [December 14, 2018] – As British Columbians await the results of the 2018 Referendum on Electoral Reform, most residents believe the results of the democratic process should be respected, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 73% of British Columbians think the provincial government should honour the results of referendum, regardless of the final voter turnout.

The Referendum on Electoral Reform was a mail-in ballot. A voting package was mailed to British Columbians between October 22 and November 2. The results of the referendum are expected to be announced before the end of the year.

Majorities of residents who voted to keep the current First Past the Post system for provincial elections (74%) or to move to a proportional representation system (71%) believe the result of the referendum should be respected.

Most British Columbians who voted for the BC New Democratic Party (NDP) (75%), the BC Liberals (71%) and the BC Greens (66%) in last year’s provincial election think the outcome of the referendum should stand, regardless of how many voters participated.

When asked how they voted in the democratic process, equal proportions of residents (38%) say they chose to keep the current First Past the Post system or to adopt a proportional representation system.

Almost one-in-four respondents (24%) say they did not vote in the referendum—including 27% of women, 27% of those aged 18-to-34, and 29% of Fraser Valley residents.


Results are based on an online study conducted from December 11 to December 13, 2018, among 801 adults in British Columbia. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.5 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our full data set here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:
Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.