Survey of Electors Following the April 3, 2017, By-elections in Calgary Heritage (Alberta), Calgary Midnapore (Alberta), Markham–Thornhill, (Ontario), Ottawa–Vanier (Ontario) and Saint-Laurent (Quebec)
Note to readers: Demographic and other subgroup differences that are significant at the 95% confidence level are identified throughout the report (provided the sample size is sufficient).
I. Awareness of By-election and Voter Information
Awareness of By-election
Many respondents (86%) were aware that there was a by-election on April 3, 2017, in their riding.
- Awareness was lower in the riding of Calgary Heritage (78% vs. 84% in Calgary Midnapore and 89% to 90% in the other three ridings).
- The likelihood of being aware of the by-election was higher among Allophones (92%), those not in the workforce (92%), those who voted in the 2015 federal general election (89%) and men (88%).
- In addition, awareness increased with age, from 51% of electors under 25 to 97% of electors 55 and older, and with level of education, from 73% of electors with a high school education to 90% of university graduates.
Percentage aware of the by-election
Q1: Did you know that a federal by-election took place on April 3, 2017, in your riding?
Base: n=2,000; all respondents. Dk/nr: <0.5%
Recall of Elections Canada Advertisements
Nearly two thirds (62%) of respondents who were aware of the by-election recalled seeing, hearing or reading advertisements from Elections Canada about how, when and where to vote in the by-election on April 3.
- Respondents 55 years old or older were more likely to recall seeing advertisements than those 25 to 34 or 35 to 54 years old (67% vs. 51% and 62%, respectively).
- Those who received a voter information card were more likely to recall seeing, hearing or reading advertising or communications from Elections Canada (66% vs. 35% of those who did not).
Percentage that recalled advertising about the by-election
Q29. During the election period, did you see, hear or read any advertising or communications from Elections Canada about how, when and where to vote in the by-election on April 3?
Base: n=1,876; those aware of the by-election. Dk/nr: 4%
Source of Recall of Elections Canada Advertising
Those who recalled advertisements or communications from Elections Canada were most likely to mention their voter information card (27%), the newspaper (25%) and the EC householder received in the mail (25%).
- The likelihood of mentioning the EC householder was higher among women (31%) and those not in the workforce (30% vs. employed electors at 23%). In addition, respondents 55 or older were more likely to recall advertisements in the newspaper (36%), while those 25 to 34 years old were more likely to point to word of mouth (27%).
- The likelihood of hearing about the by-election through the radio was higher in the Calgary ridings (24% each) than in Ottawa–Vanier (14%). In addition, the likelihood of recalling communications on the television was higher in Calgary Midnapore (23%) than it was in Ottawa–Vanier (13%). Posters and signs were less likely to be mentioned by electors in Markham–Thornhill (7%) and Ottawa–Vanier (7%) compared to Saint-Laurent (16%) and Calgary Midnapore (14%).
Q29A: Where did you see, hear or read about it? (multiple responses accepted)
Base: n=1,221; respondents who recalled communications from EC. Dk/nr: 2%
Knowledge of How, When and Where to Vote
Electors felt they were informed about how, when and where to vote. Almost three quarters (72%) said they were very informed, while 19% said they were somewhat informed.
- Respondents in the riding of Ottawa–Vanier were more likely to feel they were uninformed (13% vs. 6% of voters in Markham–Thornhill and 7% in Calgary Heritage).
- Women (75%) and those 55 or over (80%) were more likely to say they were very informed.
- In addition, respondents not in the workforce were more likely to say they were very informed (79%) than those employed (69%) or those who are students (50%). Electors with a high school education (63%) were less likely than electors with more education to say they were very informed.
Q28. Overall, how well informed do you feel you were about how, when and where to vote?
Base: n=1,876; those aware of the by-election. Dk/nr: <1%
Elections Canada's Website
Very few respondents who were aware of the by-election indicated that they visited EC's website.
Among those who did visit the site (n=171), most (83%) were satisfied with the information. Half said they were very satisfied, while 33% said they were somewhat satisfied. In contrast, only 16% said they were somewhat or very dissatisfied. The likelihood of being satisfied increased with age (from 70% of electors under 25 to 96% of electors 55 or older).
Q30 [left]. Did you visit Elections Canada's website during the campaign? Base: n=1,876; those aware of the by-election. Dk/nr: <1%
Q31 [right]. Overall, how satisfied were you with the information on Elections Canada's website? Would you say…? Base: n=171; all who visited the site. Dk/nr: 1%
Contact with Elections Canada
Almost all respondents who were aware of the election did not contact Elections Canada (97%).
Of those who did contact Elections Canada, 95% were satisfied to some degree with the information provided to them by Elections Canada. Fully 79% said they were very satisfied, while 16% said they were somewhat satisfied. However, 4% were not satisfied.
Q32 [left]. Did you contact Elections Canada during the campaign? Base: n=1,876; those aware of the by-election. Dk/nr: <1%
Q33 [right]. Overall, how satisfied were you with the information provided when you contacted Elections Canada? Would you say…? Base: n=66; respondents who contacted EC. Dk/nr: 2%