British Columbia

Canada election 2015: Unofficial results show surge in voter turn-out

Unofficial results from the 2015 election show a surge in voter participation in most provinces.

Elections Canada has yet to release official results

Voters in Vancouver lined up to vote minutes before polls closed in British Columbia. (Dan Burritt/CBC)

Unofficial results from the 2015 election show a surge in voter participation in most provinces.

In B.C. some Vancouver voters scrambled to get inside polling stations before they closed to cast a ballot.

Unofficial B.C.numbers based on voting results issued by Elections Canada shows a turn out of about 70 per cent.

In 2011 the voter turn-out in B.C. was 59 per cent.

"That's a substantial increase," said Max Cameron, a political science professor at UBC. "At first blush ...  there has been an increase in voter turn-out, if [numbers] hold."

Unofficial voter turn-out numbers from across the country support a surge in overall voting.

  • Maritimes: 73 per cent
  • Quebec: 66 per cent
  • Ontario: 68 per cent
  • Yukon: 76 per cent

Elections Canada has yet to release official voter turn-out numbers, but says they should be released sometime on October 20.

The overall voter turn-out in the 2011 federal election was slightly more than 61 per cent.

The unofficial numbers from the 2015 election follow a record number of people — 3.6 million — voting in advance polls.

That's a 71 per cent increase from the 2.1 million who voted in advance in the 2011 general election, according to Elections Canada.

Elections Canada comes through

Max Cameron is commending Elections Canada for their efforts in helping to get people out to the polls.

"I think they put a lot of resources into making it easier for people to vote," he said. "They had many days of advance polling, pop-up polls; they provided a lot of information to people. They really tried to facilitate it."

Still Cameron is calling on the next government to give Elections Canada more funding for the future. He says a 78-day campaign put "monumental stress" on the organization in hiring staff, training them and running polling stations.

As for the Fair Elections Act, which some criticised for making it harder to vote, Cameron says anxiety over it may have actually helped.

"It may be precisely for that reason that many people decided to go out and vote early, so it may have in fact encouraged an increase in voter turn-out."

In their campaign platform, the Liberals have promised to repeal parts of the Act.


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