Most Canadians Want a Referendum on Electoral Reform

PR Inage - House of Commons by elPadawan

Three-in-five Canadians claim to be satisfied with the “First-Past-The-Post” system.

Vancouver, BC – Canadians are not particularly unhappy with the system used to elect the members of the House of Commons, and almost two thirds believe any change to existing guidelines should be put to a nationwide referendum, a new Insights West poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, three-in-five Canadians (62%) say they are “very” or “somewhat” satisfied with the “First-Past-The-Post” system, while one-in-four (25%) are “very” or “somewhat” dissatisfied.

Satisfaction with the “First-Past-The-Post” system is highest in Quebec (71%), and among Canadians who voted for the Conservative Party (68%) and the Liberal Party (67%) in last year’s federal election.

Canadians were asked about three possible systems that could be used for future parliamentary elections. Across the country, 45% would agree to elect all members of the House of Commons through Party-List Proportional Representation, while 32% disagree with this idea.

The numbers are similar when Canadians ponder adopting the Single Transferable Vote system (Agree 45%, Disagree 31%) or a Mixed Member Proportional Representation system (Agree 40%, Disagree 34%).

Almost two thirds of Canadians (65%) think a change in the current electoral system should be put to a nationwide referendum, while 17% believe a vote in the House of Commons is enough to settle the issue.

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The highest level of support for a potential referendum on electoral reform is observed among Canadians who voted for the Green Party (86%) and the Conservatives last year (76%), but majorities of those who supported the Liberals (68%) and the New Democratic Party (NDP) (58%) also endorse the idea.

“For all the talk about electoral reform that Canadians have been exposed to over the past few months, the only consensus is on the need to hold a referendum on any proposal that is made,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs, at Insights West. “The level of dissatisfaction with the current system is not especially high, and the possible systems that have been discussed currently get mixed reviews.”

About Insights West:

Insights West is a progressive, Western-based, full-service marketing research company. It exists to serve the market with insights-driven research solutions and interpretive analysis through leading-edge tools, normative databases, and senior-level expertise across a broad range of public and private sector organizations. Insights West is based in Vancouver and Calgary.

About this Release:

Results are based on an online study conducted from January 24 to January 26, 2016, among a representative sample of 1,002 Canadian adults. 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. Click here to view the detailed data tabulations.

For further information, please contact:

Mario Canseco
Vice President, Public Affairs, Insights West
778-929-0490
mariocanseco@insightswest.com

 

Photograph: elPadawan