the numbers guy

BC HST Referendum Result

Posted on: September 7, 2011

British Columbia’s Harmonized Sales Tax is no more, following defeat in a post-in referendum held over the summer. Full riding-by-riding results are here – note that ‘Yes’ votes were in favour of abolishing the HST.

BC’s two main parties, the governing Liberals and the opposition NDP, took opposite sides in the referendum debate. The HST was initially introduced by former Liberal Premier Gordon Campbell in circumstances (immediately after an election where it did not form part of their platform) widely perceived as controversial.

The NDP campaigned strongly in favour of a Yes vote for abolition, and were joined on the ‘Yes’ side by low-tax groups and personalities on the right of the spectrum, notably including former SoCred premier Bill Vander Zalm.

When you compare the riding-by-riding results of the referendum with the 2009 election, there’s a clear correlation between support for the NDP and support for the ‘Yes’ vote:

New NDP leader Adrian Dix will no doubt take heart from this result – but the most immediate outcome of the referendum is that recently-installed Liberal Premier Christy Clark has ruled out a provincial election this fall. It had been speculated she would go to the polls to seek a mandate of her own – instead she will now continue in office until the fixed election date of May 2013.


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