BC's voter turnout was lower than the national rate

Oct 22 2019, 3:56 pm

Canada woke up Tuesday morning to a familiar face as its prime minister, but there were some key differences in the overall results of this election, compared to 2015.

For starters, while Justin Trudeau and the Liberals will continue to be the party in power, they will do so from a minority position, as opposed to the majority government that they won in 2015.

And from a voter turnout standpoint, enthusiasm this time around seemed to wane somewhat as well.

According to preliminary numbers from Elections Canada, 65.95% of eligible voters cast a ballot on Monday.

This is a slight drop from the turnout in the 2015 election, in which 68.3% of voters cast a ballot, but it’s a climb from the 2011 federal election, in which 61.1% of eligible voters cast their vote.

Here in BC, voter turnout dipped even lower, totalling 65% province-wide.

The riding with the highest voter turnout was that of Green Party leader Elizabeth May’s Saanich-Gulf Islands, where 73% of registered voters went to the polls.

The riding with the lowest voter turnout belonged to that of Alice Wong, the Conservative candidate for Richmond Centre, where just 51.9% of those eligible to participate in the election did so.

Voter turnout is calculated by dividing the number of valid votes by the number of electors registered to vote, and preliminary results are unofficial results based on the statements of the vote prepared for each polling station under the Canada Elections Act.

The statements of the vote are prepared by deputy returning officers and transmitted by telephone on election night to returning officers. Each returning officer must validate these results, based on the written statement of each deputy returning officer, within seven days of election day.

Six days after the validation of results — or as soon as possible after the completion of a judicial recount — the returning officer must declare elected the candidate who obtained the largest number of votes by signing and returning the writ to the Chief Electoral Officer.

Here’s how things shaped up in the end.

  • Liberals – 157
  • Conservatives – 121
  • Bloc – 32
  • NDP – 24
  • Greens – 3
  • PPC – 0
  • Independent – 1