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Public Opinion Survey Following the March 19th, 2012 By-election in Toronto–Danforth (Ontario)

AWARENESS OF THE BY-ELECTION

This section reports on eligible voters' awareness.

Widespread Awareness of By-election

Almost all eligible voters (96%) claimed to have been aware of the by-election that took place in their riding on March 19th, 2012, consistent with the awareness of the 2011 general election (98%).

Sociodemographic differences

Eligible voters born in Canada were more apt to have been aware of the by-election (98% vs. 91% of electors born outside of Canada). Conversely, those with high school or less were less likely to have known about the by-election than those with a university degree (91% vs. 97%). The likelihood of being aware of the by-election increased with household income, from 90% of those with household incomes below $40,000 to 99% of those earning $100,000+ per year.

Mainstream Media Top Sources for Learning about By-election

In terms of how they heard about the March 19th by-election, respondents pointed most often to the mainstream media. Heading the list in this regard are television (45%) and newspapers (41%), followed at a distance by radio (26%). In addition, almost one-third pointed to signs of one kind or another, either candidate or party election signs (28%) or signage in general (4%).

Source of Knowledge about By-election
Text description of "Source of Knowledge about By-election"

All other sources were identified by far fewer eligible voters. These include the Elections Canada flyer/householder (i.e. the brochure/reminder card) (16%), word of mouth (15%), and the Voter Information Card (14%). Relatively small numbers (8% or fewer) learned about the by-election through the Internet (8%), telephone calls (6%), unspecified flyers or pamphlets (4%), as well as from their own experience and/or prior knowledge (2%) or door-to-door contact (2%).

Sociodemographic differences

Newspapers were more likely to be identified by older electors (47% of those 45 years and older), as well as those at home full-time (50% compared to people who are employed at 41%). Electors with household incomes of less than $40,000 were less apt to have learned about the by-election via a newspaper. The likelihood of having heard about the by-election on the radio was higher among older electors (28% of 45-64 year olds and 27% of those 65+), those with a university degree (32%), and those with household incomes of $100,000 or more (32%).