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Retrospective Report on the 42nd General Election of October 19, 2015


Elections Canada conducts post-election reviews to better understand the experiences of electors, political entities and election workers. It uses this information to continually improve its services so that they keep pace with the changing needs and expectations of Canadians.

Following the 42nd general election, the agency conducted surveys of electors, candidates and election officers, and obtained feedback from returning officers and political parties. Other evaluations measured the effectiveness of the agency's communications program and its impact on elector awareness. As well, Elections Canada collaborated with Statistics Canada to include questions in the Labour Force Survey on voter participation and the reasons why people did not vote. Lastly, as required by recent changes to the Canada Elections Act, the agency retained an independent auditor to assess poll worker performance.

Elections Canada gathered and analyzed the results of these evaluations, and the main findings inform this retrospective report, which is organized into four main sections:

  1. Electors' Experience: This section describes Canadians' level of awareness of the election, their satisfaction with their voting experience and their participation through the various ways to vote.
  2. Political Entities' Experience: This section reviews the experience of candidates and political parties, describes their satisfaction with Elections Canada's administration of the election, and provides their views on a number of key services.
  3. Integrity and Compliance: This section presents the results of the agency's activities aimed at maintaining Canadians' trust in the integrity of the electoral process and improving poll workers' compliance with voting day procedures.
  4. Electoral Operations: This section reviews the challenges presented by a 78-day election calendar and summarizes the feedback that Elections Canada received from returning officers and other election officers.

The report ends with overall conclusions and the key priorities that will guide Elections Canada's work as it prepares for the 43rd general election in 2019.

Supplementary material is included in the appendices. An overview of the major studies referenced in this report, including some insights into the inherent limitations of surveys in general, can be found in Appendix 1. The audit report is contained in Appendix 2. The full survey reports are available on Elections Canada's website.Footnote 1

Footnote 1 See > Resource Centre > Research > Post-Election Evaluations.