British Columbians Would Like to Elect Their Next Senator

Almost two thirds of residents would like to have a non-binding ballot similar to the ones that have taken place in Alberta.

Vancouver, BC [April 9, 2019] – Many British Columbians want to play a role in the selection of the province’s next representative in the Red Chamber, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 64% of British Columbians would agree to hold a non-binding election—similar to the ones that have taken pace in Alberta—to choose a nominee for appointment to the Senate.

In mid-November, British Columbia Conservative Senator Richard Neufeld will step down after reaching the age of mandatory retirement. 

When asked which option they prefer for the Senate of Canada, more than a third of British Columbians (36%) say they would reform the Senate to allow Canadians to elect its members.

Smaller proportions of residents would prefer to abolish the Senate of Canada altogether (17%), have a selection committee that would appoint non-partisan Senators (14%) or have the sitting prime minister appoint members of the upper house (8%).

“The appetite for Senate reform in British Columbia is strongest among residents aged 55 and over,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “The notion of an Independent Advisory Board that would take care of Senate appointments, which has been in place under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, is not particularly popular.”

Only 11% of respondents correctly identified the fact that British Columbia has six seats in the 105-member Red Chamber. 

A similarly low proportion (13%) was able to identify at least one of British Columbia’s current Senators: Mobina Jaffer, Larry Campbell, Yonah Martin, Richard Neufeld, Yuen Pau Woo and Bev Busson.


Results are based on an online study conducted from March 28 to March 31, 2019, among 800 adults in British Columbia. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in British Columbia. 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. 

Photo Credit: D. Gordon E. Robertson

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.