One-in-Four Canadians Expect a Stressful Holiday Season

“Merry Christmas” is the overwhelming favourite greeting for the season.

Vancouver, BC [December 24, 2018] – While most Canadians are anticipating a blissful holiday season, there are some who are expecting more anxiety than merriment, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, a majority of Canadians (57%) say they foresee a holiday season that will be “more fun than stressful”, but one-in-four (25%) say they expect it to be “more stressful than fun.”

Residents of British Columbia and Quebec are the most likely to say they will enjoy a holiday season that is “more fun than stressful” (70% and 60% respectively).

In Alberta, residents are almost evenly divided: 45% expect more fun than stress, while 43% believe there will be more stress than fun.

Three-in-four Canadians (74%) say their preferred greeting for the season is Merry Christmas, while a significantly smaller proportion (14%) choose Happy Holidays.

“Affinity to Merry Christmas increases with age,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “On a regional basis, fewer than one-in-twenty Albertans express a preference for Happy Holidays.”

Across the country, more than a third of Canadians (38%) say religion is “very important” or “moderately important” to their daily lives, while three-in-five (62%) say it is “not too important” or “not important at all.”

Almost half of Canadians aged 55 and over (46%) say religion is important in their daily life, a proportion that drops to 40% among those aged 35-to-54 and 29% among those aged 18-to-34.

Residents of Saskatchewan and Manitoba are way ahead of the Canadian average when it comes to the importance of religion (60%). Ontario and Atlantic Canada are second (43% each), followed by Alberta (42%, Quebec (30%) and British Columbia (25%).

Methodology:

Results are based on an online study conducted from December 3 to December 6, 2018, among 1,000 adults in Canada. 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 +/- 3.1 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.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

Confusion Influenced Referendum Voters in British Columbia

Almost half of those who did not vote in the referendum say they did not feel informed about the issue.

Vancouver, BC [December 14, 2018] – A majority of British Columbians say confusion with the options offered in the Referendum on Electoral Reform influenced their final choice, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 49% of residents say they voted to keep the First Past the Post system for provincial elections, while 31% voted in favour of Proportional Representation and 20% did not cast their ballot.

Almost half of British Columbians who did not vote in the referendum (48%) say they did not feel informed enough to vote.

“Almost half of non-voters felt uninformed about the task at hand, even with a ballot that arrived at their home,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Among those who voted, support for the status quo was decidedly higher among older voters, while younger voters favoured a move to proportional representation.”

Across the province, 90% of voters say they are “very confident” or “moderately confident” in their selection on the referendum.

More than a third of voters (35%) say they did not vote in the second question—a proportion that reaches 53% among those who supported the First Past the Post system.

When asked about issues that influenced the way they voted, majorities of British Columbians mention the details of the three options on the second question not being fully fleshed out (59%), the three options listed on the second question being confusing and not clearly explained (55%), the notion of smaller parties holding the balance of power (55%), MLAs being appointed from party lists (53%) and coalition deals being worked out “in the back room” (50%).

In addition, 49% of respondents were concerned over fringe or extremist parties winning seats, urban centres having disproportionate influence over future governments, and the details of the chosen proportional representation option being left to an all-party committee.

Slightly smaller proportions of voters were influenced by the notion that voters from rural areas might lose local representation (45%) or the government possibly rigging the process for partisan gain (41%).

Almost four-in-five British Columbians (78%) agree that politicians are in a conflict of interest when it comes to making decisions about how we vote, and would like any future proposals to involve an independent, non-partisan citizens’ body. This includes 77% of those who voted for Proportional Representation and 82% of those who voted to keep the First Past the Post system.

British Columbians were also asked about possible actions in the event the First Past the Post system was retained after the referendum. A majority (55%) agrees with setting up an independent, non-partisan process to reflect on the results of this vote and recommend what British Columbia should do next, but 52% also think that no further steps should be taken at this time aimed at changing our electoral system.

Just over two-in-five British Columbians (44%) would like to set up a Citizens’ Assembly after the next election and any resulting recommendations for change to be voted on in the legislature.

British Columbians were also asked to imagine a scenario where an arms-length review panel recommended that British Columbia hold another referendum on electoral reform at the time of the next election with guarantees addressing the major concerns that arose in the recent referendum.

The ballot question would be: “British Columbia is proposing to elect our MLAs by Proportional Representation. This means that the MLAs elected in each region would accurately reflect the diversity of political views in each region. The number of MLAs in each region of BC would stay the same and voters would vote for individual candidates, not for party lists. There would be a moderate threshold to encourage parties to have broad policy platforms. If voters endorse Proportional Representation, an independent citizens’ panel with representatives from around the province would deliberate on and recommend a final system that would be voted on in the legislature in a free vote. If accepted, there would be a confirmation referendum after we have used the new system at least twice.”

If they were asked to vote on this question, 41% of respondents would select Proportional Representation, while 36% would cas a ballot to keep First Past the Post.

More than two thirds of British Columbians believe voters should be able to vote for their top candidate without worrying about ‘splitting the vote” (75%), that a party should only win majority power if its candidates won a majority of the votes (70%), and that the voting system should not disadvantage independent candidates (70%).

Majorities of British Columbians also endorse other concepts, such as almost all votes helping elect an MLA (64%), a party not holding majority power if its candidates won fewer than 40% of the votes (63%), voters being able to choose among different candidates from their preferred party (58%), MLAs being elected from different parties in close proportion to how voters voted in each region voted (57%), and voters being able to make their vote count for a more popular candidate rather than having it ignored (52%).

Methodology:

Results are based on an online study conducted from December 18 to December 20, 2018, among 803 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.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

Negligible Public Support for Separation in Alberta

Older residents are more likely to believe that the province would be better off as its own country.

Vancouver, BC [December 20, 2018] – In spite of increased commentary and media coverage, the proportion of Albertans who believe they would benefit from an eventual independence from Canada remains low, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of Albertans, 25% of respondents agree with the statement “Alberta would be better off as its own country.” More than two thirds of Albertans (69%) disagree with this notion, including 58% who “strongly disagree.”

“The level of support for the idea of an independent Alberta is roughly the same as it was in surveys conducted in 2014 and 2016,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Four years ago, with a Progressive Conservative government in Edmonton and a Conservative government in Ottawa, the findings were similar to what is observed in 2018.”

The idea of an independent Alberta is more attractive for residents aged 55 and over (34%), as well as people who voted for the Wildrose Party in the 2015 provincial election (38%).

Across the province, 69% of Albertans say their views are different from the rest of Canada, and 84% say they are very proud of the province they live in.

Three-in-five respondents (60%) say they consider themselves “Canadians first, and Albertans second”, while just under a third (31%) claim to be “Albertans first, and Canadians second.”

Albertans aged 55 and over are more likely to place the province ahead of the country (40%) than those aged 35-to-54 (30%) and those aged 18-to-34 (20%)

Methodology:

Results are based on an online study conducted from December 13 to December 16, 2018, among 601 adults in Alberta. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in Alberta. The margin of error— which measures sample variability—is +/- 4.0 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

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

Photo Credit: Gorgo

For more information on this poll, please contact:
Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

Metro Vancouver Drivers Say It Is Harder to Find Parking Spots

Drivers aged 35-to-54 are more likely to say they ignore parking tickets than those aged 18-to-34 and those aged 55 and over.

Vancouver, BC [December 18, 2018] – A sizeable proportion of drivers in Metro Vancouver think it is tougher to find parking spots in the region, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of Metro Vancouverites who drive to school or work on weekdays, four-in-five (81%) say it is “moderately harder” or “much harder” to find a parking spot in their municipality when they need one.

Across Metro Vancouver, 18% of drivers say they have received a parking ticket from a municipality over the past two years, while 20% have received a ticket from a parking management company.

While 76% of drivers say they quickly paid the fine from the last parking ticket they received from a municipality, only 51% of those who received a ticket from a parking management company behaved in the same fashion.

In addition, while 13% of drivers say they never paid the fine from the last ticket issued by a municipality, the proportion jumps to 34% for tickets issued by a parking management company.

“Some drivers are clearly not taking parking tickets seriously,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “This is particularly significant among drivers aged 35-to-54, who are more likely to say they never pay any type of parking fine, compared with their younger and older counterparts.”

Methodology:

Results are based on an online study conducted from November 24 to November 25, 2018, among 513 adults in Metro Vancouver who drive to school or work on weekdays. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in Metro Vancouver. The margin of error— which measures sample variability—is +/- 4.3 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.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

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.

Methodology:

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.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca