Latest transit referendum poll shows 'No' campaign way ahead

Dec 19 2017, 10:23 pm

A new Angus Reid Institute poll shows the ‘Yes’ campaign has some more work to do if they want the transit plebiscite to pass in their favour.

With ballots hitting mail boxes beginning today, the ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ campaigns are heading into crunch time, but it appears the ‘No’ side is making more headway.

The latest poll shows 61 per cent of respondents are against the $7.5 billion transit project with only 27 per cent in favour. What is keeping  people from voting ‘Yes’? TransLink’s poor reputation.

Key findings from Angus Reid’s survey found that while the ‘No’ sentiments are spread widely across Metro Vancouver, they are least prominent among young people, those with a university education, frequent transit rides and residents of the City of Vancouver.

61 per cent of all respondents, both ‘Yes’ and ‘No’, said they do not trust TransLink, with 65 per cent agreeing that “TransLink needs to be overhauled before any big proposals go forward” was a persuasive argument.

According to Angus Reid’s results, the most persuasive arguments for and against the 0.5 per cent increase in PST were:

  • Too much of the new money raised through a sales tax increase will be wasted
  • Transit proposals could be funded from existing taxes
  • The “Yes” side’s most persuasive argument is that the region’s burgeoning population will mean new transportation needs: this has pull for 55 per cent of all residents, including nine-in-ten “Yes” voters and four-in-ten “No” voters.
  • Metro Vancouver residents are hardly convinced a “Yes” vote would mean a big improvement to their current traffic woes. Six-in-ten overall say they expect their own personal traffic situation will be “about the same” five to ten years down the road. “Yes” voters are inclined to anticipate a “Yes” win would bring improvement (six-in-ten do). “No” voters are not at all convinced.

On the ‘Yes’ side, the poll showed 55 per cent of people found the statement “The region’s population is going to grow by a million people in the next decade, our transportation system needs to be ready” a persuasive argument. Only four in ten (41 per cent) thought “Traffic is so bad in Metro Vancouver, it is obvious we need a special tax for improvements” was persuasive.


Overall, respondents rated the top reasons for voting ‘Yes’ as:

  • Public transit needs improvement (50 per cent)
  • Traffic congestion is bad/will get worse (32 per cent)
  • Vancouver’s future needs (28 per cent)
  • If we don’t do it now it will cost much more later (27 per cent)
  • Environmental concerns (17 per cent)

And the top reasons for voting ‘No’:

  • TransLink cannot be trusted with the extra funds that will be raised with this tax (61 per cent)
  • I don’t want a tax increase (43 per cent)
  • There is no benefit to me at all (14 per cent)
  • I don’t trust the mayors who are campaigning for the ‘Yes’ side (13 per cent)
  • The proposed projects don’t benefit my area (12 per cent)


DH Vancouver StaffDH Vancouver Staff

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