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Appetite to hold a referendum to settle the issue of electoral reform remains high.

Vancouver, BC – Public backing for a new federal electoral system has increased over the past five months, a new Canada-wide Insights West poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, 50% of Canadians agree with Canada electing all members of the House of Commons through Party-List Proportional Representation, up five points since an Insights West survey conducted in January.

Canadians aged 18-34 are more likely to support a change to Party-List Proportional Representation (62%) than those aged 35-54 (45%) and those aged 55 and over (44%). In addition, those who voted for the Liberal Party in last year’s federal election are more supportive of this move (59%) than those who voted for the New Democratic Party (NDP) (49%) or the Conservative Party (40%).


The numbers did not go through any fluctuations on the other two systems that have been tested before, with 45% of Canadians willing to adopt the Single Transferable Vote system and 40% favouring the Mixed Member Proportional Representation system.

Three-in-five Canadians (61%) say they are “very” or “somewhat” satisfied with the First-Past-The-Post system that is currently used in federal elections—including 64% of those aged 55 and over and 72% of Conservative voters.

“Two camps are clearly emerging in the discussions related to electoral reform,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs, at Insights West. “Younger, more Liberal voters seem willing to give Proportional Representation a try, while older, more Conservative voters are definitely happy with First-Past-The-Post.”

As was the case in January, a majority of Canadians (68%, +3) believe a change in the current electoral system should be put to a nationwide referendum, while 18% (+1) think a vote in the House of Commons is enough to settle the issue.

Conservative supporters in last year’s federal election are more likely to support holding a referendum (82%), but most NDP (66%) and Liberal voters (62%) also endorse this course of action.

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 May 30 to June 2, 2016, among a representative sample of 1,001 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


Photograph: joiseyshowaa