Estimated Cost of the 43rd General Election
- Estimated cost of the 43rd general election
- Comparing the costs of the 42nd and 43rd general elections
Estimated cost of the 43rd general election
The estimated cost of the 43rd federal general election is $504 million or approximately $18.41 for each registered elector. The costs associated with delivering a general election typically span four years and include expenditures incurred well after election day, such as reimbursements for parties and candidates. Most of the costs for the 43rd general election are being incurred in fiscal year 2019–2020. As of January 31, 2020, over 75% of the estimated costs have been incurred.
We will update these estimates as required until all related expenditures have been received and processed, which will then confirm the final cost of the general election.
The estimated cost of the 43rd general election is broken down into two main categories: expenditures related to preparing for, delivering, and closing-out the election; and reimbursements to parties and candidates for eligible election expenses.
|Election day||Oct. 21, 2019|
|Electoral calendar||40 days|
|Number of electoral districts||338|
|Number of electors on final list of electors||27,372,603
|Preparation, conduct and post-event activities (Note 2)||$427.5 million|
|Reimbursement of election expenses to parties and candidates (includes subsidies to candidates' auditors) (Note 3)||$76.3 million (Note 4)|
|Total estimated cost||$503.8 million|
|Estimated cost per elector||$18.41|
Comparing the costs of the 42nd and 43rd general elections
Any comparison of the election costs for the 42nd (2015) and 43rd (2019) general elections must account for the fact that those of the 42nd are final, whereas those of the 43rd are estimates and subject to change over time. Certain key figures are also different.
|42nd general election October 19, 2015||43rd general election October 21, 2019||Difference (increase / decrease)|
|Election period||78 days||40 days||38 days (decrease)|
|Number of registered parties||23||21||2 (decrease)|
|Number of confirmed candidates||1,792||2,146||354 (increase)|
|Number of electors||25,939,742||27,372,603 (Note 1)||1,432,861 (increase)|
|Cost||$471.7 million||$503.8 million*||$32.1 million (increase)|
|Cost (in constant dollars)||$502.6 million||$503.8 million*||$1.2 million (increase)|
*Estimate as of January 31, 2020.
According to preliminary estimates, the 2019 election cost approximately $32.1 million more than the final cost of the 2015 election.
The difference between the estimated cost of the 2019 election and the final cost of the 2015 election can be explained as follows:
|Cost increase / decrease of 2019 election vs. 2015 election||Source of increase or decrease||Explanation|
|$56.1 million (decrease)||Length of election period||In 2019, the election period was 40 days. In 2015, it was 78. In 2019, the shorter period resulted in decreased costs both for the delivery of the election and for the reimbursements to parties and candidates.|
|$39.2 million (increase)||Inflation; service to more electors||Adjusting costs for inflation (2015 to 2019 dollars) and accounting for an increased number of electors served result in an increased cost estimate for the 2019 election.|
|$49 million (increase)||Service enhancements; new legislation; systems upgrades||In 2019, Elections Canada made a number of enhancements to elector services, resulting in increased costs. Enhancements included, for example, more poll workers; expanded vote-on-campus services; more satellite offices, and extended hours at advance polls. Upgrades to IT systems and equipment and the implementation of new election legislation (Bill C-76) also contributed to an increase over 2015 costs.|
|Total: $32.1 million (increase)|
On a constant 2019 dollars basis, the cost of the 42nd general election was $502.6 million, which is $1.2 million less than the cost of the 43rd general election. On that same basis, the cost per elector decreased by 5% from $19.37 in 2015 to $18.41 per elector (estimated) in 2019.
Note 1: Based on the unofficial final list of electors (will be updated when the official list becomes available).
Note 2: Includes costs to recruit, and train returning officers and more than 250,000 election workers along with costs for their service fees; to print ballots and lists of electors; to lease local offices and polling places; to replenish and ship election materials; to run communications campaigns; to hire temporary staff; and to procure and deploy IT equipment and telecommunications.
Note 3: To be eligible for partial reimbursement of election expenses, candidates must be elected or obtain at least 10% of the valid votes cast in their electoral district. Registered parties must obtain at least 2% of the valid votes cast nationally or 5% of the valid votes cast in electoral districts where the party has endorsed candidates.
Note 4: The amount is a preliminary estimate. It is based on historical results, as election returns for this election have yet to be filed with Elections Canada. Candidates’ official agents must submit audited returns of their election expenses and contributions within four months of election day (by February 21, 2020), while a registered political party must submit an audited report on its election expenses within eight months of election day (by June 22, 2020). By April 2020, Elections Canada should have sufficient data to be able to revise this estimate and will do so periodically until all reimbursements have been processed.