World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

List of Canadian federal general elections


List of Canadian federal general elections

An 1891 election poster featuring first Prime Minister John A. Macdonald.

This article provides a summary of results for the general (all seats contested) elections to the House of Commons, the elected lower half of Canada's federal bicameral legislative body, the Parliament of Canada. The number of seats has increased steadily over time, from 180 for the first election to the current total of 338. The current federal government structure was established in 1867 by the Constitution Act.

For federal by-elections (for one or a few seats as a result of retirement, etc.) see List of federal by-elections in Canada. For the eight general elections of the Province of Canada held in 1843 to 1864 before confederation in 1867, see List of elections in the Province of Canada. There were also earlier elections in Canada, such as for the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada (held in 1792–1836, now part of Ontario) and the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada (held in 1792–1834, now part of Quebec).

Two political parties have dominated politics in Canada: the Liberal Party and the historic Conservative party (known as the Progressive Conservative Party from 1943 to 2003). If one regards the modern Conservative Party as the successor to the historic one, then these are the only two parties to have formed a government, although often as the lead party in a minority or coalition government with one or more smaller parties (the 1917 win was by a pro-conscription Unionist coalition of former Liberals and Conservatives).

Although government has primarily been a two-party system, Canadian federal politics has been a multi-party affair since the 1920s, during which there was significant parliamentary presence of the Progressive Party and the United Farmers movement. They were supplanted by the Social Credit Party and the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) in the 1930s. The CCF evolved into the New Democratic Party (NDP) in 1961. The Social Credit Party and the CCF/NDP won the third and fourth most seats between them from the 1930s, until the Social Credit Party failed to win any seats in the 1980 election.

Since 1980, the NDP has remained a presence in the Canadian parliament, but the situation amongst other non-government parties has been more complex. The Progressive Conservative Party never recovered from its spectacular defeat in the 1993 election (when it went from being the majority government with 169 seats, to just two seats and the loss of official party status). Right-wing politics has since seen the rise and fall of the Reform Party and the Canadian Alliance, followed by the rise to government of the new Conservative Party. Further, in 1993 the separatist Bloc Québécois won seats for the first time. It has been a constant presence in parliament since then.


  • Summary of results 1
    • Notes 1.1
  • Further reading 2
  • Graphs of results 3
    • Bar graph of results from 1867 to 2011 3.1
    • Line graph of results 3.2
  • See also 4
  • References 5

Summary of results

Party colour key
  Liberal   Reform
New Democrats Canadian Alliance
Progressive Conservative
Anti-Confederate Liberal-Conservative,
Conservative (historic),[1]
Progressive Conservative
Co-operative Commonwealth Federation Liberal-Progressive
Social Credit Bloc Québécois
United Farmers Unionist coalition

The third, fourth, and fifth parties' results are included in "Other" if the party did not win at least four seats in an election at some point in its history. Results for parties placing sixth or lower (as in the 1926 election) are also included in "Other", as are Independent seats.


  1. ^ In the 1921 election, the Conservatives ran under the name National Liberal and Conservative Party, and in 1940 under the name National Government. In both cases the Conservatives lost the election and the new name was soon abandoned.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Includes results for the Liberal-Conservative Party.
  3. ^ Includes results for the Liberal-Conservative Party and one Conservative Labour candidate.
  4. ^ a b c Includes results for the Liberal-Conservative and Nationalist Conservative parties.
  5. ^ a b Combined total for the United Farmers of Alberta and United Farmers of Ontario.
  6. ^ a b Seats won by the United Farmers of Alberta.
  7. ^ Includes results for the National Government party.
  8. ^ Includes results for the New Democracy party.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g Includes one seat won by a Liberal-Labour candidate in Kenora—Rainy River who sat in the House as a Liberal.
  10. ^ Includes 10 seats won by the Ralliement créditiste party.
  11. ^ All 14 seats were won by the Ralliement créditiste party.

Further reading

  • Argyle, Ray. Turning Points: The Campaigns That Changed Canada - 2011 and Before (2011) 440pp excerpt and text search, covers 1878, 1896, 1911, 1917, 1926, 1945, 1957, 1968, 1988, 1995 and 2011

Graphs of results

Bar graph of results from 1867 to 2011

Stacked bar graph with percentage of seats won in the House from 1867 to 2011

Line graph of results

See also


  • "History of Federal Ridings since 1867". Parliament of Canada. Retrieved 2007-01-07. 
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.