The first ballots for Metro Vancouver’s transportation plebiscite arrive in mailboxes today and it appears the No side would already be the victor if the vote were held right away.
That’s according to an Angus Reid Institute poll released Monday (March 16), which found 61% of voters plan to check the No box compared with 26% who support a 0.5% regional increase to the provincial sales tax (PST) to help fund transit and transportation infrastructure.
Lack of trust in TransLink (61%) and aversion to a tax increase (43%) are the biggest reasons why voters are on the No side.
Yes voters cite the need to improve public transit (50%) and concerns over traffic congestion (32%) as the two main reasons for supporting the 0.5% PST increase.
The regional Mayors’ Council proposed the tax as a means to fund $750 million in additional spending over the next decade for transit and transportation across Metro Vancouver.
If, hypothetically, the region did not vote in favour of the tax increase, 74% of the No side believed their personal transportation situation in five to 10 years would be about the same as it is now, while 21% said it would be worse off.
Those figures were almost completely reversed for Yes voters, 23% of whom believed their personal transportation situation would be about the same, while 76% said it would be worse if no tax increase was approved.
Most voters don’t plan to hang on to their ballots for long. More than half of respondents on both the No (59%) and Yes (55%) sides said they would respond to the ballot as soon as they get it in the mail.
The survey was conducted online between February 25 and March 5 with a sample of 950 Metro Vancouver residents. The margin of error is plus-or-minus 3.3%, 19 times out of 20.