October 21, 2018 4:54 pm
Updated: October 21, 2018 5:09 pm

Voter turnout fails to crack 40% across most of Lower Mainland

It was a big night in Metro Vancouver, with new mayors elected in more than a dozen communities, including the region's three largest cities.


The ballots have been counted, and a wave of change has swept across Metro Vancouver with more than a dozen new mayors elected and a few upsets.

However, despite a generational change at the level of civic government, turnout across the Lower Mainland remained dismal in 2018.

READ MORE: Mike Hurley ends political dynasty with mayoral victory in Burnaby

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Results from early voters in Vancouver had suggested the possibility that there would be a bump in turnout. The city saw 48,000 people cast an early ballot — 10,000 more than in the 2014 election.

Many municipalities are not reporting their turnout yet, however it is possible to estimate voter participation by comparing the number of ballots cast versus the number of eligible voters, as recorded by CivicInfo BC.

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In some cases, turnout actually declined this year. In the City of Vancouver just 39.43 per cent of eligible voters cast a ballot, down from 42.32 per cent in 2014, while New Westminster turnout dipped from 29.97 to 27.51  per cent, according to CivicInfo BC data.

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Elsewhere in the region there were gains, however only two municipalities — Anmore and Belcarra — cracked the 50 per cent threshold.

Some of the areas with the strongest improvement included Delta, which climbed from 31 per cent in 2014 to 42.77 per cent in 2018; West Vancouver, which climbed from 27.15 per cent to 38.28 per cent; and Chilliwack, which climbed from 25.57 per cent to 38.94 per cent.

Burnaby also saw improvement, climbing to 33.46 per cent from 27.3 per cent.

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The City of Langley, where former provincial cabinet minister Peter Fassbender was defeated by Val van den Broek in the race for mayor, had the dubious distinction of the worst turnout in the Lower Mainland, with just 25.22 per cent of eligible voters casting a ballot.

However, even that poor showing was an improvement from 2014, when just 22.42 per cent of voters showed up.

Below is a full list of estimated voter turnout in 2018 versus 2014, with data derived from CivicInfo BC.

Click here to view data »

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