Chief Electoral Officer Anton Boegman reports the results of B.C.’s electoral reform mail-in referendum Thursday. (Keri Coles/News staff)

If it were up to Victoria, proportional representation would be B.C.’s voting system

Five of the six provincial ridings in Greater Victoria voted for proportional representation

If it were up to Victoria, proportional representation would be ushered in as the new provincial voting system.

The release of the mail-in referendum results on electoral reform Thursday afternoon, in which B.C. voted 61 per cent in favour of keeping the first-past-the-post system, showed a different story for Greater Victoria.

Five of the six provincial ridings in Greater Victoria voted in favour of proportional representation.

Municipalities in favour were Esquimalt-Metchosin at 52.7 per cent, Oak Bay-Gordon Head at 53.47 per cent, Saanich North and the Islands at 51.38 per cent, Victoria-Beacon Hill at 66.35 per cent and Victoria-Swan Lake 65.04 per cent.

Saanich South was the lone riding that agreed with the provincial result, voting 54.72 per cent in favour of keeping first-past-the-post.

RELATED: B.C. referendum rejects proportional representation

Provincially, just over 61 per cent of participating voters opted to stay with the first-past-the-post system.

The provincial riding with the highest percentage of votes for first-past-the-post was Peace River North at 86.42 per cent.

Vancouver-Mount Pleasant had the highest percentage of votes for proportional representation at 74.26 per cent.

RELATED: Election reform debate ‘finished’ in B.C., backers admit

The referendum cost about $15 million, with more than four million ballot packages mailed out to registered voters. The final turnout was 42.6 per cent ballots returned.

This week’s result was the third B.C. electoral reform referendum in recent times, after a single transferable vote (STV) system gained majority support in 2005, but failed narrowly under rules calling for 60 per cent support province-wide with majority support in every region.

A second STV referendum in 2009 was rejected by a similar margin to the 2018 result.

– with files from Tom Fletcher


 

keri.coles@blackpress.ca

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