Electoral participation in the April 7, 2014 general election - Stabilization of the participation rate in Québec

October 29, 2014

Quebec City, October 29, 2014 –– A study released today on the participation of Québec electors in the April 7, 2014 provincial election reveals a stabilization of the participation rate. For example, in 2014, the participation of young people reached a level comparable to the rates in 2003 and 2007. The decline in turnout of young people observed in 2008, which was reversed in 2012, did not reappear in 2014. The presence of young voters has helped stabilize the participation rate, which has generally been between 70% and 75 % since the 2003 general election.  

Moreover, based on data gathered for this exercise, it can be concluded that the downward trend observed over the last several years stems in large part from the fact that electors from the most recent cohorts vote less than older cohorts. It would therefore seem that young people are partially responsible for the decline in voter turnout in Québec. “This realization once again shows us that we need to continue to implement our education in democracy programs for young voters,” the Chief Electoral Officer, Lucie Fiset, pointed out.

The study, conducted by the Chair in Democracy and Parliamentary Institutions in collaboration with the Chief Electoral Officer of Quebec for the first time includes data by electoral region.

Participation rates by age group and region

When participation rates are analyzed in the 16 electoral regions of Québec, we firstly note that in general, urban dwellers are more likely to vote than people in outlying regions, a phenomenon that seems to correlate with the participation of young electors. For example, in three regions of northern and eastern Québec, participation rates are below 40% among 18-24 year olds, while they are 60% or more on the island of Montreal and in the Capitale-Nationale and Laval regions.

Participation rates by age group and gender

This past April’s election confirmed a trend noticed for several general elections, namely that the participation rate increases with the voters’ age. This increase is constant from one to the other of the six age groups ranging from 18 to 24, up to 65 to 74 years of age. There is, however, a significant drop in participation for the 75 years and over category.

As was the case for previous elections, women under 65 generally have a higher participation rate than men, a tendency which reverse as for people 75 years old and over, the participation rate for women is 66.85% and for men is 76.11%.

Statistical tables presenting the various results of the study can be found on the website of Université Laval’s Research Chair in Democracy and Parliamentary Institutions at http://democratie.chaire.ulaval.ca/index.php?pid=1084&n=760.

Professor François Gélineau of Université Laval, who holds the Research Chair in Democracy and Parliamentary Institutions, is available to respond to questions from the media.

 

– 30 –



Categories : Provincial, Election system, DGE, General election 2014