Voters’ motivations and why proportional representation failed

The votes are in, and BC’s future general elections will operate much the same as the last ones.

With news from Elections BC showing 61 per cent of ballots cast opted for the status quo, while nearly 39 per cent chose a change to proportional representation, the Angus Reid Institute’s referendum exit poll finds the overwhelming support among past BC Liberal voters for their preferred choice – and more division among past BC NDP and BC Green Party voters – was a key driver of the result.

PR voters cited their perceived  unfairness of the current system and the sense that their vote will matter more under a proportional one as key reasons for their choice, while FPTP voters said they were motivated by a fear that PR would mean more minority or coalition governments and a belief that theirs is the best system available.

More Key Findings:

  • PR voters believed changing the system will improve voter turnout, increase the choices available to voters, and improve trust in government overall. FPTP voters largely expected turnout and voter choice to remain static under either system, and think PR would erode trust in government
  • Age is also a major factor with older B.C. residents – who were more likely to vote overall, preferring FPTP by a roughly two-to-one margin. Younger voters chose PR by the same margin.
  • Overall, four-in-ten British Columbians (41%) say holding this referendum was a good idea, while 36 per cent say it was a bad one. Views on this question are largely driven by how one voted, with FPTP voters saying the referendum was a bad idea and PR voters saying the opposite

Read the rest of the story here: www.angusreid.org/electoral-reform-referendum-why-proportional-representation-failed/