At stake in this election:
- The 338 seats in the House of Commons
Description of government structure:
- Chief of State: Queen ELIZABETH II *
- Head of Government: Prime Minister Stephen HARPER **
- Assembly: Canada has a bicameral Parliament (Parlement) consisting of the Senate (Sénat) with 105 seats and the House of Commons (Chambre des Communes) with 338 seats.
* The Queen is represented by Governor-General David Lloyd JOHNSTON. The position of Governor-General is appointed by the monarch on the advice of the prime minister for a five-year term.
** After legislative elections, the Governor-General usually appoints the leader of the majority party or majority coalition to be Prime Minister.
Description of electoral system:
- The Queen is hereditary head of government.
- Prime Minister is designated by the governor-general to serve a 4-year term.
- In the Senate (Sénat) 105 members are appointed by the governor-general*. In the House of Commons (Chambre des Communes) 338 members are elected by plurality vote in single-member constituencies to serve 4-year terms.**
* Members are appointed by the Governor General on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. No terms are set, and Senators may serve in office until the age of 75.
**Constitutionally, there can be up to five years between federal elections. As well, the Canada Elections Act specifies that a general election must be held on the third Monday in October in the fourth calendar year following the previous general election. However, it also allows for an election to be called earlier.
Main parties in the electoral race:
- Party: Conservative Party of Canada / Parti conservateur du Canada
- Leader: Stephen HARPER
- Seats won in last election: 166
- Party: Liberal Party of Canada / Parti libéral du Canada
- Leader: Justin TRUDEAU
- Seats won in last election: 34
- List: (BQ) / Bloc Québécois
- Leader: Gilles DUCEPPE
- Seats won in last election: 4
- Party: New Democratic Party (NDP) / Nouveau Parti démocratique
- Leader: Thomas MULCAIR
- Seats won in last election: 103
- Party: Green Party of Canada / Parti vert du Canada
- Leader: Elizabeth MAY
- Seats won in last election: 1
- The last election for the House of Commons was held on 2 May 2011. There were 24,257,592 registered voters for the election. The Conservative Party won 166 seats (of 308) or 59.50% of the vote, the New Democratic Party won 103 seats (33.40% of the vote), the Liberal Party of Canada won 34 seats (11.00% of the vote) the Bloc Quebecois won 4 seats (1.30% of the vote), and the Green Party of Canada won 1 seat (0.30% of the vote). Results can be found here.
Population and number of registered voters:
- Female Population: 17,552,147 (2014 est.)
- Is CANADA a signatory to CEDAW: Yes (17 July 1980) 
- Has CANADA ratified CEDAW: Yes (10 December 1981)
- Gender Quota: No
- Female Candidates in this election: Yes
- Number of Female Legislators: 76 (25%) of 308 seats in the House of Commons
- Human Development Index (HDI) Position: 8
- Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) Categorization: N/A
- Is CANADA a signatory to CRPD: Yes (30 March 2007)
- Has CANADA ratified CRPD: Yes (11 March 2010)
- Population with a disability: 5,185,232