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Survey of Electors Following the 41st General Election

Interest in Elections and Politics

This section focuses on electors' attitudes towards elections and politics. The questions in it are addressed to all respondents.

Roughly four in five (81%) eligible electors said they are interested in politics. The majority (52%) have a moderate interest, while 29% said they are very interested. Conversely, 13% have little interest in politics; 6% have no interest in it at all. These results reflect a slight increase in political interest since 2008, when 25% had strong interest and 51% moderate interest in politics.

Interest in Politics graph
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Most Report Interest in Politics

The likelihood of expressing interest in politics was lower amongst youth (70%) and Aboriginal electors (69%) than amongst the overall population (81%).

Sociodemographic differences

The likelihood of reporting interest in politics was higher amongst:

  • Students (90% vs. 73‑81% of others).
  • Men (85% vs. 77% of women).
  • Electors who live in urban locations (82% vs. 77% who live in rural locations).
  • Electors who followed the campaign closely (92% vs. 49% who did not).
  • Those who said they voted (86% vs. 53% who said they did not vote).

There was a positive relationship between age and interest in politics. Seventy percent of electors under 25 said they were at least somewhat interested in politics compared with 77% of those 25‑44, 85% of those 45‑64, and 87% of those 65 and over.

There was also a positive relationship between education and political interest. Seventy-three percent of those with high school or less said they were at least somewhat interested in politics compared with 80% of those with community college education, 85% with some university education, and 88% who have completed university.

Similarly, household income and political interest have a positive relationship. Seventy-three percent of those with household incomes less than $40,000 said they are at least somewhat interested in politics compared with 79% with household incomes between $40,000 and $60,000, 84% with incomes between $60,000 and $100,000, and 88% with incomes of $100,000 or more.

Three-Quarters Followed Election Closely

Almost three-quarters (74%) of eligible electors said they followed the election campaign closely. Nearly half (49%) did so somewhat closely, while 25% reported following the campaign very closely. Conversely, 17% said they did not follow the campaign very closely, while one in ten did not follow it closely at all.Degree to Which Election Was Followed
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Aboriginals (57%) and youth (61%) were less likely to report that they followed the campaign closely than were members of the general population (74%).

Sociodemographic differences

The likelihood of reporting following the election campaign closely was higher amongst:

  • Students (82% vs. 64‑76% of others).
  • Anglophones (76% vs. 71% of Francophones).
  • Men (76% vs. 71% of women).
  • Aboriginal Canadians living off a reserve (63% vs. 51% living on a reserve).
  • Electors who are interested in politics (84% vs. 29% who are not interested).
  • Those who said they voted (80% vs. 37% who said they did not vote).

There was a positive relationship between age and the likelihood to have followed the campaign closely. Sixty-one percent of electors under 25 said they followed the campaign at least somewhat closely compared with 69% of those 25‑44, 78% of those 45‑64, and 80% of those 65 and over.

There was also a positive relationship between education and the likelihood to have followed the campaign closely. Sixty-five percent of electors with high school or less said they followed the campaign at least somewhat closely compared with 70% with college education, 80% with some university education, and 83% who have completed university.

Similarly, household income and the likelihood to follow the campaign closely were positively related. Sixty-four percent of electors with household incomes less than $40,000 said they followed the campaign at least somewhat closely compared with 74% with household incomes between $40,000 and $60,000, 76% with household incomes between $60,000 and $100,000, and 80% with household incomes of $100,000 or more.

In 2011, a greater proportion followed the election closely (74%) than did so in 2008 (69%), but slightly less than in 2006 (77%).Degree to Which Election Was Followed (Over Time) graph
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Just over three in five (61%) youth electors said they followed the election campaign closely in 2011. This represents a slight increase from 2008 when 58% said they followed the campaign closely, but a decrease compared to 2006 when 65% did so.Degree to Which Election was Followed by Youth (Over Time) graph
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In 2011, a majority (57%) of Aboriginal electors said they followed the federal election campaign closely, with 22% saying they followed it very closely. This represents a slight increase since 2008 when 55% of Aboriginal electors said they followed the campaign closely, and a slight decline compared to 2006 when 60% did so.Degree to Which Election was Followed by Aboriginals (Over Time) graph
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