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#Elxn42: The Digital Election

Whether you’ve used the internet to fact check information during a debate, explore a party’s campaign platform, or watch a debate live on YouTube, Canadians are turning to the web during this election more than ever before.

With week three of the campaign trail underway, we took a look at the role the internet is playing in #elxn42.

Even the term #elxn42 is a nod to the new Digital Voter -- one who spends almost all their time online when looking for information about politics and elections. In fact, nearly half of Canadian voters in this election report watching less live TV than four years ago.

Digital adoption is moving so quickly, that in 2015 fully 30 per cent of eligible voters are “digital-only” – they have no cable or satellite, watch less than 2 hours of live TV per week or prefer to view online only. And these digital-only voters aren't just millennials: 20 per cent of voters aged 50 and over are “digital-only” Canadians.

While voters still rely on TV for politics and election information, we found that digital video viewing is becoming increasingly important. 1 in 3 Canadian voters are choosing to watch video content online as their primary source of information. And interestingly, “change” voters – voters who would most favour a change in government – are more likely to rely on the internet as their primary news source about politics and the election.

So, what are Canadians going online for? Today, people don’t go to vote without searching for more information to inform their choice, from looking up news stories to finding out where to vote. And that gives campaigns an extraordinary series of opportunities to reach and engage with voters at the exact moment they’re looking for more information.

Throughout the election, the Google Trends team shares regular updates on what Canadians are searching for online, so follow us at @googlecanada or check back here for updates! You can also follow the campaign trail on YouTube via the YouTube Canada Elections Hub.