Leading up to the election, the Sask. Party polled an astonishing 40 points ahead of the NDP, and was even leading them in the traditional NDP strongholds of Saskatoon and Regina. Perhaps in part because of this, voter turnout dropped from 2007’s 76 per cent down to 66 per cent.
Despite this precipitous decline, Saskatchewan still saw a higher turnout than many provinces. Manitoba and Ontario, which both had elections earlier this fall, had respective turnout rates of 57 per cent and 42.9 per cent.
Ontario voters set a record low for turnout despite witnessing a hotly contested race between the incumbent Liberals, led by Dalton McGuinty, and the Tim Hudak-led Progressive Conservatives.
The May 2 federal election saw turnout of 61.4 per cent. This was a slight increase from the 2008 election, which set the record for lowest voter turnout at 58.8 per cent. However, the 2011 election has the third-lowest turnout of any federal election in Canadian history.
Since 1971, turnout in Saskatchewan elections has only fallen below 70 per cent three times, including this most current election.
Graphic: Brianna Whitmore/The Sheaf