The CBC Pollcast, hosted by CBC poll analyst Éric Grenier, explores the world of electoral politics, political polls and the trends they reveal.


In order to win the NDP leadership on the first ballot, Jagmeet Singh needed to ensure he got his supporters out to vote in big numbers. New regional turnout figures provided by the party show how he did just that.

Singh won with 53.8 per cent of ballots cast on Sunday. With majority support, he was able to avoid a second round of voting. His nearest rival, Ontario MP Charlie Angus, finished a distant second with 19.4 per cent.

Overall turnout was 52.8 per cent, but there were some significant variations from province to province.

In Ontario, where Singh claimed to sign-up more than 30,000 of the 52,000 members eligible to vote in the province, turnout was 59 per cent. This suggests that Singh's organization — the Ontario MPP was the only candidate with two national offices, one in Ontario and one in B.C. — was successful in getting his supporters to vote online or through the mail.

Turnout in Quebec was also significantly higher than the national average, at 66 per cent. Unlike in all other provinces, the federal NDP doesn't have shared membership with a provincial party in Quebec (even the fledging NPD Quebec, which is running a candidate in Monday's provincial byelection). Accordingly, members in Quebec are likely more engaged with the federal leadership race.

Prince Edward Island, where the provincial party holds no seats, also had high turnout at 74 per cent.

The lowest turnout was in Newfoundland and Labrador (36 per cent) and Manitoba (39 per cent). The latter suggests that many of the members in the province may have been overshadowed by the provincial contest that selected Wab Kinew, rather than the federal contest that featured an MP from the province in Niki Ashton.

British Columbia, another province in which Singh signed up many members, had turnout of 51 per cent. Turnout was 49 per cent in New Brunswick and Saskatchewan, 45 per cent in Nova Scotia and 43 per cent in Alberta, all areas where Singh's fundraising was relatively lower.

Over 80 per cent of members voted in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, but just 38 per cent did in Yukon.

The numbers show that about 47 per cent of voters who actually did cast a ballot came from Ontario, with 25 per cent coming from B.C. About 7 per cent were from Alberta, 6 per cent each from Manitoba and Saskatchewan, 5 per cent from Quebec and 4 per cent from Atlantic Canada.

On the latest episode of the Pollcast, host Éric Grenier is joined by the CBC's Nick Gamache, who was in Toronto when the results were announced, to discuss these numbers, how Singh was able to secure his first ballot victory and what it means for the 2019 federal election.

Listen to the full discussion above — or subscribe to the CBC Pollcast and listen to past episodes.

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