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More than 200,000 Canadians chose not to vote in Monday's by-elections, even though they were registered to do so.

The figures from Elections Canada show the turnout rate for all four ridings combined was 30.9 per cent, or 94,829 votes out of a possible 306,542.

The turnout was highest in Montmangy-L'Islet-Kamouraska-Rivière-du-Loup, where 36.6 per cent came out to vote and the Conservatives upset the Bloc Québécois.

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The Eastern Montreal riding of Hochelaga produced the lowest turnout - at 22.3 per cent - where star Bloc candidate Daniel Paillé won easily.

Voter turnout in national federal elections has been on a decline of late.

This Elections Canada chart shows the numbers for every federal election since Confederation. It shows 2004 and 2008 elections had the two lowest turnouts on record. It also reveals that turnout over the last 20 years has consistently been below 70 per cent, whereas all but one election between1957 and 1993 had turnouts above 70 per cent.

Elections Canada has not produced a similar chart to compare turnout for by-elections.

Monday's numbers are not the lowest however. The last round of four by-elections, which took place in March of 2008, had a turnout rate of just 28 per cent. The round before that, two Quebec by-elections in Sept ember of 2007, had a turnout of 42.3 per cent.

An official with Elections Canada said that based on by-election data they had available dating back to 1960, Monday's 22.3 per cent turnout in Hochelaga is the lowest.

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About the Author
Parliamentary reporter

A member of the Parliamentary Press Gallery since 1999, Bill Curry worked for The Hill Times and the National Post prior to joining The Globe in Feb. 2005. Originally from North Bay, Ont., Bill reports on a wide range of topics on Parliament Hill, with a focus on finance. More

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