Photo of Professor Denis Pilon

Politics professor explains increased voter turnout at the recent provincial election


Photo of Dennis M. Pilon

Politics Professor Dennis Pilon discusses  the jump in voter turnout at the 2018 Ontario provincial elections in an article on  On June 7, 2018, voter turnout jumped to 58 per cent compared to 51.3 per cent in the 2014 election. Pilon attributes the increase in voters to residents feeling like their ballot would make more of a difference this election.

"This was an unusual election because we didn't know where it was going," he says. "The competition we saw among the political parties in this election is what drives up the voter count."

Typically, with elections, voters see a party who is clearly the front-runner, which creates less engagement from voters. But, this year the provincial election had an unclear outcome, motivating voters to cast their ballots more strategically.

"There were die hard Conservatives voting NDP because they were scared of Doug Ford and there were die hard Liberals holding their noses and voting for Conservatives," says Pilon. "We also saw a party (NDP) that has been in the doghouse since the 1990s rise up in the polls."

Pilon believes that our current electoral system is not a proper reflection of voter intentions and this past election shows that electoral reform is needed.

"It is hard for people to vote the way they really feel," he says. "Despite the polls, the election results show the winner wasn't as liked as we thought and the other was not hated as much as we thought."