Turnout for Manitoba provincial election falls short of 2016 levels

By | September 10, 2019

Voter turnout in Tuesday’s provincial election fell short of the percentage of voters who cast ballots in 2016.

Voter turnout was 55.4 per cent, say unofficial results from Elections Manitoba.

That’s down from the 2016 Manitoba general election, when 57.4 per cent of eligible voters cast their ballots. Brian Pallister’s Progressive Conservatives won a record-breaking majority in that election, taking 40 of the province’s 57 seats.

The lowest voter turnout on record in Manitoba was in 1941, when just 50.5 per cent of eligible voters went to the polls.

Advanced voting was up. Elections Manitoba says 112,983 voters marked ballots during the eight days of advance voting in this year’s election, compared to about 110,000 in 2016.

In addition, 409 absentee votes and 213 homebound votes were cast, for a total of 113,605 advance votes.

2016 riding turnout

During the last provincial election, the riding of Keewatinook, in northern Manitoba, saw the lowest turnout, according to Elections Manitoba data, with 24.3 per cent of eligible voters going to the polls in 2016.

Turnout was low throughout northern ridings in 2016, with Flin Flon at 34.4 per cent, Thompson at 37.4 per cent, and The Pas at 30.7 per cent.

Winnipeg’s River Heights riding had the highest voter turnout in 2016, with 72.7 per cent of eligible voters casting a ballot.

Non-voters historically tend to be younger, Elections Manitoba officials say.

In a 2016 survey by PRA commissioned by Elections Manitoba, about 70 per cent of respondents between the ages of 18 and 29 identified themselves as non-voters.

People in that age group made up seven per cent of all voters who were surveyed, but accounted for 16 per cent of all non-voters, the survey found.