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Voter turnout exceptionally high among Canadian Muslims: poll

A woman wearing a niqab leaves the Ecole Marius-Barbeau polling station, in Ottawa, after casting her vote in the Canadian federal election on Monday, Oct. 19, 2015.
A woman wearing a niqab leaves the Ecole Marius-Barbeau polling station, in Ottawa, after casting her vote in the Canadian federal election on Monday, Oct. 19, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle

Nearly 80 per cent of Canadian Muslims say they voted in the 2015 federal election, according to a recent post-election poll conducted by Mainstreet Research, with turnout possibly even higher in the densely populated Greater Toronto Area.

The survey was conducted on behalf of The Canadian-Muslim Vote (TCMV), a grassroots organization that encourages greater civic engagement within the Canadian Muslim community. It found that 79 per cent of Muslims surveyed across the country reported that they turned up at the polls to help choose the next federal government, more than ten points higher than the overall voter turnout of 68.49 per cent.

READ MORE: Federal election 2015: Voter turnout highest in decades

TCMV says it delivered its message nationally, but specifically targeted the Muslims living in nine specific ridings across the Greater Toronto Area, including:

  • Don Valley East
  • Mississauga Centre
  • Mississauga-Erin Mills
  • Scarborough Guildwood
  • Etobicoke North
  • Don Valley West
  • Mississauga Malton
  • Scarborough Southwest
  • Scarborough Centre
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The poll indicated that voter turnout among Muslims in those particular ridings was 88 per cent. Mainstreet Research was careful to note, however, that “there is likely a social desirability bias in the results as respondents may have overestimated their turnout.”

Mainstreet surveyed 802 Muslim Canadians from Nov. 3-5 across five municipalities. The poll had a margin of error of +/- 3.46 percentage points, 19 times out of 20 for the coverage zone.

“We are extremely pleased with Canadian Muslim voter turnout in the 2015 federal election,” said Muneeza Sheikh, Director of Communications for TCMV, in a release. “We hope to achieve similar results in future elections, at all levels of government, across the country.”

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The findings come on the heels of another study released Wednesday by the Institute for Research on Public Policy which indicated that compared to the majority population, members of visible minority groups in Canada’s four largest provinces have a stronger sense of loyalty to the federal government than to provincial governments. The authors also found that members of visible minorities tended to express greater support for Canada’s national policies and were less inclined to endorse historical grievances about the Canadian federation.

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