Document Type


Publication Date



Political Science


Canadian voting behaviour from 1979 to 2000 is examined by relating long-term economic changes to support for “non-mainstream” parties, defined as parties other than the Liberals or Progressive Conservatives. This long-term perspective is unique, in that standard economic voting research focuses mostly on how short-term economic changes affect support levels for the incumbent. In order to illustrate the effects of long-term economic decline, federal voting results are related with short- and long-term economic data, namely unemployment and labour-force participation rates, all aggregated at the provincial level. The pooled data produces results that confirm the relevance of short-term changes to explain support for the incumbent party, while support for non-mainstream parties is, instead, explained by long-term economic changes.


This article was originally published in Canadian Journal of Political Science, 38(2): 335-357. © 2005 Cambridge University Press