Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Are Voters Actually Paying Attention?

Elections Canada is reporting high turnout in the advanced poll. Undoubtedly, this is largely due to the fact that the advanced poll fell over the Easter long weekend when people had time to get out and vote. I took advantage myself on Saturday, casting my ballot for Andrew Lang in Toronto-Danforth. If I have some time in the next couple of days, I may do some analysis on where the increased turnout was. I've just glanced at the data a few quick observations:
  • Helena Guergis may have more life in her than people think. Almost, 15,000 of the around 100,000 electors in Simcoe-Grey turned out to vote. Only about 60k have voted in the last three elections. That makes 15% turnout in the advanced impressive.
  • The long weekend certainly helped turn out the vote in the NCR. With all three advanced polls falling on federal holidays/weekends, turnout surged. Over 10k in Ottawa South, Ottawa Centre, Ottawa OrlĂ©ans, and Gatineau . Almost 17k votes cast in Ottawa-West Nepean.
  • Advanced polls are not for everyone. Toronto has some shockingly low numbers. Less than 3k in York South Weston and York West. Even hotly contested Eglinton--Lawrence had just 7500 votes cast. One must remember that ridings within a province start relatively equal in total population, not in total number of voters. This means that while there are 114000 + people in York South Weston only around 67000 were eligible to vote as of the last election. Ridings like Simcoe-Grey with older populations and fewer new Canadians will usually have larger numbers of voters (97k out of 125k).

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