April 19, 2016 9:16 am

High youth vote could be the reason for the Liberal government: report

An Elections Canada sign points voters towards the polls at Metro Hall in Toronto on Monday, Oct. 19, 2015.


OTTAWA – Newly released data on youth voters suggests they were neither apathetic nor disengaged in the last election – and instead may be primed to become the most powerful voting bloc in the country.

A report commissioned by the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations suggests just over half of Canadians aged 18 to 25 went to the polls in the last election, a sharp increase from the 39 per cent turnout in 2011.

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The association’s executive director, Michael McDonald, says the data suggest the Liberals have young voters to thank for their majority in the House of Commons.

READ MORE: Should the voting age be lowered to 16? 

For the Liberals, that means they have to not let down a generation of voters who they need to come out again in just over three years when Justin Trudeau and his party look to get re-elected, says David Coletto of Abacus Research.

The results are from an online survey of 1,000 Canadians aged 18 to 25 conducted Feb. 8-15.

The margin of error is plus or minus 3.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

WATCH: Should we lower the voting age in Nova Scotia

A by-the-numbers look at youth voter turnout in the last election:

  • 51: Percentage of eligible voters aged 18-25 who cast ballots.
  • 12: Percentage point increase in the youth vote from 2011
  • 45: Percentage of young voters who voted Liberal
  • 16: Percentage of the youth vote the Liberals garnered in 2011
  • 39: Percentage of young voters that voted in 2011
  • 72: Percentage of post-secondary students who voted in the federal election
  • 63: Percentage of respondents who said creating jobs for young Canadians should be a key focus for the Liberals, the most of any issue
  • 20: Percentage of students who want the Liberals to make legalizing marijuana one of the government’s top priorities, the second lowest of any issue

(Source: Abacus Data and Canadian Alliance of Student Associations)

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