Report on the Evaluations of the 41st General Election of May 2, 2011
Appendix 1: Public Opinion Research Studies
Survey of Electors
Elections Canada commissioned Phoenix Strategic Perspectives Inc. to conduct a survey of electors to measure their experiences, attitudes and opinions regarding various aspects of the 2011 general election. The firm completed 3,570 telephone interviews between May 9 and June 14, 2011. The response rate was 25.4 percent, and the margin of error was ±1.6 percent, 19 times out of 20.
Cost:Footnote 18 $112,675
Survey of Candidates
Elections Canada commissioned Phoenix Strategic Perspectives Inc. to survey the 1,587 candidates to assess their experiences and measure various attitudes, such as their perceptions of the Canadian electoral system and their satisfaction with the administration of the election. A total of 1,008 candidates completed the survey, for a response rate of 59 percent. (There is no margin of error since the firm attempted to contact all candidates.)
Survey of Election Officers (Poll Staff)
Elections Canada commissioned Leger Marketing to conduct a survey of election officers to gather their impressions on the overall administration of the vote. The survey firm conducted telephone interviews with 3,213 election officers randomly selected from a list of 14,717 officers. The sample was stratified to ensure representation from deputy returning officers, central poll supervisors and information officers as well as to ensure good coverage of ordinary polling stations on election day, advance polls and mobile polls. The overall response rate was 30 percent, and the margin of error was ±1.7 percent, 19 times out of 20.
Elections Canada commissioned Leger Marketing to conduct three field studies.
Returning Officers – Report of Proceedings
Leger Marketing compiled and analyzed the report of proceedings from the election. The report measures the opinions of returning officers about the Elections Canada products and services delivered during the election as well as their satisfaction with them. This study is a mandatory census; this means that it is part of an RO's task to participate and return a report. The response rate was therefore 100 percent, with no margin of error.
Survey of Community Relations Officers
Leger Marketing compiled and analyzed the results of a survey of community relations officers about their experiences in the field during the election. The survey was a self-administered paper questionnaire developed, distributed and collected by Elections Canada. In total, 308 questionnaires out of a possible 863 were received and compiled, for a response rate of 36 percent. This non-probabilistic sample does not yield a known margin of error.
Aboriginal Elder and Youth Program Survey
Leger Marketing compiled and analyzed the responses to a survey of Aboriginal Elder and Youth Program participants. The survey was a self-administered paper questionnaire developed, distributed and collected by Elections Canada. Of the 303 participants, 93 completed the survey, for a response rate of 31 percent. This non-probabilistic sample does not yield a known margin of error.
Returning Officers and Field Liaison Officers – Post-Mortem Sessions
Following the election, Elections Canada convened ROs and field liaison officers in 13 post-mortem sessions across Canada to discuss their experiences. These sessions offered ROs and FLOs an opportunity to express themselves on eight key topics focusing on best practices, challenges and principal issues; thus, the facilitators asked open-ended questions to engage the participants in the discussion. The comments and recommendations collected were thoroughly compiled, and the most frequent comments were summarized.
Cost of RO post-mortems: $577,217
Cost of FLO post-mortems: $58,769
Survey of Administrators Regarding the Use of the Voter Information Card as Proof of Address
Elections Canada commissioned EKOS Research Associates to evaluate the impact of allowing the voter information card to be used as one of two authorized pieces of identification at selected polling stations during the 2011 general election. Elections Canada provided a list of 4,798 administrators in facilities where this initiative took place – namely, in seniors' residences and long-term care facilities (4,506 contacts), First Nations band offices (218 contacts) and student residences (74 contacts). Because none of the three strata was truly probabilistic, the sample does not yield a known margin of error.
National Youth Survey
Elections Canada commissioned R.A. Malatest & Associates Ltd. to conduct a survey of Canadian youth to better understand why they may or may not participate in the electoral process. The firm conducted interviews between May 5 and June 13, 2011, with 2,665 young electors between the ages of 18 and 34 years. The National Youth Survey involved two samples: Group A consisted of a national random sample of 1,372 respondents aged 18 to 34 years, stratified by region (margin of error of ±2.6%, 19 times out of 20), while Group B consisted of a non-probabilistic sample of 1,293 respondents from subgroups recruited using a variety of purposive (non-random) methods. The study provides a unique portrait of youth voting behaviour in Canada and offers important recommendations for increasing youth participation in the electoral process.
Survey on the Advertising Campaign
Elections Canada commissioned Impact Research to evaluate how well people understood the information provided by its advertising campaign, how effective its advertising was and how well the public recalled the information provided. The project also assessed the media used to deliver the messages and carried out a cost-benefit analysis. It involved a mix of quantitative and qualitative research, including a national survey of 1,001 eligible electors (margin of error: ±3.1 percent, 19 times out of 20) and eight focus group sessions involving 66 participants in four markets (Halifax, Montréal, Toronto and Vancouver).
Return to source of Footnote 18 In this appendix, costs do not include taxes and are rounded to the nearest dollar.