7.07.2011

Reasons for not voting in the May 2, 2011 federal election

More than one-quarter of the 7.5 million eligible voters who reported they did not cast a ballot in the May 2, 2011 federal election indicated they did not do so because they were not interested in voting. Another 23% said they were too busy to vote.

The most common response for not having voted was that they were "not interested in voting" (28%), which also includes feeling their vote would not have made a difference in the election results.

An additional 23% indicated they were "too busy", which includes having family obligations or having a schedule conflict at work or school.



Another 10% said they were out of town or away, while 8% reported they did not like the candidates or campaign issues. Roughly 4% indicated they forgot to vote, while just over 1% said they did not vote because of religious beliefs.
About 29% of male non-voters said they did not vote because they were not interested, compared with 26% of women. Men were also slightly more likely to report that they were too busy to vote. However, female non-voters were more likely than men to indicate they did not vote because of an illness or disability (11% versus 6 %).

Age groups

Reasons for not voting differed across age groups. Among young people aged 18 to 24 who did not vote, the most common reason was that they were not interested in voting, cited by 30%. Another 23% reported they were too busy, while 11% said they were out of town or away.
For adults aged 25 to 34 who did not vote, 31% indicated they were not interested in voting, while a nearly identical proportion (30%) said they were too busy.
Among seniors aged 65 to 74 who did not vote, the two most common reasons were their own illness or disability (22%) and that they were not interested (21%). The most common reason among individuals aged 75 and over was illness or disability (44%).

The provinces

The proportion of people who did not vote because they were not interested or they felt their vote would not have made a difference was above the national average in four provinces: Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Quebec and Saskatchewan. The percentage was highest in Quebec (35%).
Among non-voters who reported that they were too busy, the proportions were above the national average in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. The percentage was highest in Alberta (28%).
Among non-voters who lived in centres with a population of fewer than 10,000, 33% reported that they were not interested in voting. This compares with 26% of non-voters who lived in large urban centres with more than 100,000 people.
In contrast, non-voters in the biggest cities were more likely to indicate they were too busy (24%). This compares with 20% of those in centres of fewer than 10,000.

Educational attainment

The reasons for non-voting varied widely based on a person's educational attainment.
Among non-voters with less than a high school education, 30% indicated they were not interested in voting, while 17% reported an illness or disability that kept them from voting, and 14% said they were too busy.
In contrast, 28% of non-voters with a university degree cited being too busy as the main reason. An additional 22% indicated they were not interested in voting, while 16% reported they were out of town or away.

Immigrants and Canadian citizens by birth

Reasons for not voting were different between immigrants with Canadian citizenship and Canadian citizens by birth.
Among immigrants with Canadian citizenship who had landed within the previous 10 years and who indicated they did not vote, 35% said they did not vote because they were too busy. An additional 13% said they were not interested, while 8% said they were not on the voter's list.
Among immigrants with Canadian citizenship who landed more than 10 years earlier and who did not vote, 23% indicated that the main reason for not voting was they were too busy. An additional 20% indicated they were not interested, and 12% said they were ill or had a disability.
On the other hand, Canadian citizens by birth who did not vote were most likely to indicate they did not do so because they were either not interested in voting (30%) or they were too busy (22%).

Employment status

Reasons for not voting also differed by employment status. Non-voters who were employed were far more likely than unemployed non-voters to report they were too busy (30% versus 14%).
On the other hand, unemployed non-voters were most likely to indicate that they were not interested in voting (39%).
About 21% of non-voters who were not in the labour force cited an illness or disability.
Non-voting by employment status is related to age distribution. Almost half of unemployed non-voters were under the age of 35, while about half of those not in the labour force were seniors aged 65 and over.
For general information or to order data, contact Client Services (toll-free 1-866-873-8788; 613-951-4090; labour@statcan.gc.ca). To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Jason Gilmore (613-951-7118; jason.gilmore@statcan.gc.ca) or Vincent Ferrao (613-951-4750; vincent.ferrao@statcan.gc.ca), Labour Statistics Division.

Table 1

Reasons for not voting among those that did not vote, by sex and by age group, May 2011 federal election
Not interested Too busy Out of town/away Own illness/disability Did not like candidates/issues
%
Total 27.7 22.9 10.1 8.5 7.6
Male 29.2 23.5 11.5 6.0 8.0
Female 26.1 22.2 8.8 10.9 7.3
18 to 24 years 29.9 22.6 11.4 2.9 4.3
18 to 21 years 29.7 21.5 9.9 2.5 4.4
22 to 24 years 30.2 24.0 13.3 3.4 4.1
25 to 34 years 30.8 30.4 8.5 4.1 6.0
35 to 44 years 27.5 28.8 8.8 4.7 8.0
45 to 54 years 29.1 22.1 10.2 6.6 9.9
55 to 64 years 25.8 15.6 13.6 11.1 12.4
65 to 74 years 21.3 7.7 14.1 22.3 8.9
75 years and over 13.4 4.3E 6.2 44.4 5.9
coefficient of variation between 16.5% and 33.3%; interpret with caution
Note(s):
"Too busy" also includes family obligations and work /school schedule conflict. "Not interested" also includes feeling that their vote would not mak e a difference.

Table 2

Reasons for not voting among those who did not vote, by geography, May 2011 federal election
Not interested Too busy Out of town/away Own illness/disability Did not like candidates/issues
%
Canada 27.7 22.9 10.1 8.5 7.6
Newfoundland and Labrador 30.4 19.3 15.9 8.8 7.9
Prince Edward Island 27.2 19.7 11.3E 12.7 7.0E
Nova Scotia 30.9 19.6 10.5 9.0 10.8
New Brunswick 26.8 20.7 12.1 9.2 7.1
Quebec 35.3 19.3 8.5 10.8 7.2
Ontario 25.4 23.3 9.5 8.3 8.5
Manitoba 27.0 25.3 8.4 8.2 5.6
Saskatchewan 27.8 24.0 11.3 5.5 5.8
Alberta 25.8 27.5 12.0 4.7 6.0
British Columbia 22.8 23.9 11.8 9.1 7.7
Large population centres over 100,000 26.1 24.2 10.1 8.6 7.8
Population centre 10,000 to 99,999 30.3 20.1 9.8 7.7 7.6
Population centre under 10,000 32.9 19.7 10.5 8.9 6.9
Rural outside of population centres 30.3 20.3 10.7 8.2 7.4
coefficient of variation between 16.5% and 33.3%; interpret with caution
Note(s):
"Too busy" also includes family obligations and work /school schedule conflict. "Not interested" also includes feeling that their vote would not mak e a difference.

No comments:

Post a Comment