Whitehorse Daily Star

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MAJORITY RULES – Seen here are the four Yukon candidates from October's federal election. DataPath's survey showed that even with strategic voting, Yukon MP Larry Bagnell (second from left) still would have won with a majority.

Some Yukoners specifically opposed a party, poll finds

Canadians were swept away by the “red wave” on federal election night last October – and we know that the Yukon had the second-highest voter turnout of any other riding in the country.

By Aimee O'Connor on January 27, 2016

Canadians were swept away by the “red wave” on federal election night last October – and we know that the Yukon had the second-highest voter turnout of any other riding in the country.

But how many Yukoners voted red as part of a strategy to oust the Conservative government?

DataPath Systems, an independent Yukon-based market research company, polled 359 Yukoners in early December with the intent of better understanding the level of strategic voting in the territory.

A large majority of Yukoners voted for the party which they believed could do the best for Canada or the Yukon.

But 14 per cent voted specifically against another party.

“Past polls did not give the option of voting against a party as a primary reason, but clearly that option resonated with nearly three in every 20 votes this election,” states the DataPath report, released this week.

The number of people voting for a candidate based on what they could do for Canada was similar to that of previous studies – in eight other DataPath polls, this percentage has stayed around the 55 per cent mark.

Another measurement of strategic voting was timing.

Thirty-five per cent of those polled knew who they would vote for as soon as the election was called.

Another third made their final decision once they knew all of the candidates and after a dozen or so scheduled candidate debates.

But eight per cent waited until they were positive that their vote for one candidate could be used to take down one of the other candidates.

To see how these results impacted the election itself, DataPath asked the participants who they preferred for prime minister, followed by which party they actually voted for. One quarter of those polled were inconsistent with prime minister preference versus who they voted for.

Nearly half of those who switched their vote went Liberal with their votes, while 29 per cent switched to NDP.

In other words, say, if there had not been any strategic voting, the Liberal Party may have lost up to 15 per cent of their votes, DataPath concludes.

This would have made a larger difference for the Greens, NDP or the Conservative Party during the 2015 election – but that 15 per cent would have only reduced Yukon MP Larry Bagnell’s lead to 46 per cent of the total vote count.

“The impact of that strategy would have have no impact on the final outcome of the election,” the Datapath study concludes.

Bagnell earned 10,715 votes; Conservative Ryan Leef 4,800; New Democrat Melissa Atkinson 3,890; and the Greens’ Frank de Jong 577.

Out of the 359 citizens polled, 265 are Whitehorse residents and 94 live in various communities.

The study was non-commissioned.

Comments (10)

Up 8 Down 5

Tinsleytalena on Jan 31, 2016 at 6:17 am

Poor Damian, lost your vote didn't you? Your own bias shows when you claim 'uneducated' people didn't vote the way you did. So glad your party lost if the others are like you.

Up 10 Down 21

Doubting Thomas on Jan 31, 2016 at 3:27 am

I question the veracity of that 14% number. I feel that far more than that voted to get rid of Harper and the fascists specifically.

Up 15 Down 2

ProScience Greenie on Jan 29, 2016 at 12:46 pm

"Corporal Camouflage" - too funny. We also can't forget the loony sign-cutter lady he tangled with. Heard she was in the education field which is worrisome.
It's getting harder and harder these days to tell the difference between the far right and far left - both camps have a similar dark side.

Up 32 Down 2

ProScience Greenie on Jan 28, 2016 at 10:07 am

For once it would be nice to have a few independent MLA's not affiliated with the three big political party's good old boys and girls clubs, that could hold the government's and the opposition's feet to the fire.

Up 54 Down 15

jc on Jan 27, 2016 at 10:05 pm

The truth is, the Fed election campaign was run on "hair". Canadians didn't like
Stephen Harper's sprayed down hair style, but loved JTs dark curly mop.

Up 33 Down 4

Just Say'in on Jan 27, 2016 at 9:27 pm

To be truly democratic all polls should close at exactly the same time. The idea that Yukoners were able to vote completely strategically based on the fact many voted after the east was determined is a disgrace no matter what party lines you follow. This allowed Yukoners to align themselves with the party in power. Probably hurt NDP more then anyone. You couldn't even get close to the polling station in Riverdale 15 minutes after the announcement was made on the radio, it was crazy, everyone was just waiting.

Up 74 Down 17

Bud McGee on Jan 27, 2016 at 5:14 pm

@ June Jackson - So what you're saying is the Yukon Party didn't pander to enough special interest groups? I like this Yukon Party you speak of. I might have to give them strong consideration in the next election.

Up 60 Down 60

Jack Colby on Jan 27, 2016 at 4:47 pm

MEH - how much did this pointless survey cost and who paid for it ?
Most of us voted to get rid of the "Corporal Camouflage"

Up 96 Down 63

Damien Lankow on Jan 27, 2016 at 3:49 pm

Bad move Yukon. You can generally tell where the free-loaders are by the way they voted (Yukon and the east coast went all liberal), hard working Canadians who value their jobs obviously wouldn't have voted that way. It's unfortunate how uneducated Yukoners were on the different parties.

Up 75 Down 107

June Jackson on Jan 27, 2016 at 3:30 pm

I believe the next Territorial election will be primarily aimed at getting rid of the Yukon Party.

They have managed to do some real damage to a Yukon that they were sworn to protect, they failed to represent any faction of the people in the Yukon.. not the French, not the FN, not the Seniors, not their government employee's, not the miners, not environment, they have even ticked off the local eateries.. They have mismanaged public money and driven us financially into the sewer...

Who is there left to give them a vote?
but... they are likely all very pleased with each other.

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