British Columbians Call for Public Inquiry into Money Laundering

Supporters of all three of the province’s main political parties are in favour of this idea. 

Vancouver, BC [June 20, 2018] – A sizeable majority of British Columbians are in favour of establishing a commission to look into the issue of money laundering in the province’s casinos, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of British Columbians, three-in-four residents (76%) think the provincial government should “definitely” or “probably” call a public inquiry into money laundering in casinos.

Last year, a report produced by accounting firm MNP LLP, found several irregularities at the River Rock Casino in Richmond, including the acceptance of “single cash buy-ins in excess of $500,000, with no known source of funds.”

Support for this public inquiry is high across all demographics, including 83% of British Columbians who voted for the BC Green Party in last year’s provincial election, 78% of those who supported the BC New Democratic Party (NDP) and 69% of those who cast a ballot for the BC Liberals.

Almost half of British Columbians (48%) say they have followed stories related to money laundering in the province’s casinos “very closely” or “moderately closely.”

Two measures recently implemented in an effort to curb money laundering in British Columbia’s casinos are endorsed by most residents.

Two thirds of British Columbians (68%) support banning ”high limit” table gambling, where bets are higher than $10,000. An even larger proportion of residents (86%) favour declaring the source of any cash deposits over $10,000 at casinos.

“British Columbians welcome the first modifications to the way casinos operate in the province,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “However, the high level of support for a public inquiry into money laundering outlines a sense of embarrassment from residents and the expectation that a similar situation does not happen again.”

Three-in-five British Columbians (62%) think pending gambling developments should be postponed so that more research can be conducted on their benefits and drawbacks.

Methodology:
Results are based on an online study conducted from May 27 to May 29, 2018, 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.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

Credit: GoToVan

Stewart, Sim and Campbell Battle in Vancouver Race

Almost half of Vancouverites are undecided when asked which one of eight mayoral hopefuls would get their vote this year.

Vancouver, BC [June 14, 2018] – With just over four months to go before Vancouver elects a new mayor, many of the city’s residents are undecided, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of City of Vancouver residents, 47% of respondents are not sure who they would vote for if the mayoral election took place tomorrow.

Among decided voters, New Democratic Party (NDP) Member of Parliament Kennedy Stewart is in first place with 26%, followed by Ken Sim of the Non-Partisan Association (NPA) with 23%, and Ian Campbell of Vision Vancouver with 18%

Support is lower for current NPA councillor Hector Bremner (10%), independent Shauna Sylvester (9%), prospective Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE) candidate Patrick Condon (8%), David Chen of ProVancouver (4%) and Wai Young of Coalition Vancouver (3%).

Male decided voters are more likely to be supporting Sim at this stage (30% to 22% for Stewart), while Stewart is ahead among female decided voters (29%, with Campbell in second place at 18%).

Stewart is seen as a “good choice” to become mayor by 18% of residents (+8 since late April), followed by Campbell (17%), Sim (16%), Bremner (11%, =) and Sylvester (also 11%, +4). Condon (8%), Young (7%, +1) and Chen (5%) are in single digits.

When asked about specific political parties, a majority of Vancouverites (54%, +6 since early April) have a positive opinion of the Green Party of Vancouver.

The rating is lower for Vision Vancouver (31%, +5), the NPA (30%, -2), COPE (28%, +1), One City (17%, +3), Coalition Vancouver (also 17%) and ProVancouver (11%).

Methodology:
Results are based on an online study conducted from June 9 to June 11, 2018, among 400 adults in the City of Vancouver. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in the City of Vancouver. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 4.9 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

 

Photo Credit: Xicotencatl

Ontario: Who Won and Why?

Originally published in National Observer on June 8, 2018.

The 2018 Ontario provincial election has delivered a majority government for the Progressive Conservative Party, gave the New Democrats official Opposition status and raised questions about the viability of the Liberal Party, which was reduced to single digits in seats.

A Research Co. exit poll, comprising the views of 503 Ontarians who cast a ballot in this electoral process, shows the different motivations of voters, as well as the effect of the events of the final week of campaigning, which included Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Saturday concession and the $16.5-million lawsuit filed by Rob Ford’s widow.

One of the traits that made this provincial election so compelling was the answer to the “time for change” question, especially when compared to other recent ballots. In Alberta and Manitoba, we saw many voters (82 per cent and 67 per cent respectively) embrace opposition leaders and abandon sitting governments. In Saskatchewan, the incumbent premier had little trouble holding on to a massive majority. In British Columbia, three-in-five voters wanted change in an election that resulted in a tie on the popular vote.

Ontario was decidedly different. More than three-in-five voters (77 per cent) said it was time for a change in government (five points lower than the 82 per cent observed in Alberta in 2015, and eight points higher than Manitoba in 2016). The sentiment for change was astonishingly high for both PC and NDP voters (94 per cent and 92 per cent respectively). However, one third of Liberal voters (33 per cent) also thought it was time for new leadership in the province, a sign of a base that perhaps grew unenthusiastic after the sitting premier acknowledged she would lose the election in the final weekend of the campaign.

Wynne’s plea for Liberal votes without a Liberal government seemed to split the public on the concept of “strategic voting”. Across the province, 45 per cent of Ontarians said they voted for the candidate in their riding who had the best chance of defeating a party they disliked, even if the candidate they voted for was not their first preference.

The proportion of “strategic voters” was highest among NDP supporters (55 per cent), who ended up becoming the official opposition. Andrea Horwath held a higher approval rating than the other three leaders in the last two weeks of the campaign, much in the same way Jack Layton posted impressive numbers on this question before the 2011 federal election. Both ended up taking their parties from third place to second place.

When it comes to the lawsuit against PC leader Doug Ford, the effect was negligible. Perceptions about the party’s leader were positive enough to facilitate a victory. When asked about six possible motivators for their vote, one-in-four PC voters (25 per cent) said the most important factor was “the party’s leader.” Among both Liberal and NDP voters, this factor was ranked lower, at 22 per cent.

Liberal voters were more likely to say the most important factor was “the party’s candidate in the riding” (20 per cent, compared to a paltry 10 per cent and seven per cent among NDP and PC voters respectively). Incumbent ministers and long-time serving legislators sought to establish a powerful connection with some of the Liberal base, especially after Wynne appealed for a balance of power.

“The party’s ideas and policies” is, by far, the most important factor for supporters of the three main parties (44 per cent for Liberals, 39 per cent for NDP and 34 per cent for PC). “Desire for change” moved 19 per cent of PC voters and 13 per cent of NDP voters, but the New Democrats also benefitted—although not enough to score an upset win—from the 15 per cent of voters who said “disgust with other contending candidates” was their main motivating factor—a far higher proportion than the PCs (10 per cent) and the Liberals (five per cent).

Finally, we look at the situation that led to Doug Ford becoming leader of the Progressive Conservatives. Among all voters in the election, 37 per cent said they would have voted for the Progressive Conservatives if Patrick Brown was still their leader. This includes 59 per cent of those who ended up casting a ballot for the Ford-led party, but also a sizeable proportion of Ontarians who ended up voting for the NDP (32 per cent) and the Liberals (27 per cent). This would suggest that Brown, even after the allegations that forced him to quit as leader, would have had a similar result as Ford.

Polling methodology: Results are based on an online study conducted on June 6 and June 7, 2018 among 503 Ontario adults who voted in the 2018 provincial election. The margin of error — which measures sample variability — is +/- 4.4 percentage points for the sample of decided voters, nineteen times out of twenty.

Credit: DrRandomFactor

Progressive Conservatives Hold Edge in Ontario Ballot

Women and voters aged 18-to-34 prefer the New Democrats, while the PC Party leads with men and voters aged 35 and over.

Vancouver, BC [June 6, 2018] – The Progressive Conservative party heads to tomorrow’s provincial ballot in Ontario with a slight lead, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of Ontarians, 39% of decided voters (+1 since a late May Research Co. survey) will cast a ballot for the PC candidate in their riding.

The Ontario New Democratic Party (NDP) is second with 37% (-2), followed by the governing Ontario Liberal Party with 20% (+2), and the Ontario Green Party with 4% (=).

In the 416 region, the Progressive Conservatives have a two-point edge over the NDP (39% to 37%). In the 905 region, the PCs are clearly ahead of the New Democrats (43% to 32%).

The NDP is the first choice for decided voters aged 18-to-34 (39%, compared to the Progressive Conservatives at 31%). The PCs are ahead of the New Democrats among decided voters aged 35-to-54 (40% to 36%) and voters aged 55 and over (41% to 37%).

There is a palpable gender gap in this election. Among men, the Progressive Conservatives are the first choice (42%, with the NDP a distant second at 31%). Among women, the New Democrats are ahead (36%, with the PCs at 29%).

NDP leader Andrea Horwath continues to hold the highest approval rating in the province (54%, +2), followed by Progressive Conservative leader Doug Ford (36%, +3), Liberal Party leader Kathleen Wynne (29%, +2) and Green Party leader Mike Schreiner (22%, +2).

Methodology:
Results are based on an online study conducted from June 4 to June 6, 2018 among 661 Ontario adults, including 608 decided voters in the 2018 provincial election. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.8 percentage points for the entire sample and +/- 3.9 percentage points for the sample of decided voters, 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

 

Photo Credit: K.lee.

British Columbians Support Government’s Housing Measures

The opposition’s idea of a “Strata Pre-Sale Contract Flipping Tax” is backed by two thirds of residents.

Vancouver, BC [June 5, 2018] – A sizeable majority of British Columbians are in favour of specific housing measures announced by the provincial government in this year’s budget, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of British Columbians, three-in-five respondents (62%) think introducing a “speculation tax” of 2% of a property’s assessed value for vacant homes is a “very good” or “good” idea.

Two thirds of residents (67%) believe introducing a tax of 0.2 per cent on the value of homes worth between $3 million and $4 million, and a tax rate of 0.4 per cent on the portion of a home’s value that exceeds $4 million is also a “very good” or “good” idea.

A slightly higher proportion of British Columbians (69%) think increasing the property transfer tax from 3% to 5% for homes valued at more than $3 million is also a “very good” or “good” idea.

Three-in-four British Columbians (76%) say it was a “very good” or “good” idea to expand the foreign buyers tax to areas located outside of Metro Vancouver, and four-in-five (80%) feel the same way about increasing the foreign buyers tax from 15% to 20%.

The opposition BC Liberals have tabled the “Strata Pre-Sale Contract Flipping Tax Act 2018”, which calls for a provincial capital-gains tax on any profit from the sale of housing units before construction is completed. Almost two thirds of British Columbians (65%) think this is a “very good” or “good idea”.

Most residents who voted for the BC Liberals in last year’s provincial election are supportive of the current government’s measures, from a low of 53% for the “speculation tax” to a high of 77% for increasing the foreign buyers tax.

In addition, most residents who voted for the BC New Democratic Party (NDP) and the BC Green Party in the 2017 provincial ballot are in favour of the opposition’s pre-sale contract flipping proposal (62% and 73% respectively).

“In spite of some localized protests, the government’s housing measures are particularly popular with British Columbians,” says Mario Canseco, President at Research Co. “Support for these guidelines, as well as the recent proposal from the BC Liberals to address condo-flipping, is strong among all age groups and voters of the three main political parties.”

Methodology:
Results are based on an online study conducted from May 27 to May 29, 2018, 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.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca