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Research Approach and Methodology – Report on the Survey of Registered Third Parties for the 43rd General Election: Wave 2 Final Report

Research Methodology

Forum Research administered a two-wave, quantitative survey1 that was available to financial agents online. This survey was the second of two waves to gauge the public opinion of the financial agents of registered third parties. The questionnaire was created by Elections Canada and programmed and tested by Forum Research. It was fielded in both official languages, English and French.

Open-ended questions were analyzed through a process of manual review and coding. The quantitative questions were analyzed using traditional statistical, descriptive methods.2

Throughout the report, where applicable, some questions include a "Top 2" and a "Bottom 2" score. The Top 2 (TOP2) and Bottom 2 (BTM2) reference the collected top-two positive and bottom-two negative responses. For example, a TOP2 grouping referred to as "likely" may be the combined result of "very likely" and "somewhat likely," whereas a BTM2 grouping of "unlikely" may be the combined result of "very unlikely" and "somewhat unlikely."

Data Collection

The online survey was active from August 11, 2020, to September 18, 2020.

The target population was the 2019 financial agents of registered third parties who had previously responded to the first wave of the study and consented to receiving the second wave, a total of 54 possible respondents. Financial agents were responsible for administering third parties' financial transactions related to regulated activities during the pre-election and election periods, and for reporting those transactions to Elections Canada, as required by the Canada Elections Act. Thus, these individuals were well situated to answer questions that related to the third-party political financing regime.

All 54 financial agents who were eligible to participate in the online survey received an email3 inviting them to do so. While participants' responses were anonymous, each survey contained a unique, personalized URL where each participant could complete the online survey. The purpose of this unique URL was to track whether participants had completed the survey. Six waves of reminder emails4 were sent to participants who had not yet completed the survey at the time of each reminder.

Response Rate

A total of 29 responses were received, and the average completion time of the survey was eight minutes. These responses are equivalent to a 54% response rate.5 There were:

  • 27 responses to the English version of the survey
  • two responses to the French version of the survey

Please note that due to the small sample size of this study, figures throughout this report are stated as frequencies and proportions as opposed to percentages.


1 A print version of the survey questionnaire can be found in Appendix A.

2 Due to the small sample size, only frequencies were conducted. Figures should be used with caution for those questions with a small number of respondents.

3 The email invitation can be found in Appendix B.

4 The reminder emails can be found in Appendix B.

5 The response rate was calculated by dividing the total number of responses to the survey (29) by the total population who could have participated (54).