Local Candidates Should Expect Questions About Health Care When They are Knocking on Doors for Votes

While Health Care is the Most Important Issue When Deciding How to Vote (42%), Over Half (55%) of Canadians are Dissatisfied with the Attention Given to Health Care by the Parties and their Leaders

The author(s)

  • Mike Colledge President, Ipsos Public Affairs Canada
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Toronto, Ontario, September 29, 2019 — While talk of candidates’ past behaviours has dominated the headlines recently, Canadians are not satisfied with how much plans to address real issues are being discussed, according to a recent Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of the Canadian Medical Association.

With Canadians not hearing what they want from parties about health care, half (51% very/somewhat likely) say they’re likely to take matters into their own hands and ask the local Federal candidates in their ridings what their party’s plans for health care are. Canadians in the Prairies (57%), Ontario (55%) and Atlantic (55%) are more inclined to say they’re likely to ask their local candidates, with Quebec (43%) and Alberta (45%) residents being the least likely.

Four in ten Canadians rank health care (42%) and cost of living (41%) in their top three most important issues when deciding who to vote for, followed by taxes (28%), climate change (28%) and health the economy (28%). Nearly two in ten (18%) rank housing affordability in their top three.

Regionally, health care remains among the top issues, with half (52%) of Atlantic Canada residents ranking it in their top three most important issues, followed by 45% in Quebec, 43% in Ontario, 40% in British Columbia and 39% in the Prairies. Older Canadians (55 years and over) are most concerned with health care, with half ranking it in their top 3 (49% vs. 31% 18-34), while those under 35 are more concerned with cost of living (44% 18-34 vs. 36% 55+). Canadians 35-54 years old place the same importance on health care (44%) and cost of living (45%).

While, health care and cost of living are the most important issues when deciding who to vote for, a majority are dissatisfied with how federal parties are addressing the issues (55% very/somewhat dissatisfied with health care, 67% very/somewhat dissatisfied for cost of living). Canadians 55 and over are by far the most dissatisfied with how much plans for addressing health care are being discussed (68% vs. 55% 35-54, 36% 18-34).

Two-thirds (67%) of Canadians Say it’s Likely a Party’s Plan to Improve Access to Primary Care Will be a Deciding Factor on Who They Vote For in the Federal Election

A majority (67%) of Canadians say it’s likely a party’s plan to improve access to primary care (family doctor/GP/nurse practitioner) will be a deciding factor for who they cast they vote for this October. No significant difference in findings across demographics, suggesting this is a universally important issue for Canadians.

This may be such a deciding factor because few Canadians (10%) say they’ve seen improvements in access to primary care where they live in the last four years. Half (53%) say it has stayed the same, while three in ten (30%) say access has gotten worse. Half (53%) of Atlantic Canada residents say access has worsened in the past four years, which is significantly higher than all other regions by a wide margin (37% BC, 22% Alberta, 31% Prairies, 29% Ontario, 26% Quebec). Canadians 55 years old and over (35% vs. 24% 18-34) and women (34% vs. 26% men) are also more likely to say it has worsened.

About the Study

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between September 19th and 23rd, 2019, on behalf of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA). For this survey, a sample of 2,002 Canadians aged 18+ were interviewed. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ±2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadians aged 18+ been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

For more information on this Factum, please contact:

Mike Colledge
President, Canada, Ipsos Public Affairs
+1 613 688 8971

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The author(s)

  • Mike Colledge President, Ipsos Public Affairs Canada