By Kathleen O’Toole for JRN112
A poll conducted by Ryerson University undergraduate students last week suggests that young Toronto voters favour Justin Trudeau, leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.
The poll indicates that of the students who favour a leader, a little over half (53 per cent) favour Trudeau over leaders of the Conservative Party of Canada, the New Democratic Party and the Green Party of Canada leaders.
The poll also indicates that 37 per cent of all students didn’t know which leader they favoured. This number of students surpasses the number of students that favour Trudeau.
The public opinion survey, which was conducted by Ryerson Journalism Students during the week of Jan. 23-28, also indicated that undergraduate students are more likely to choose the Liberals at the ballot in a fall election. Of decided voters, about 44 per cent said they would vote for the Grits, with 20 per cent showing preference for the Tories.
It also suggests 2 out of every 5 of students said their voting sentiment could change. Keren Gottfried, a master’s candidate in public policy and administration at Ryerson University, said she believes this “indecision before an election is absolutely not typical.”
“I think this speaks to youth voter apathy. People usually decide their vote early on and are rarely impacted much by election campaigns,” said Gottfried.
Although it appears Toronto students favour the Liberal party and Trudeau, their wavering sentiments, apathy and low voter turnout makes the youth vote a hard demographic to predict.
In the 2011, general election a little under 40 per cent of youth voted. Statistics Canada’s May 2011 Labour Force Survey suggested the biggest reason youth (18-24) didn’t vote was because they were not interested (30 per cent of those polled).
The poll randomly surveyed 1,155 Toronto undergraduate students in person by asking them to fill out a survey. The results are considered accurate plus or minus 2.1 percentage points,19 times out of 20.