Clean Energy Canada is today releasing the key findings from a massive exit poll conducted among more than 5,000 Canadians who voted in the 2019 Federal Election. The research study reveals insights into the key influences driving voters’ ballot decisions and their preferences and priorities for the minority parliament.
On behalf of Clean Energy Canada, Pollara Strategic Insights conducted an online survey among a randomly-selected, reliable sample of 5,002 adult Canadians who reported voting in the 2019 federal election. The survey of voters was conducted from October 23-25, 2019. A margin of error cannot be applied to online samples. A probability sample of this size would carry a margin of error of +1.4%, 19 times out of 20. Quotas and statistical weighting were applied to ensure the sample accurately represents the actual voting electorate in the 2019 federal election, based upon Elections Canada statistics, in terms of the provincial distribution of voters and the provincial and national distribution of political party support.
The study clearly identifies that the 2019 federal election was decided more by party/leader orientations – and the values associated with these brands – than by issues.
- Four-in-ten (41%) of voters primarily based their ballot choice on a desire to see a party form majority government (30%) or a leader become Prime Minister. Moreover, another 21% based their vote on wanting to avoid another party or leader from forming government.
- Another quarter (24%) based their vote on a desire to see their party of choice form/lead a minority government (18%) or have influence in a minority government or parliament (6%).
- Just 12% based their vote on a specific policy or issue.
Although parties/leaders – and the values associated with their brands – were the primary influence upon vote choice, policies and issues shape political brands. Thus, we asked voters to rate a range of issues in terms of each issue’s influence on their ballot decision. The primary issues were largely rooted in affordability, fiscal, and economic concerns.
Climate change and the carbon tax rank among the top secondary issues influencing voters’ ballot decision. However, climate change was among the top 5 most influential issues for Liberal, NDP, Green and Bloc voters. Conversely, it was among one of the least influential issues for Conservatives and PPC voters – although, on a related note, the carbon tax was more influential among these cohorts.
When considering the re-elected Liberal minority government’s new term, half (50%) of voters feel enacting policies to fight climate change should be the top (14%) or a major (36%) priority. Moreover, two-thirds (67%) of Canadian voters want the Liberal Government to “enact the climate change policies they campaigned on” (37%) or “stronger climate change policies than they campaigned on – to do more at a faster pace on this issue” (30%).
- Throughout the study, Liberal, NDP, Green, and BQ voters consistently provide higher support for action on climate change. Notably, Conservative voters as well as residents of Alberta and Saskatchewan – the provinces that would be most directly impacted by such policies – are consistently more likely to express opposition.