Can You Hear Me Now? Young People and the 2015 Fedeal Election

October 19, 2016
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Can You Hear Me Now? Young People and the 2015 Fedeal Election
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The 2015 election reversed a 20-year decline in voter turnout, bringing overall voter turnout from 61% in 2011 up to a surprising 68%, which is a sizeable change in voting behaviour, rarely seen in federal elections. While all cohorts saw an increase in turnout, the 18 to 29 age group saw the biggest change, from 42% in 2011 to 57% in 2015.Many factors combined to get Canadians to the polls. Canada had its first fixed election date and an extra-long, 78-day campaign, giving people ample time to realize there was an election taking place and familiarize themselves with parties, and their leaders and candidates. For a long stretch of the campaign period, the three major parties were in a neck and neck (and neck) race across the country according to public opinion polls. Additionally, more advance polling locations were available and Elections Canada had its largest pilot of voting services on campuses, making voting easier.Using original data collected by Samara in the days following the 2015 election and comparing three age groups—18 to 29; 30 to 55; 56 and over—this report explores how Canadians of different generations experienced the election.The report examines how different generations discussed politics and influenced each other to get involved, and considers how different generations were contacted by politicians, including through what channels—traditional or digital—and the contents of those discussions.

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