Significant Gender Gap in Voting Intentions Among Younger Canadians; Boomers Vote as Block, Regardless of Gender

Young Women Much More Likely than Young Men to vote NDP; Young Men Much More Likely to Vote Conservative than Young Women

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  • Darrell Bricker Global CEO, Public Affairs
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Toronto, ON, Oct 4, 2019 — Political polls often report on the voting intentions of men and women, Millennials and Boomers, but that level of analysis (necessary because of sample sizes) misses some important nuance and assumes that all Millennials or all Gen X voters vote similarly, regardless of their gender.

But Ipsos polling for Global News reveals that it isn’t that simple, and that a significant gender gap exists among younger Canadians – one which persists right through to Generation X, but then dissipates among Boomers.

Ipsos has conducted three polls for Global News since the start of the election campaign, and when they are aggregated to provide a total sample of over 5500 Canadians, more granular analysis is available by “Genderation”, which is shorthand for further segmenting generations by gender.

Examining this data in more detail reveals that support for the Liberal Party reveals no significant differences based on age or gender – Liberal support is consistent across each segment. But for the Conservatives and the NDP, in particular, stark contrasts exist among voters under the age of 55:

  • Young men aged 18-34 are much more likely to vote for the Conservative Party (31%) than young women of the same age (24%).
  • Young women are much more likely to vote for the NDP (27%) than young men are (16%). Young women are, by far, the strongest segment for the NDP.
  • Men aged 35-54 are much more inclined to vote for the Conservatives (43%) than women of the same age (33%).
  • Women aged 35-54 lean much more heavily towards the NDP (18%) than their male counterparts (11%).
  • Boomers, regardless of age, lean towards the Conservatives, although the gap between the Conservatives and Liberals is much larger among men (42% Conservatives vs. 32% Liberals) than women (39% Conservative vs. 35% Liberals). The NDP does poorly among both Boomer men (8%) and women (11%).

The chart below shows the voting intentions by Genderation. 


The aggregated data also give us a better understanding of who is most likely to cast their ballot on election day. In their younger years, men appear to lag women in propensity to vote; but, in their older years, men are slightly more likely than women to say they’re completely certain to vote on election day. 


Men and women of certain generations also don’t agree on who would make the best Prime Minister. For example, young men (27%) are more likely than young women (21%) to believe that Andrew Scheer would make the best Prime Minister, a sentiment echoed among those aged 35-54 (men: 35% for Scheer vs. women: 27% for Scheer). The gap disappears among Boomers.

Similarly, nearly two in ten women aged 18-34 (17%) and 35-54 (18%) believe that Elizabeth May would make the best Prime Minister, well ahead of the proportion of men aged 18-34 (11%) and 35-54 (11%) who say the same. The trend is similar when it comes to Millennial women’s preference for Jagmeet Singh, as 22% of young women believe he would make the best Prime Minister compared to 15% of young men.

Some of the biggest differences in how Canadians feel when analyzing the results in this way are found in what people say are the issues that drive their vote choice. In short, different segments rank the most important issues quite differently.

  • The top issues among men aged 18-34 include climate change (27%), taxes (26%), affordability (22%) and the economy (21%).
  • For women aged 18-34, affordability (36%), healthcare (33%), climate change (31%) and education (23%) are the most-salient issues.
  • For men aged 35-54, the economy (33%), taxation (30%) and healthcare (29%) are tops, with climate change (26%) and affordability (26%) tied for fourth.
  • For women aged 35-54, healthcare (44%) is the number-one issue by far, followed by affordability (35%), climate change (26%) and a three-way tie among the economy (21%), taxes (21%) and housing availability and affordability (21%).
  • For men aged 55+, the top issues are healthcare (38%), climate change (29%), the economy (27%), taxes (23%) and senior’s issues (22%) more generally. Interestingly, for this group, government debt/deficits (21%) is also an issue of concern, much higher than among any other segment.
  • For women aged 55+, healthcare (48%) trumps every other issue, while senior’s issues more generally (31%), climate change (30%), affordability (24%), and the economy (21%) round out the top five.

These are some of the findings of 3 Ipsos polls conducted during the campaign period, including Sep 11 to 13, Sep 20 to 23, and Sep 27 to 30, 2019. The samples have been aggregated, and in total a sample of n = 5,551 Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed online via the Ipsos I-Say panel and non-panel sources, or by telephone (landline and cellphones). Online respondents earn a nominal incentive for their participation. Quotas and weighting were employed for each survey 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 polls which include non-probability sampling is measured using a credibility interval. The following chart shows the sample size among each demographic segment, and the associated credibility interval.


All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error. Ipsos abides by the disclosure standards established by the CRIC, found here:

© 2019, Ipsos Limited Partnership

This polling release and the data contained in it are the sole and exclusive property of Ipsos. They are NOT designed to support any election outcome or prediction model and no license to use the polling release or the data is either granted or implied by their publication. Ipsos does not endorse, and has no responsibility for the accuracy of, the result of any predictive model that incorporates this polling data. Furthermore, any use of this information to produce polling aggregations or election models without Ipsos’ written permission will be considered a violation of our intellectual property, and Ipsos reserves the right to take appropriate legal action. Detailed tabular data tables can be found here:

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Darrell Bricker, PhD

CEO, Ipsos Global Public Affairs


About Ipsos

Ipsos is the world’s third largest market research company, present in 90 markets and employing more than 18,000 people. Our passionately curious research professionals, analysts and scientists have built unique multi-specialist capabilities that provide true understanding and powerful insights into the actions, opinions and motivations of citizens, consumers, patients, customers or employees. We serve more than 5000 clients across the world with 75 business solutions. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos is listed on the Euronext Paris since July 1st, 1999. The company is part of the SBF 120 and the Mid-60 index and is eligible for the Deferred Settlement Service (SRD). ISIN code FR0000073298, Reuters ISOS.PA, Bloomberg IPS:FP

The author(s)

  • Darrell Bricker Global CEO, Public Affairs