Party platforms were heaviest influence on how Canadians voted in federal election: poll

A new poll suggests that Canadians rely heavily on a political party’s platform when deciding who to vote for, and that young voters are more likely to be influenced by online exchanges than others.

As Canadians come to terms with the results of the most recent federal election, the Research Co. poll found that 59 per cent of Canadians felt a party’s platform was “very influential” or “moderately influential” in their voting decision.

“The actual party platforms are very influential when Canadians are choosing who they will support in the federal election,” said Research Co. president Mario Canseco.

In fact, it’s more influential than conversations with families and friends or what people see on social media, Canseco said. More than 40 per cent of Canadian voters said discussions with family and discussions with friends influenced their vote, while only 35 per cent mentioned campaign ads on radio and television as an influence.

Age also affected how people were influenced to vote, Canseco said. For those aged 18 to 34, 43 per cent said social media interactions with candidates on social media influenced who they voted for, compared to 30 per cent of Canadian voters of all ages. That same Gen Z and young millennial age group was also more likely to be influenced by interactions with others over social media (44 per cent) than the general population of voters (26 per cent).

When broken down by party lines, nearly 75 per cent of People’s Party voters cited the platform as a major influence, while 67 per cent of Conservative voters and 64 per cent of Liberal voters said the same. Among NDP voters, 64 per cent said the party’s platform was a major influence, 39 per cent of Green voters and 19 per cent of Bloc Québécois supporters.

The poll, conducted between Sept. 18 and 21, surveyed 1,900 adults in Canada who voted in the 2021 federal election. The data was statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error, which measures sample variability, is plus or minus 2.3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.