Voter Turnout for the 2015 Federal Election Was the Highest in Over Two Decades

Give yourselves a pat on the back.

Elections Canada just released the riding results from this year’s federal election, which revealed the highest voter turnout in over two decades.

This year saw 69.1 per cent of eligible voters hit the polls, indicating we were a country desperate for change. Or desperate for resisting change, as evidenced by Conservative Alberta’s dramatic increase in turnout.

As usual, Prince Edward Island boasted the highest voter turnout of all provinces, with just under 78 per cent casting a ballot. Newfoundland and Labrador remained the country’s most apathetic province at 61.8 per cent voter turnout. In the 2011 election, they barely reached the 50 per cent mark.

Around 120,000 ballots were rejected for one reason or another.


Photo Courtesy of The CBC: Data Elections Canada


Some more interesting facts to note, per the CBC:

– The Conservatives’ share of the vote was up only in Quebec, and by just two-tenths of a point.
– Only in P.E.I, Nunavut, and Yukon did the NDP vote share increase.
– The Conservatives had more votes than the NDP in the three Maritime provinces, while the NDP came second in N.L.
– In Ontario, the Liberal Party received 1.5 million more votes compared to the 2011 election, while the other parties combined lost about half a million votes, suggesting the Liberals received the bulk of their increased support from new voters. University of Toronto political scientist Nelson Wiseman says the Conservative dominance in 2011 was the exception, and that this time the province reverted to the norm of the last half-century or so.
– The popular vote in Manitoba looks pretty similar to the vote in Ontario and not at all like the results to the west in Saskatchewan and Alberta. Wiseman calls the province “the Ontario of the Prairies,” adding that Liberal vote gains were greater in Winnipeg than the rest of the province.
– The NDP share of the popular vote in Saskatchewan went down seven points, but at the same time it went from zero to three of Saskatchewan’s 14 seats. Two of those seat gains were thanks to redistribution, which, Wiseman says, lessened the number of mixed urban-rural ridings, a change the Conservatives unsuccessfully opposed.
– The big increase in turnout in Alberta, a reflection perhaps of both in-migration and voter interest, also saw the Conservative vote total rise by about 220,000 even as its vote share fell seven points.
– While the NDP had about the same share of the vote in B.C. as it did in Saskatchewan, the New Democrats won one-third of B.C.’s seats.