Federal election 2015, by the numbers

By any measure, this campaign has been one for the record books. So here are some more measures that we crunched out of this election.




It’s been a long one. Eleven weeks, five leaders debates, seven million tweets—by any measure, this campaign has been one for the record books. In the end, the only number that really matters is 184, the number of seats won by Justin Trudeau’s victorious Liberals. To help make sense of it all, Maclean’s crunched the numbers behind the most interesting, and ridiculous, moments of the campaign.

How many seats each party had before Parliament was dissolved:

  • Conservatives: 159
  • NDP: 95
  • Liberals: 36
  • Greens: 2
  • Bloc Québécois: 2
  • Independents: 8
  • Forces et Démocratie: 2

How many ridings the parties have now (as of 3:00 a.m. on Tuesday):

  • Liberals: 184
  • Conservatives: 99
  • NDP: 44
  • Bloc Québécois: 10
  • Greens: 1
  • Independents: 0
  • Forces et Démocratie: 0

Number of seats the Conservatives lost between 2011 and 2015: 64

Number of Conservative cabinet ministers who lost their seats: 13

First riding to be called: Coast of Bay–Central-Notre Dame, N.L. (It went Liberal.)

People who voted at advance polls: 3.6 million

Debates: 5

Candidates: 1,792

Polling stations: 65,000

People eligible to vote: 26.4 million

Elections Canada workers: 230,000

Number of people at the Blue Jays game not watching the results come in: 49,751

Number of prime ministers who served as Opposition leaders after being defeated: 12 (The most recent was John Turner.)

Number of Opposition leaders who have become prime minister: 14 (William Lyon Mackenzie King did it three times.)

Prime ministers who used to be lawyers: 16

Prime ministers who used to be economists: 1

Prime ministers who used to be drama teachers: 1

Unique Twitter hashtags from the campaign:

  • #peegate used 46,000+ times
  • #Harperman used 38,000+ times
  • #OldStockCanadians used 23,000+ times
  • #HarperANetflixShow used 12,000+ times

Number of election ads in which a candidate slays a dragon by jumping off a flying goose: 1

Wyatt Scott, whose video for his campaign went viral. (YouTube)

Wyatt Scott, whose video for his campaign went viral (YouTube)

Number of people who voted in Canada’s first election in 1867: 268,387

Highest voter turnout in a Canadian federal election: 79.4% (in 1958)

Number of coalition governments in Canadian history: 2 (John A. Macdonald’s government in 1867 and Robert Borden’s government in 1917)

Canada largest riding: Nunavut, at 2.1 million sq. km

And the smallest: Toronto Centre, at 6 sq. km

Distance by car between Vancouver’s West Point Grey Academy, where Justin Trudeau used to teach, and 24 Sussex Drive: 4,371 km

Number of candidates each political party ran (alphabetically):

  • Alliance of the North: 1
  • Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada: 8
  • Bloc Québécois: 78
  • Canada Party: 1
  • Canadian Action Party: 3
  • Christian Heritage Party of Canada: 30
  • Communist Party of Canada: 26
  • Conservative Party of Canada: 338
  • Democratic Advancement Party of Canada: 4
  • Forces et Democratie: 17
  • Green Party of Canada: 336
  • Independent: 74
  • Liberal Party of Canada: 338
  • Libertarian Party of Canada: 72
  • Marijuana Party: 8
  • Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada: 70
  • New Democratic Party: 338
  • No Affiliation: 6
  • Party for Accountability, Competency and Transparency: 1
  • Pirate Party of Canada: 5
  • Progressive Canadian Party: 8
  • Rhinoceros Party: 27
  • Seniors Party of Canada: 1
  • The Bridge Party of Canada: 1
  • United Party of Canada: 1


Federal election 2015, by the numbers

  1. While the exact numbers won’t be in for a while we can say that last night we saw the largest number of people vote in Canadian history. Somewhere close to 17.5 million people went and slipped a piece of paper into a ballot box. This number represented 68% of all eligible voters: the highest turnout in 22 years. Way to go team Canada!

    But wait. (You knew this was coming.) That “majority government” was earned with just 39% of the vote — 39% of 68%. What does that mean? That means the dominant ruling party has the loose support of 26% of eligible voters. “Loose” because, without a doubt, a large percentage of that support — likely millions of votes — came from folks who chose to vote strategically for the party leading the polls, in an attempt to end the reign of one man, and not for the party they thought would best lead the country.

    But if we’re getting into that it would be interesting to find out who voted for the Liberal party (A), who voted for the Liberal leader (B), who voted for their local party representative (C), and who voted for none of the above but against Harper (D). Of course we choose to employ a voting system in which there is no way to know the answer to these, seemingly very interesting and important, questions. Why is that? …Justin Trudeau wasn’t even on my ballot but he somehow got elected last night. That only seems odd to me?

    So you’ll notice that, at the very least, 74% of eligible voters said “no” to the Liberals while, at the most, 26% said “yes” (or perhaps “no” to four more years of Harper.) Therefore 26% (but maybe as low as 15%) is the decisive winner?

    …Is this the best we can do? Does more people coming out to vote improve things? Are there no better models found around the world? Could we not come up with an even better voting system than anyone has ever seen? Or are we stuck with what the Athenians gave us 2,500 years ago?

  2. Canada wanted a change. But after Harper
    started to talk like Trump regarding the niqab
    issue, that turned me against him even more.
    So it was either the Liberals or NDP. Tom
    Mulcair was against TPP, and he looked like
    another old, white guy lacking personality,
    so I went with the Liberals.

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