Ipsos Reid

Ipsos Reid

April 30, 2005 10:40 ET

BC ELECTION 2005 – PART 4 BC-STV

Two-Thirds Still Know Very Little or Nothing About BC-STV; "Yes" Side Narrowly Ahead of "No" Side Attention: News Editor VANCOUVER, BC--(CCNMatthews - April 30, 2005) - With less than three weeks to go until British Columbians vote on whether to adopt a new electoral system, a new Ipsos-Reid survey conducted on behalf of BCTV News, The Vancouver Sun and The Victoria Times Colonist shows that two-thirds (64%) of British Columbians still know "very little" or "nothing" about the proposed BC-STV system.

Support for the new electoral system is split. Slightly more than four-in-ten (42%) residents intend to vote "Yes" to the referendum question, "Should British Columbia change to the BC-STV electoral system as recommended by the Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform?" Slightly less than four-in-ten (38%) residents say they intend to vote "No". Two-in-ten (20%) residents are undecided (18%) or do not intend to vote at all (2%) on the referendum question.

These are the findings of an Ipsos-Reid telephone poll conducted April 23rd to 26th, 2005 with a randomly selected sample of 1,050 adult British Columbia residents, including 400 residents of Vancouver Island. The overall results are considered accurate to within ±3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire BC adult population been polled. The Vancouver Island results are considered accurate to within ±4.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The margin of error will be larger for other sub-groupings of the survey population. These data were statistically weighted to ensure the sample's regional and age/sex composition reflects that of the actual BC population according to the 2001 Census.

Two-Thirds Still Know Very Little or Nothing About BC-STV

British Columbians still have a lot to learn about the proposed new electoral system called the BC-STV. Nearly two-thirds (64%) of British Columbians say they know either "very little" (39%) or "nothing" (25%) about the BC-STV, or single vote transferable vote electoral system. Slightly more than one-third (36%) say they know either "a great deal" (4%) or "a fair amount" (31%) about BC-STV.

Knowledge of BC-STV has increased somewhat since an earlier Ipsos-Reid poll taken in early February 2005. At that time, only 19% of British Columbians knew "a great deal" or "a fair amount" about BC-STV, compared to 36% today.

Some regional and demographic groups are more likely to know "a great deal" or "a fair amount" about BC-STV, including Vancouver Island residents (43% vs. 36% overall), men (40% vs. 32% women) and older residents (45% 55+ years vs. 30% 18-34 years, 32% 35-54 years).

"Yes" Side Narrowly Ahead of "No" Side

The "Yes" side currently has a narrow 4-point lead over the "No" side in terms of voter support. Slightly more than four-in-ten (42%) residents intend to vote "Yes" to the referendum question, "Should British Columbia change to the BC-STV electoral system as recommended by the Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform?" and slightly less than four-in-ten (38%) residents say they intend to vote "No". Two-in-ten (20%) residents are undecided (18%) or do not intend to vote at all (2%) on the referendum question.

Support for the "Yes" side is highest among Green Party supporters (62%) and Vancouver Island residents (51%).
Support for the "Yes" side also increases with knowledge of BC-STV.

·Among those who know "a great deal" or "a fair amount", the "Yes" side leads the "No" side by 66% to 31% (4% undecided/won't vote).
·Among those who know "very little", the "Yes" side leads the "No" side by 38% to 37% (25% undecided/won't vote).
·Among those who know "nothing", the "Yes" side trails the "No" side by 17% to 48% (34% undecided/won't vote).

The Vancouver Island Perspective

As part of this Ipsos-Reid poll, The Victoria Times Colonist commissioned an additional "oversample" of Island residents to bring the total Vancouver Island sample size to 400, including 200 residents in the Capital Region District (CRD) and 200 residents in the rest of the Island.

Knowledge: Vancouver Island residents are slightly more familiar with BC-STV than residents in the rest of the province. Forty-three percent say they know either "a great deal" (6%) or "a fair amount" (37%) about BC-STV, 7-points higher than for the province as a whole. Still, a majority (56%) of Island residents say they know either "very little" (34%) or "nothing" (22%) about the BC-STV.

·CRD residents say they are more knowledgeable (49% "great deal" or "fair amount") than their counterparts in the rest of Vancouver Island (37%).

Vote on Referendum: The highest levels of support for BC-STV are found on Vancouver Island, both in the CRD and the rest of the Island. Overall, half (51%) of Island residents intend to vote "Yes" compared to 34% who intend to vote "No". Fifteen percent of residents say they are undecided (14%) or do not intend to vote (1%) on the referendum question.

·In the CRD, the "Yes" side leads the "No" side by 49% to 37% (15% undecided/won't vote).
·In the Rest of the Island, the "Yes" side leads the "No" side by 53% to 32% (15% undecided/won't vote).

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For more information on this news release, please contact:

Kyle Braid
Vice-President
Ipsos-Reid Corporation
604-257-3200
kyle.braid@ipsos-reid.com

For full tabular results, please visit our website at www.ipsos.ca.
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