Old age pension, CPP, pharmacare and housing are key election issues

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Old age pension, CPP, pharmacare and housing are key election issues

Marijuana, Bill C51, national day care less important

TORONTO June 16th, 2015 - In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 1281 Canadian voters, the election issues which are seen to be most likely to sway votes are returning the age for OAS to 65 from 67, increasing Canada Pension Plan contributions and benefits, creating a national drug plan and building affordable housing. Issues which are not seen to sway as many undecided votes include repealing Bill C-51, national daycare and legalizing marijuana.


More than 4-in 10 (43%) say bringing the age for the Old Age Supplement back down to 65 from 67 is “very likely” to prompt them to change their vote. This is especially the case among boomers (55 to 64 - 52%) and even the case among Conservatives (33%).


More than 4-in-10 are “very likely” to change their vote for a politician who promises to increase CPP contributions and benefits (42%), especially among boomers (52%) the less wealthy ($20K to $40K - 58%) and, once again, also among Conservatives (33%).

National drug plan

More than 4-in-10 (42%) are very likely to change their vote for this, especially the oldest (55+ - 50%) and even among one quarter of Conservatives (24%).

Affordable housing

Four-in-ten will very likely change their vote for this (42%), especially the oldest (50%), females (47%), the least wealthy (58%). This is not so much the case among Conservatives (22%) but is especially so among New Democrats (55%).

Other issues

In order of likelihood of switching votes, the following issues were assessed: Legalizing assisted suicide (37% very likely), abolishing the senate (36%), restoring door-to-door mail delivery (36%), national day care (34%), legalizing marijuana (34%) and, at the bottom of the list, repealing Bill C-51 (34%).

Jobs/growth the most important overall issue, followed by the environment

When voters are asked to rank a number of key election issues (broader in scope than the specific policy promises assessed above), jobs and growth is first (which is always the case - 33%), followed by the environment (18%). These two broad issues are traditionally first and second when this ranking exercise is undertaken, so it is instructive to look at what comes third. In this case it is taxes (11%), rather than national security (6%), law and order (4%) or infrastructure (7%). The budget comes right after taxes (9%). Thus, this election can be seen to be about pocketbook issues. Conservatives are more interested in national security, the budget and taxes than are others. New Democrats are much more interested in the environment than other partisans.

"The policy planks which are preferred by voters indicates a mature electorate, as they’re issues which relate to aging and retirement. The concern for affordable housing is also driven by older voters. If these are the issues which will move the electorate’s vote, then the two opposition parties must be favoured, for none of these positions is espoused by the government, even though Conservative partisans say they will change their vote to support them," said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.

Lorne Bozinoff, Ph.D. is the president and founder of Forum Research. He can be reached at lbozinoff@forumresearch.com or at (416) 960-9603.