Donald Trump’s election win was Canada’s pick for the top news story of the year.
According to a new Ipsos poll released Wednesday, 60 per cent of respondents agreed that Trump’s win was the most interesting thing that happened in 2016.
Trump beat out nine other news stories, and none of the others even came close.
The second most newsworthy story according to the poll were the terror attacks in Brussels and France (10 per cent) followed by the extreme weather around the world (nine per cent). (Editor’s note: the poll was started on Dec. 15, which was four days before the Berlin Christmas market attack.)
Brexit was fourth with six per cent of the votes, and the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando tied with North Korean nuclear tests at four per cent.
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The other contenders were the deaths of Mohammed Ali, Gordie Howe, Prince and Harper Lee; the Panama papers; the Turkey coup attempt; and the Dallas and Baton Rouge police shootings.
Sean Simpson, the VP of Public Affairs at Ipsos Canada, said he was sure the outcome would have been different if Hillary Clinton won in November.
“In fact we did the pre-polling before the election which showed that 8 in 10 Canadians thought that Hillary would win. So I think it’s not just that Trump won, it was, he won in a surprising way that very few people were expecting,” he told Global News.
“So it really shocked Canadians.”
Timing didn’t have anything to do with it either, Simpson said, despite the fact that the election is still fresh in our minds.
“We’re still hearing every day about Donald Trump stories in the news and what he’s doing as U.S. president,” he said.
“So I think that story is number one, I think it’s solid majority regardless of whether it happens at the start of the year or towards the end of the year.”
If you break it down by category, there’s little variation in the results. Canadian respondents across the board chose Trump.
The only significant variation came when looking at provincial statistics.
Quebec respondents, perhaps unsurprisingly, were more likely to choose the Brussels and France terrorist attacks as the top story (16 per cent, compared to the national average of 10 per cent).
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“French language countries, French language news within Quebec. They were probably following those stories a little bit more closely than the rest of the country,” Simpson said.
“But otherwise it’s a national consensus here on what the top international news story was.”
This Ipsos poll on behalf of Global News was an online survey of 3,004 Canadians conducted between Dec. 15-21, 2016. The results were weighted to better reflect the composition of the adult Canadian population, according to census data. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/ 2.0 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.