More Canadians are using social media to dish on election policies and politics than they were back when campaigning kicked off, according to a new Ipsos Reid poll conducted for Postmedia News and Global TV. However, when it comes to what is considered the most important information source, traditional media is still tops.


ore Canadians are using social media to dish on election policies and politics than they were back when campaigning kicked off, according to a new Ipsos Reid poll conducted for Postmedia News and Global TV.

Three in 10 Canadians say they logged onto social networking or social media sites to discuss the election at least once in the fourth week of the campaign. This compares to just two in 10 at the beginning of the election. Those who engage online every day has increased to 10 per cent.

Men (36 per cent) are more likely that women (25 per cent) to engage in election discussion online. Those aged 18-34, no big surprise, are also more likely to connect via the web (51 per cent have). There are regional differences as well: Those in Alberta and Ontario are significantly more likely to engage at least once a week than those in Manitoba or B.C.

However, social media and networking are still nowhere near traditional media in terms of a go-to destination. Nearly 90 per cent of the 1,000 Canadians polled say they have turned to traditional media sources for their information. About 20 per cent have visited the websites of traditional media.

When it comes to what people consider the most important source of election information, traditional media (79 per cent) has a mega gain on online news sites (nine per cent) and social media sites (five per cent).

And what about the party factor? According to the poll:

“There is little difference between Conservative (79 per cent), Liberal (80 per cent), NDP (77 per cent) or Bloc (84 per cent) voters in the proportions who consider traditional news media to be the most important source of information about the election. Liberal voters (13 per cent) are just slightly more likely than average (9 per cent) to say they view the online websites of traditional news media to be the most important source of information about the election.”

It should be noted that the poll was conducted by telephone.

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