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October 19, 2015


Toronto, ON: Nearly 13,000 CARP members responded in less than a day to the CARP Poll™, conducted just 3 days before Election Day. Over 40% had already voted and they are demanding change – not only on their priority policy issues but also in the government.

“There are media headlines today that seniors are making a last minute switch. But CARP members called this three weeks ago when they showed a break from the 3-way tie and since then showed a gradual increase in support for the Liberals. This poll shows a significant and greater spread compared to the general polls.

 CARP members were encouraged by all the parties addressing our priority issues throughout the campaign. But when it came down to the crunch, they have a clear choice. Of course, they want improvements in healthcare and retirement security but it appears that they think there has to be a change in government for such improvements to take place”, said Susan Eng, Executive Vice President for CARP

 40% have voted and the rest will definitely be voting

An astonishing 4-in-10 members (42%) had already voted in advance polls, and a further one half were certain to vote (49%) for a total of almost all CARP members who have voted already or are certain to vote (91%).

Harper and Trudeau tied as best Prime Minister; Tied as Best Platform for Seniors

While there is a tie in preference for a Prime Minister between Justin Trudeau (34%) and Stephen Harper (33%), Tom Mulcair received (14%) support. These are also the results for the party with the best platform for older Canadians, where the Liberals and the Conservatives are tied (at 34%) and the NDP at (14%).

Party preferences show larger spread for the Liberals than public polls

The poll, taken by nearly 13,000 members of the CARP Poll™ Online Panel, has the Liberals in the lead in voter preference (45%), with a nine-point advantage over the Conservatives (36%). The NDP, once favoured first by our members, now falls to a third (13%). [Decided voters only]

Driving Issue: Time for a Change

When asked the most important issue in the campaign, the largest group cite “jobs and the economy” (25%), but it is a maxim that the economy will always be cited first in this measure, and the important values are seen second and third, which in this case are “time for a change” (17%) and “decline of democracy” (13%). When coupled with those who say the biggest issue is “ethics and transparency in government” (11%), it adds up to more than 4-in-10 for whom the biggest issue in the election is related to changing a government they no longer trust (41%).

Detailed Findings

Almost all CARP members have voted or are certain to vote (91%) in total.

How likely are to vote in the federal election on October 19?

   Have already voted    42%
   Absolutely certain, barring an unforeseen emergency    27%
   Certain    22%
Extremely likely 4%
Very likely 1%
Somewhat likely 1%
Not very likely 1%
Not at all likely 1%

The Liberals have a strong lead among close to half  in member preference (45%), compared to just more than a third for the Conservatives (36%), while the NDP are at (13%).

Which party’s candidate will you vote for, or have you already voted for, in this election?

[Decided voters only]

Liberal 45%
Conservative 36%
NDP 13%
Green Party 4%
Bloc Quebecois *
Another party *

Justin Trudeau (34%) and Stephen Harper (33%) are relatively equally likely to be seen as the best Prime Minister, but Tom Mulcair is not (14%).

Regardless of which party you plan to vote for, or have already voted for, which of the party leaders do you think would make the best Prime Minister?

Justin Trudeau 34%
Stephen Harper 33%
Tom Mulcair 14%
Elizabeth May 8%
Gilles Duceppe *

The Liberals and Conservatives are tied for having the best platform for older Canadians (34% each), while the NDP ia at (14%).

Which one of the parties has the best platform for older Canadians?

Liberal 34%
Conservative 34%
NDP 14%
Green Party 3%

Jobs and the economy are seen to be the most important issue in this election (25%), which is always the case. It is instructive to see what is second most important, and in this case it’s “time for a change” (17%), followed by “decline of democracy” (13%). When combined with “ethics and transparency in government” (11%) it may be seen that more than 4-in-10 think the most important electoral issue is related to their wish to change the current government (41% in total). Other issues include health care (11%) and retirement security (12%).

Which is the single most important issue in this election to you?

Jobs and the economy 25%
Time for a change 17%
Decline of democracy 13%
Retirement security 12%
Health care 11%
Ethics and transparency in government 11%
National security and terrorism 5%
Climate change 3%
Banning the niqab 2%


The poll was conducted online using the CARP Poll™ Outreach Panel.. More than 12,900 members responded from across the country.

CARP is a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization committed to advocating for social change that will bring financial security, equitable access to health care and freedom from discrimination. CARP seeks to ensure that the marketplace serves the needs and expectations of our generation and provides value-added benefits, products and services to our members. Through our network of chapters across Canada, CARP is dedicated to building a sense of community and shared values among our members in support of CARP’s mission.

For further information, please contact:

Sarah Park   416.607.2471
Director, Strategic Communications
[email protected]

Michael Nicin   416.607.2479
Director of Policy
[email protected]

Anna Sotnykova  416.607.2475
Media & Communications Coordinator
[email protected]

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