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Three-in-five residents think a referendum is needed before changing the province’s electoral system.

Vancouver, BC – A majority of British Columbians would like to see the BC Green Party supporting the BC New Democratic Party (NDP) in the Legislative Assembly following the outcome of this year’s provincial election, a new Insights West poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of British Columbians, 51% of residents think the BC Greens should support the BC New Democrats if a majority government cannot be formed, while 38% think the Greens should back the BC Liberals.

Three-in-five British Columbians who voted for the BC Green Party in this month’s provincial election (62%) are in favour of the Greens supporting the NDP, while just one-in-four (23%) would prefer to back the BC Liberals.


British Columbians were asked about six different scenarios for the next provincial government. Almost half say they would be “happy” with a BC NDP majority (48%), a BC NDP minority with leader John Horgan as Premier (also 48%) and a BC Liberal minority without leader Christy Clark as Premier (also 48%).

Fewer than two-in-five residents would be “happy” if the BC NDP formed a minority government without Horgan as Premier (39%), if the BC Liberals formed a minority government with Clark as Premier (38%) or with a BC Liberal majority mandate (37%).

British Columbians are not enthused about holding a new election soon. More than two-in-five residents (43%) think the next provincial ballot should happen, as scheduled, in May 2021, while only 26% would favour voting sometime in the next couple of years.

“The composition of the next government remains contentious, which is expected after the election essentially ended in a tie,” says Steve Mossop, President of Insights West. “However, the voters who gave the BC Green Party its best showing in a provincial election are more likely to support collaboration with the BC New Democrats than with the BC Liberals.”

Across the province, almost two thirds of residents (65%) believe Christy Clark should  step down as leader of the BC Liberals if her party cannot form the government after all votes are counted—a proportion that includes 46% of those who voted for her party in this year’s provincial ballot.

More than half of British Columbians (52%) say they are satisfied with the first-past-the-post system used to elect members of the Legislative Assembly, while two-in-five (39%) are dissatisfied, including 58% of those who voted for the Greens and 57% of those who voted for the New Democrats. In the Insights West “Exit Poll” of voters, supporters of these two parties were in favour of electoral reform.

Three-in-five British Columbians (63%) think a change in the current system should be put to a province-wide referendum, while only 28% disagree with 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 by Insights West from May 22 to May 25, 2017, among 803 British Columbian 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 +/- 3.5 percentage points for the entire sample, nineteen times out of twenty. View the detailed data tabulations.

For further information, please contact:

Steve Mossop
President, Insights West


Photograph: Adam Jones