Elementary and secondary students participating in a mock vote chose Conservative Ed Fast in the Abbotsford riding, but with a much closer margin compared to the real election.
A Liberal also drew far more support, compared to the real polls, in the neighboring riding of Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon. That race was tight in the election — Liberal Jati Sidhu won with 37 per cent of votes over Conservative Brad Vis, with 35 per cent. Students widened that two-point margin to a 21-point one, favoring Sidhu handily with 40 per cent of mock ballots to Vis’ 19 per cent.
Student Vote Canada, organized by Civix, a non-profit group, and Elections Canada, is designed to get students interested in democracy by giving them a taste of the voting experience. Realistic-looking polling booths, complete with voter rolls, private baffles and specially-printed fake ballots, were set up in over 6,000 schools all over Canada just before the real federal vote on Oct. 19. The mock-vote results aren’t released until after the election is over.
A similar wave of enthusiasm for the Liberals, above and beyond the one that handed them a 184-seat majority government, carried in the mock votes across the country. Students favored Liberal candidates in 227 of seats. They chose Conservatives in 70, down from the 99 MPs elected to the new Official Opposition.
Over 850,000 students across Canada participated in the student vote.