PlaceSpeak & NEWS1130 Poll Strikingly Similar to Transit Referendum Results
Following the release of Elections BC’s voting results for the 2015 Vancouver Transportation and Transit Plebiscite, PlaceSpeak has achieved strikingly similar results through its own online public consultation platform. In a partnership with NEWS1130, PlaceSpeak conducted a consultation regarding the Transportation Vote and through its polling feature, asked participants whether or not they support the proposed Metro Vancouver Congestion Improvement Tax.
The Total Voting Results:
“Typically online polls are anonymous and not place-based”, said PlaceSpeak founder, Colleen Hardwick. “Our pilot with NEWS 1130 confirmed that it is possible to obtain reliable feedback data online that stands up to scrutiny. We are excited about applying this innovative approach in the future to build legitimacy in open and transparent online consultation”.
Given PlaceSpeak’s unique geolocation capabilities, polling results can also be broken down by municipality; allowing for more detailed comparisons between individual municipalities. In cities such as New Westminster, Delta, Richmond, the Township of Langley and West Vancouver, PlaceSpeak’s polling numbers are off by mere percentage points. While in several communities such as Burnaby and Surrey, there is greater support for the ‘yes’ side than polls indicated. Notably, there were proportionately fewer verified participants in these municipalities. Also, despite many predictions a slim majority of Vancouverites voted against introducing the tax.
Below is a chart comparing the voting results in Metro Vancouver’s ten largest municipalities.
PlaceSpeak polling was conducted from February to May and received over 700 responses from participants. The poll was part of a larger public consultation hosted by NEWS1130 and PlaceSpeak which looked to gather public opinion surrounding the transit referendum and facilitate meaningful discussion among Metro Vancouver residents.
The similarities between the voting results certainly bodes well for the future of online public participation. Web-based consultations such as NEWS1130’s Transportation Vote provide open and interactive forums where citizens can participate in authentic conversations and engage in polls, surveys and discussion boards. With over 5600 unique views, 970 discussion comments and 900 connected participants, this strong showing of interest reflects the increasing need for this type of platform. This process not only demonstrates the unique capabilities and opportunities regarding online civic engagement, but also strengthens the accuracy, relevancy and legitimacy of this emerging platform.
Also of note, the discussion forum with 970 comments was “Troll Free” in stark contrast to most online media comments sections. This is attributed to the fact that PlaceSpeak participants must register and verify their location in order to contribute.
For more information, visit PlaceSpeak’s consultation topic here.