British Columbians Support Mandatory Voting in Federal Elections

More than seven-in-ten residents think most federal politicians have to follow the party line and have little to no autonomy.

Vancouver, BC [August 30, 2019] – A majority of residents of British Columbia believe all eligible voters in the province should cast ballots in elections to the House of Commons, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of British Columbians, 57% of residents think “voting should be mandatory in Canadian federal elections”, while 33% disagree and 7% are undecided.

“Public support for compulsory voting in British Columbia is lowest among residents aged 18-to-34 (49%),” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Members of Generation X (61%) and Baby Boomers (60%) are more likely to agree with this idea.”

Across the province, 72% of British Columbians believe “most federal politicians have to follow the party line and have little to no autonomy”, a proportion that rises to 84% among residents aged 55 and over.

Almost three-in-five British Columbians (58%) agree with the statement: “There is currently no federal political party that truly represents my views”.

Only two-in-five British Columbians (40%) believe “most federal politicians are trying to do the right thing.” While 49% of those aged 55 and over agree with this statement, only 41% of those aged 35-to-54 and 27% of those aged 18-to-34 concur. 

Fewer than one-in-four British Columbians (24%) believe most federal politicians actually care about what happens to “people like me”.


Results are based on an online study conducted from August 7 to August 10, 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. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.