The April 2014 general election saw 71.43% of registered electors exercise their right to vote. This represents a drop of 3.17%, compared to the vote held on September 4, 2012. This level of voter participation, however, reflects the trend of elections since the year 2000, when participation rates have been in the 70% range (with the one notable exception being the 57.43% recorded during the 2008 general election).
In four ridings (electoral divisions), voter turnout was above 80%, the percentage recorded in Louis-Hébert (83.66%) was the highest in Québec for the 2014 general election. The three other electoral divisions were Montarville (which had the highest voter turnout in Québec in 2012) with 83.17%, Jacques-Cartier (81.18%) and Chutes-de-la-Chaudière (81.06%).
Three electoral divisions, all situated in the north of Québec, saw less than 60% of electors exercise their right to vote: René-Lévesque (59.36%), its neighbour Duplessis (58.67%) and Ungava, which recorded the lowest turnout in Québec at 41.47%. It is however comparable to the 41.62% turnout at the September 2012 general election. For the third consecutive election, the electoral division of Westmount-Saint-Louis recorded the lowest level of voter participation (62.03%) in an urban area.
The general elections held in September 2012 resulted in a 74.6% turnout, which represents a significant improvement (a 30% increase) compared to the vote held in 2008. In fact, it is the best voter turnout in the 2000s.
Another record for the 2000s was set with the voter turnout recorded in the electoral division (riding) of Montarville reaching 87.66%, created in the 2011 electoral map reform and which includes part of the former riding of Marguerite-D'Youville... which had the highest voter turnout in the 2003, 2007, and 2008 elections. In a sign of increased voter turnout, 13 Québec ridings saw voter turnout of 80% or more.
The riding of Ungava recorded the lowest turnout, on September 4, 2012, with turnout of 41.62%. This represents an increase of more than 5% compared to the 2008 general elections, but a decline of 5% compared to the 2007 turnout. In urban areas, once more it was Wesmount-Saint-Louis which recorded the lowest level of voter participation, with 59.44%. It was the second lowest percentage in all of Québec, but still represented an increase of more than 22% compared with the turnout recorded in the 2008 general elections.
The turnout rate for the December 2008 general election was 57.43%, the lowest rate in 70 years.
For a third election in a row, the electoral division of Marguerite-D’Youville was the one that posted the highest turnout rate, with 71.33%. For the March 2007 general election, the turnout rate for this division was 82.63%.
The electoral division of Ungava had the lowest turnout rate in Québec with 36.08%, as compared to 46.47% in 2007. It was followed closely by the electoral division of Westmount-Saint-Louis, with a turnout rate of 36.70%
The average participation rate for all electoral divisions increased slightly to 71.23% in 2007 compared to 70.49% in 2003.
With 82.63%, Marguerite-D’Youville had the highest participation rate for the second consecutive general election.
Ungava came last with a participation rate of 46.47%.
Compared to the 1998 general elections, the average participation rate for the province declined in 2003. In 1998, the average participation rate for all electoral divisions was 78.32%. In 2003, this rate fell to 70.42%. In addition to the average participation rate, the highest and lowest participation rates for the 1998 general elections were also slightly higher than those for the 2003 general elections.
The electoral division with the highest participation rate in the 2003 general election is Marguerite-D'Youville which had a participation rate of 81.93% of its electors. On the other hand, the electoral division of Ungava had the lowest participation rate: 50.52%.
During the 1998 general elections, the average participation rate was 78.32% for all electoral divisions of Québec. Furthermore, for this election, the electoral division of Îles-de-the-Madeleine obtained the highest participation rate: 87.57% of electors exercised their voting right. On the other hand, the electoral division of Masson had a participation rate of only 60.15% during this general election.
When it comes to by-elections held between 1998 and 2015, the average participation rate for 45 electoral divisions was 42.06%. In the electoral division (riding) of Viau, in the by-election held on December 9, 2013, the lowest turnout in a Québec by-election for this period was recorded, at 16.93%. The electoral division of Berthier, in the by-election held on June 17, 2002, recorded the highest turnout, with 65.37% of electors exercising their right to vote.