Recently, a CBC opinion journalist asserted that Millennials had “finally fallen out of love” with Justin Trudeau because of his decision not to pursue electoral reform. The argument was that electoral reform was so important to Millennials that this breach of faith was a final straw in the relationship.
Millennials are those born between 1980 and 2000. They are the largest generation in Canada and will make up the largest portion of the electorate in 2019 which will mark the end of Baby Boomer dominance in deciding elections. Millennial views matter more than ever. And the CBC column was correct in making the point that Millenials were drawn to the idea of electoral reform but in a recent CP article, I question whether it was a primary reason for their strong support for the Liberals in 2015.
However, there’s a problem with the CBC “fallen out of love” assertion. It doesn’t square with the evidence.
We conducted a large survey of over 4,000 Canadian adults in mid-February including 783 voting age Millennials (18 to 36). We compared this data with our post-election data from October 2015. (Note, this is a different survey than the data we released yesterday. I’m using this data because of the much larger sample size, even though it’s a week older).
A quick look at the data finds:
• The Liberals would do about as well today with Millennials (42%) as they did in October 2015 (44%).
• Compared with our post-election survey in October 2015, the Liberals are down 2, the Tories are up 3, and the NDP is down 5. The Greens are up 5.
• The Liberals hold a wide lead among Millennial men and women and across all age groups.
• The Liberals have a substantial lead among Millennials in BC (15 points), in Ontario (24), and in Quebec (28). The Liberals trail the Conservatives in Prairies, which is true among older age groups as well.
• In mid-February, 53% of Millennials say they approve of the job the federal government and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is doing while 29% disapprove. Millennials are 9-points more likely to approve than older generations.
The Liberals may or may not keep Millennials in their corner when the next election rolls around. But the evidence simply does not support the argument that Millennials have “fallen out of love” with the Liberals so far. While our surveys show that the Liberals are seeing a tighter competition with the Conservatives, this has more to do with narrowing among older voters. Millennials continue to be a core support group for the federal Liberal coalition at least for the time being.
Naturally, there’s a difference between news coverage and opinion pieces, but I still feel it’s reasonable to expect some evidence to back up an inaccurate observation that is presented as a fact, as was the case in the CBC piece.
Our survey was conducted online with 4,173 Canadians aged 18 and over from February 10 to 16, 2017. A random sample of panelists was invited to complete the survey from a large representative panel of over 500,000 Canadians.
The Marketing Research and Intelligence Association policy limits statements about margins of sampling error for most online surveys. The margin of error for a comparable probability-based random sample of 4,173 is +/- 1.6%, 19 times out of 20.
The data were weighted according to census data to ensure that the sample matched Canada’s population according to age, gender, educational attainment, and region. Totals may not add up to 100 due to rounding.
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