July 3, 2015 1:31 pm
Updated: July 3, 2015 2:47 pm

Transit plebiscite: Analyzing the vote


While Metro Vancouver mayors are left scratching their heads over how to raise money for transit improvements after voters rejected the congestion improvement tax, a new survey looks at why people voted the way they did.

Sixty-two per cent of Metro Vancouver residents who voted in the transit plebiscite said they did not think the tax was the right way to fund the growing transportation system.

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But, why did the vote go down the way it did?

A new Angus Reid Institute survey looks at the profiles of ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ voters and what motivated their decision.

It finds the ‘Yes’ voters tend to be younger, in the 18-34 age group. They are also more likely to live in the City of Vancouver than ‘No’ voters and they’re somewhat more likely to have a university education.

Meanwhile, the ‘No’ voters tend to be older, dominating in the 35-54 and 55+ age categories. They are also more likely to come from outside the City of Vancouver.

According to the survey, 47 per cent of the ‘No’ voters “drive every day.” Only eight per cent “take transit every day” and 19 per cent “take transit two to three times a week.”

On the flip side, 17 per cent of ‘Yes’ voters “take transit every day” and 43 per cent “take transit at least two to three times a week.”


One of the most revealing findings is most ‘No’ voters would have preferred not to have seen a referendum on transit at all.

Sixty per cent of those who voted ‘No’ say holding the referendum was a “bad idea.”

The ‘Yes’ voters were more split on the usefulness of the referendum: 38 per cent said it was a “bad idea” and 36 per cent said it was the right thing to do.


While nearly 45 per cent of registered voters cast their ballot, the survey finds a higher turnout wouldn’t have necessarily changed the result.

Fifty-one per cent of respondents who did not vote said they would have voted ‘No.’


Finally, the survey found many registered voters were aware of the plebiscite. It shows a vast majority of Metro Vancouver residents (86 per cent) paid a good deal of attention to the campaign, following the issue in the news and talking about it with friends and family.


To read the full report, go here.

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