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Boris Johnson victory sparks surge in voters Googling 'move to Canada'

Tom Belger
Finance and policy reporter
A Tory victory sparked increased searches for 'move to Canada.' Photo: Carlos Garcia Granthon/Fotoholica Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Prime minister Boris Johnson’s election victory has sparked a rise in dissatisfied voters Googling how to move to Canada and the best countries to live in.

The Google Trends website shows searches for ‘move to Canada’ skyrocketing at around 11pm on Thursday, an hour after the exit poll signalled the Conservatives were on track for a landslide victory.

Another peak is visible shortly after 8am on Friday morning as many voters woke up to confirmation of the Conservatives’ victory.

Some voters unhappy with the results, which have seen the Tories win 364 seats and Labour 203 so far, appeared to be thinking about plotting an escape to a country with a liberal reputation.

Spike in ‘move to Canada’ searches after election exit poll

Google search results analysed by sports betting playform OLBG. Chart: Google Trends / OLBG

The figures show a similar rise just after the exit poll in searches for ‘best country to live in.’

Richard Moffat, CEO of sports betting platform OLBG which analysed the trends, said Google searches for ‘move to Ireland’ and ‘move to America’ had also increased.

“We started monitoring terms like this during the EU referendum result and saw similar trends, but this is the most dramatic it’s been since we started monitoring them,” he said.

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Whereas only a handful of people were Googling ‘move to Canada’ at a similar time the previous night, Google figures suggest around 100 people were typing the terms shortly after 11pm on Thursday.

Some of the other top search terms noted by Google include ‘How to move to Canada,’ ‘move to Canada from UK,’ ‘how to move to Canada from UK,’ ‘Can I move to Canada’ and ‘Canada jobs.’

The realities of moving to Canada

The official website of the government of the North American country outlines the various immigration schemes it operates, largely geared around different jobs in Canada.

They range from ‘express entry’ for skilled workers to programmes for start-up founders, agri-food workers, carers and the self-employed in culture and athletics.

The government also has a dedicated page on how to ‘prepare for life in Canada,’ explaining what new arrivals need to know about the climate and weather, peoplelaws and government of the US’s neighbour.

It encourages potential migrants to ensure they have both English and French language skills, with French the main language spoken in Quebec and parts of Ontario, New Brunswick and Manitoba.

And it warns newcomers about the cost of living in Canada, saying it may be “higher than you’re used to” even if you’re earning a higher salary than at home. The pound currently buys around $1.76 Canadian dollars (GBPCAD=X).

Most Canadians spend up to half their income on housing and utility bills, according to its government.

The advice site notes local health services may not cover new arrivals in their first three months, recommending checking immediately on arrival whether extra health insurance is necessary.

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