Canadian voters signal support for climate action

Polling shows that climate change was one of the key issues of the campaign.

Ottawa (04 Nov. 2019) — Climate change emerged as a top issue in last week’s federal election, as anticipated. Recent polling data confirms that many voters were influenced by the parties’ commitments on climate change, or lack thereof.

Environment, climate change are priorities for voters

Polling from Abacus Data has confirmed that climate change was one of the key issues of the campaign. Abacus Data asked voters to identify the top 5 issues that would have the greatest impact on their vote. Overall, the top issues were cost of living, access to health care, climate change and the environment, taxes, and poverty and inequality.

When comparing Liberal and NDP voters to Conservative voters, Abacus found that Liberal and NDP voters are 34% more likely than Conservative voters to rank climate change as a top issue.

Voters reject Conservative climate plan

Exit polling conducted by the University of Toronto's Policy, Elections, and Representation lab, on behalf of Clean Prosperity, suggests voters were turned off by the Conservative climate platform.

This is what the survey found: “Of voters who did not vote for Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives, 20% said that they would consider voting Conservative—but 77% also said that climate change was among their top issues. Those same voters were unimpressed with the Conservative plan for climate change, giving it an average rating of D.”

Voters support action on climate change

Voters made clear their desire for climate action when they went to the polls on October 21. Groups like Climate Action Network Canada have observed that over two-thirds of voters cast their ballots for parties that put forward platforms that included climate action, including support for a carbon tax.

Although there may be debate within the new minority government regarding the details and direction of climate policy, voters nonetheless delivered a clear message in support of action on climate change.

Time to hold newly elected Parliament accountable

With a clear mandate from voters for action on climate change, we must hold the newly elected Parliament accountable to their climate commitments. We will be watching and maintaining pressure on the new government to ensure they take the urgent, transformational action on climate change that is required.


The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE