2011 vs. 2015 Federal Election, where did all those votes come from?

StrategyCorp analyzed the 2011 and 2015 raw electoral data to determine how provincial voting turnout and patterns changed between the  41st and 42nd federal elections.


  • In 2015, Ontario saw a million more voters turn up at the polls than in 2011
  • In 2015, Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta all had approximately 500,000 more voters than in the previous federal election
  • Ontario and Nova Scotia are the only regions that saw an increase in Liberal votes with a simultaneous decrease in Conservative Party, NDP and Green Party votes

The Liberal Party’s meteoric rise to majority power in 2015 came with an almost 150 per cent increase in votes compared to 2011. The Green Party also posted gains, with a 6 per cent increase. Conversely, Conservative votes dipped 4 per cent while voter support for the NDP fell almost 25 per cent.

Vote Change by PartyVotes by Party

The 42nd federal election also saw increased voter turnout across the country over the 41st federal election. Nunavut turnout increased over 50 per cent while Alberta increased by close to 40 per cent.  Even the lowest increases, in Quebec and Prince Edward Island, saw voter turnout increase by more than 10 per cent. Overall voter turnout in Canada increased by 19 per cent.

Voter Turnout Increase by Region

Voter Turnout Increase by Region[ultimatetables 6 /]
Against recent historical trends, the Liberal Party showed incredible gains in Western Canada, long a bastion of Conservative seats. Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia and the Northwest Territories posted over a 200% increase in Liberal votes in the 2015 election vs. the 2011 election.

Liberal Voter Turnout Increase by Region Breakdown

Voter Turnout Liberal_v2
[ultimatetables 8 /]
Below is an analysis of total voter turnout increase by region as a percentage of Canada’s voter turnout increase. The chart is in line with a nationwide increase in voters and differences in the percentages can largely be attributed to the differences in population figures. Nonetheless, the chart provides valuable information when compared with the total Liberal vote increase by region as a percentage of Canada’s Liberal vote increase.

Comparing the Increase in Voter Turnout with the Increase in Liberal votes



Large Volume Liberal Vote Increases took place in Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta (300,000+)

  • Quebec counted for almost a quarter of the Liberal vote increase
    • Can be largely attributed to a significant NDP decline in the province by over half a million votes since the last election, plus a surge in first time voters
  • The increase in Liberal votes in Ontario can be attributed to new votes and a decline in support for other parties
  • British Columbia’s surge in new voters since the 2011 election mixed with declining support for the Conservative Party complimented the Green Party and Liberal Party
  • Alberta’s rise in new voters and decline in other party support since the last election is largely split between Liberal and Conservative Support (65/40)

Total Votes per Province Broken Down by Region

[ultimatetables 4 /]


Written by Tyler Anderson, an Associate at StrategyCorp Inc.

December 3rd, 2015


All data found from 2011 and 2015 was retrieved from Elections Canada.

“New votes” could be referring to the changes between the 2011 and 2015 Federal elections. This does not necessarily mean new voters, but also could be people who did not vote in the past election.

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