Vote Compass: Saskatchewan is sympathetic to poverty issues

While it's not the No. 1 election issue by any means, doing more to fight poverty is something that appears to resonate in Saskatchewan.

Many support higher minimum wage, more government support for low-income housing

Some 54 per cent of people in Saskatchewan support the government spending more on low-income housing. (CBC)

While it's not the No. 1 election issue by any means, doing more to fight poverty is something that appears to resonate in Saskatchewan.

However, voters who consider themselves Saskatchewan Party supporters or on the right of the political spectrum are more likely to support the status quo, according to information collected from Vote Compass, which is CBC News' civic engagement application.

"Hardly anyone in Saskatchewan wants the government to be less involved in the reduction of poverty and inequality," said Gregory Kerr, research manager with Vox Pop Labs, which created Vote Compass for CBC News.

"Those who identify as belonging to the right are, for the most part, satisfied with the current government's policies, whereas left-leaning voters would like to see the government do even more." 

Although people believe the government should stay the course when it comes to reducing the gap between rich and poor, most Saskatchewan people want more to be done. (CBC)

Some 6,466 respondents have participated from March 7 to 14 in Vote Compass.

Hardly anyone in Saskatchewan wants the government to be less involved in the reduction of poverty and inequality.- Gregory Kerr , Vox Pop Labs

The online tool lets people find out where they fit in on the political landscape in relation to the Saskatchewan Party, the New Democrats, the Liberal Party and the Greens.

It also lets the public weigh in on issues that could come up during the campaign. Economy and health care have proven to be the two issues the public cares the most about.

The latest report from Vox Pop Labs asked the public about poverty issues.

Many believe more should be done about poverty

When it comes to how much the government should spend on low-income housing, most people — 54 per cent — believe the answer should be more. Only 10 per cent answered less. The rest said it should stay the same or didn't know.

Fully 49 per cent of people who self-identified as Sask. Party supporters said government support for low-income housing should stay the same.

Similar result for question on income inequality

On a different poverty-related question — asking how much the government should do to reduce the gap between rich and poor, there was a similar result.

The majority of people — 58 per cent — said the government should do more. However, 47 per cent of Sask. Party supporters said the government should be doing about the same as it's doing now.

According to Vote Compass, 58 per cent of Saskatchewan people think the minimum wage should be higher. (Natalie Holdway/CBC)

Higher minimum wage gets support

Finally, the pattern was also repeated on a question about whether the minimum wage should be higher, lower or stay the same.

The majority of supporters of the Green, Liberal and New Democratic parties are in favour of a higher minimum wage (currently, it's $10.50 an hour). However, only 41 per cent of Sask. Party supporters support that. (Natalie Holdway/CBC)

Fully 58 per cent of people in Saskatchewan support a higher minimum wage (which is currently $10.50 an hour).

Supporters of the Liberal Party, the NDP and the Greens all lined up with that opinion. 

Only three per cent support a lower minimum wage, while 38 per cent want it to stay the same.

Sask. Party supporters were again relatively strong supporters of the status quo.

Kerr noted there was a relatively larger proportion of support for poverty reduction measures among undecided voters.

"One plausible explanation for this is that it reflects the fact that progressive voters have more parties to choose from, all of which support greater government involvement in the reduction of poverty and inequality in Saskatchewan," he said.

Saskatchewan voters go to the polls on April 4.

About Vote Compass

Developed by a team of social and statistical scientists from Vox Pop Labs, Vote Compass is a civic engagement application offered in Canada exclusively by CBC News. The findings are based on 6,466 respondents who participated in Vote Compass from March 7 to March 14, 2016. Unlike online opinion polls, respondents to Vote Compass are not pre-selected.

Similar to opinion polls, however, the data are a non-random sample from the population and have been weighted in order to approximate a representative sample. Vote Compass data have been weighted by geography, gender, age, educational attainment, occupation, and religion to ensure the sample's composition reflects that of the actual population of Saskatchewan according to census data and other population estimates.


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