What if only young people would vote?

Someone suggested an interesting scenario where young people would show up to vote way more than usual. I decided to go one step further and estimate the electoral results if only young (under 25) people voted or, the exact opposite, if only people over 65 showed up. These are extreme scenarios, but I think it's always interesting to try to see the extreme first. The reality is then a mix of these extreme cases.

1. Only young people.

Using the latest Ekos poll, I did the following manipulation: for each party, I compared the level of support among everybody to the one among young voters only. For instance, for the NDP, these numbers are respectively 24.7% and 28.8%. Therefore, young voters tend to vote more for the NDP in a proportion of 1.17, or 17% (note: to be really correct I should have compared the level of support of the over 25 to the under 25. The problem is that we only have the number of observations in each age-ranges, not the sampling weights. So I can't do the exact calculations as Ekos. In any ways, the number of under 25 isn't that big, therefore not affecting the calculations much).

Therefore, I increased the percentages for the NDP in every province by 17%. Of course, this assumes that there isn't province-young specific effect. It's an approximation, but it's the best I can given the sample size and the information provided.

For the Conservatives, the support under 25's is only 79% of the overall support. For the Liberals, the ratio is 58.7% (!). Finally, the Green enjoyed a level of support 2.46 time the national average! And for the Bloc, it's 30% higher.

The results? Here they are:

You may be surprised to see the Conservatives still winning, but remember, even by being down 21%, the Conservatives would still be first in many provinces. As for the NDP, the problem for it is that the Bloc also enjoys more support among young people, thus allowing it to sweep Quebec. The party that would be really shaken is the Liberals. I didn't know their level of support was so low among the under 25. The only reason they are not even lower is because they still benefit from some huge margins during the last election. It's a simple simulation exercise, I'm well aware of the various limitations.

2. Only senior (65+).

Same mechanic, but this time with the seniors only. This time around, the Conservatives are up 24%, the Liberals up 23%, the NDP down 25%, the Green down 62% and the Bloc down 38%.


Quite a contrast with the previous scenario. Please notice that you should compare these scenarios to my "latest projections" on the right, not the Ekos poll only. So for the CPC, they would gain 27 seats with this scenario 172 instead of 145).

Overall, what I like about this exercise is to show how different the results could be. What this means in real life is that because young people tend to vote so little (while the turnout among seniors is quite high), the overall results is closer to what older people want. So you can show this post to your friends who think that voting doesn't make any difference and try to convince them to vote. As explained also here, if young people voted more, that could potentially make a big difference.

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