Canada’s Cost of Living Is The Number One Issue This Election: Abacus Data

Canada’s highly indebted households are worried about their cost of living. Now they want politicians to fix it. Abacus Data polled voters in August for their top concerns this election. Voters overwhelmingly agree the cost of living is the biggest, by far. It was an issue last election, but not to this extent — nearly two-thirds of Canadians feel it’s a big concern now. Their politics didn’t make much of a difference either. It was the first or second concern for the majority across the political spectrum.

Cost of Living Is The Top Issue This Election

Cost of living is the number one issue with voters, according to Abacus’ latest polls. The issue was a Top 10 concern with 62% of voters, up from 55% during the 2019 election campaign. Access to healthcare is a distant second, with 47% of voters considering it one of their top concerns. Climate change follows with 46% of voters. Personal politics had little to do with the concern over cost of living. People across the political spectrum rank it amongst the top concerns. Usually the highest concern, actually. 

Source: Abacus Data. 

Most Liberal Voters Cite The Cost of Living As The Second Biggest Issue This Election

Supporters of all parties felt cost of living was a concern, but to varying degrees. Cost of living was the number two issue for Liberal supporters, with 55% expressing it was a Top 10 concern. Climate change narrowly topped the list with 57% of supporters. Access to healthcare came in third, with 53% of voters expressing it as one of their top concerns.

Most Conservative Voters See Cost of Living As The Biggest Issue

Conservative voters see cost of living as the biggest issue, by a huge margin. Cost of living was the Top 10 concern for 59% of CPC supporters. Taxes came in second (52%), and government spending (51%) was third. Basically, the cost of living topped the list three times for this demographic.

NDP Voters Think Cost of Living Is The Biggest Concern By A Wide Margin

NDP supporters also said cost of living was the top issue, and by the widest margin of any party. Cost of living was a top priority for 67% of supporters, higher than the national average. Climate change came in second with 54%, and poverty and inequality followed with 48% of voters. Cost of living was at least 8 points higher than any other party.

Canadians are increasingly concerned about their general cost of living. Only 33% of people said housing was a top ten issue for them. This is roughly in-line with the percent of the population that rents. Since real estate is an input cost into virtually all consumption, it plays a large part in the cost of living. Though, that’s too complicated of a concept for the typical voter to get.

Like this post? Like us on Facebook for the next one in your feed.



We encourage you to have a civil discussion. Note that reads "civil," which means don't act like jerks to each other. Still unclear? No name-calling, racism, or hate speech. Seriously, you're adults – act like it.

Any comments that violates these simple rules, will be removed promptly – along with your full comment history. Oh yeah, you'll also lose further commenting privileges. So if your comments disappear, it's not because the illuminati is screening you because they hate the truth, it's because you violated our simple rules.

  • Theresa Hunter 3 years ago

    Concerned about cost of living, but not housing is Gen X and Boomers saying “I want the housing gains, but don’t want to pay higher wages to young people that don’t own yet.”

    • humble opinion 3 years ago

      I m generation X and I do have different mentality. I think Canadian government created that “buy as much as you can afford” attitude, but not certain generations. I would love to change real estates taxes: increase property tax as in the US to 2% annual and make capital gain tax even on matrimonial property. As well as make it transparent, so you can make your own research and see the whole buying and selling history of property since it was build.
      It would be fair to younger people and to other sectors of Canadian economy. It is strange to see doctors and lawyers flipping houses in Canada as well as boomers, criminals, rich foreigners and so on. If system is broken everyone taking advantage of it.

  • PK 3 years ago

    and the solution from every party is to borrow more debt, so the quality of living declines for those people.

    • RW 3 years ago

      …. and they’ll pump home prices higher so the debt they take out for handouts is cheap.

  • Trader Jim 3 years ago

    Cost of living is also why there’s so much speculation. The majority of people could never make as much as their home has been, and they want it to continue since they have no retirement funds.

    • Bob Walter 3 years ago

      Consider that people want to pay 100K, 200K, 400K.. over asking.
      and then they spin off “I want to retire and have asset”

      Can just be honest with that group and tell them those people will never retire. This as they just spent 200K over-asking that they actually have to work a job for and earn

      Best case they are now more exposed or all-in to an asset class which has historically sought / gyrated around the average (house prices rise by inflation) Just because one hasn’t seen something in their lifetime doesnt mean it doesnt exist (the earth existed long before you walked on it)

      Assuming the group of people that have to work for income, which is still most, the housing situation is bad news packaged up in “hey you’re rich” good news. Let’s all hope it will work out for most.

  • Jay 3 years ago

    Who are we kidding we have so many problems here in Canada one of the best ways to solve it is to raise interest rates that will take care of inflation and high housing cost.

    • Johnny West 3 years ago

      Completely agree. Governments should also help lower income earners by increasing the basic personal amount non-refundable income tax credit.

  • Flipg 3 years ago

    The average voter who happens to be a home owner is causing the problem. Our homes earn more than we do at our crappy underpaid jobs. Expensive homes are the shortcut to retirement wealth. Expensive housing is the implosion of the dreams of youth.

    Dreams of Old Age =
    Nightmares of Youth.
    Welcome to Canada.

    When I was 19 I earned $8 an hour and rented a waterfront cabin on 5 acres on the Gulf Islands for $350 a month. Now I’d be sharing an SRO on the DTES.

    So much for the “plan” to inflate away our overpriced real estate problem.

  • AErick 3 years ago

    Government spending should be much higher. It doesn’t make sense that cost of living and gov’t spending are so far apart

Comments are closed.