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This report uses the 2019 and 2021 Canadian Election Study (CES) to explore how political issues and social cleavages are perceived by the electorate in the 2019 and 2021 federal elections. We focus more specifically on three dimensions: first, what issues were most important in electors’ minds (which we refer to as issue salience); second, which parties were seen as best able to handle various issues (which we refer to as issue ownership by parties); and finally, the social bases of party perceptions.


This report was prepared for the Consortium for Electoral Democracy (C-Dem) using the 2019 (Stephenson, Harell, Rubenson and Loewen, 2020) and 2021 Canadian Election Study (Stephenson, Harell, Rubenson and Loewen, 2022). The views expressed in this report are solely those of the author.