Alberta general election, 1935

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Alberta general election, 1935
1930 ←
August 22, 1935 (1935-08-22) → 1940

63 seats in the Legislative Assembly of Alberta
32 seats were needed for a majority
Turnout 81.8%
  Majority party Minority party Third party
  W aberhart.jpg David Milwyn Duggan.JPG
Leader William Aberhart (de facto) William R. Howson David M. Duggan
Party Social Credit Liberal Conservative
Leader since September 3, 1935 October 21, 1932 1930
Leader's seat None Edmonton Edmonton
Last election pre-creation 11 seats, 24.6% 6 seats, 14.8%
Seats before 0 13 6
Seats won 56 5 2
Seat change +56 -8 -4
Popular vote 163,700 69,845 19,358
Percentage 54.2% 23.1% 6.4%
Swing -1.5% -8.4%

  Fourth party Fifth party
  Richard Reid.jpg
Leader Richard G. Reid Fred J. White
Party United Farmers Labour
Leader since 1934 between 1921 & 1926
Leader's seat Vermillion (lost seat)
Last election 39 seats, 39.4% 4 seats, 7.6%
Seats before 36 4
Seats won 0 0
Seat change -36 -4
Popular vote 33,063 5,086
Percentage 11.0% 1.7%
Swing -28.4% -5.9%

Premier before election

Richard G. Reid
United Farmers

Elected Premier

William Aberhart
Social Credit

The Alberta general election of 1935 was the eighth general election for the Province of Alberta, Canada. It was held on August 22, 1935 to elect members of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta. The newly founded Social Credit Party of Alberta won a sweeping victory, unseating the 14-year government of the United Farmers of Alberta.

Premier John E. Brownlee was forced to resign on July 10, 1934 when he was sued and found liable for the seduction of a young clerk working in the Attorney-General's office. Although the verdict was immediately set aside by the presiding judge, the scandal seriously damaged the UFA's reputation among socially conservative Albertans. The new UFA leader, Richard G. Reid, was unable to recover the party's popularity, and they suffered the worst defeat that a sitting provincial government has ever suffered in Canada. All of the UFA's 36 MLAs lost their seats. Social Credit won 56 of the 63 seats in the legislature, and over 50% of the popular vote.

The Alberta Liberals in this election ran with the tactically fatal slogan, the "rest of Canada can't be wrong", referring the popularity of the Liberal Party in the rest of the country, and paid the price by having their seats cut in half. The Conservatives lost four of their six seats.

Not even the Socreds had expected to win the election. Indeed, they had not even had a leader during the campaign, even though the party's founder and guiding force had been William Aberhart, a Baptist pastor from Calgary. When the newly elected Socred MLAs held their first caucus meeting, the first order of business was to select a leader and premier-designate. Aberhart was the obvious choice, but had to be prodded to take the job. He was sworn in as premier on September 3.

The turnout of the 1935 election topped 80%, and no election in Alberta has come close to this mark.

This election campaign is seen as the most negative in Alberta's history, with reports of Social Credit members, operating openly and on Aberhart's directives, defacing the campaign signs of opponents and drowning their speeches by honking car horns. Many campaign ads also focused mostly on attacking the opposing parties.

After the 1935 election results were in, newspapers across North America took notice, with the Boston Globe running the headline ALBERTA GOES CRAZY! Historians note that this election was the biggest single electoral shift in North American history.[citation needed]

This shift marked the first in Social Credit's nine back to back election victories.


Overall voter turnout was 81.8%, the highest in Alberta history.[1]

Party Party Leader # of
Seats Popular Vote
1930 Elected % Change # % % Change
     Social Credit
William Aberhart
63   56   163,700 54.25%  
William Howson
61 11 5 -54.5% 69,845 23.14% -1.45%
David Milwyn Duggan
39 6 2 -66.7% 19,358 6.41% -8.44%
United Farmers
Richard G. Reid
45 39 - -100% 33,063 11.00% -28.41%
Jan Lakeman
9   -   5,771 1.91%  
Fred J. White
11 4 - -100% 5,086 1.68% -5.95%
     Independent 7 3 - -100% 2,740 0.90% -12.62%
  Independent Liberal 1   -   955 0.31%  
     United Front 1   -   560 0.19%  
  Independent Conservative 1   -   258 0.08%  
  Independent Labour 1   -   224 0.07%  
     Economic Reconstruction
Elsie Wright
1   -   192 0.06%  
Total 240 63 63 - 301,752 100%
Source: Elections Alberta

Members elected[edit]

For complete electoral history, see individual districts

8th Alberta Legislative Assembly
  District Member Party
     Acadia Norman James Social Credit
     Alexandra Selmer Berg Social Credit
     Athabasca Clarence Tade Social Credit
     Beaver River Lucien Maynard Social Credit
     Bow Valley Wilson Cain Social Credit
     Calgary Edith Gostick Social Credit
     Ernest Manning Social Credit
     John Irwin Conservative
     Fred Anderson Social Credit
  John J. Bowlen Liberal
     John Hugill Social Credit
     Camrose William Chant Social Credit
     Cardston Nathan Eldon Tanner Social Credit
     Clover Bar Floyd Baker Social Credit
     Cochrane William King Social Credit
     Coronation Glenville MacLachlan Social Credit
     Cypress August Flamme Social Credit
     Didsbury Edward P. Foster Social Credit
     Drumheller Herbert Ingrey Social Credit
  Edmonton William Howson Liberal
     Samuel Barnes Social Credit
  George Van Allen Liberal
     David Milwyn Duggan Conservative
     David Mullen Social Credit
  Gerald O'Connor Liberal
     Edson Joseph Unwin Social Credit
     Empress David Lush Social Credit
     Gleichen Isaac McCune Social Credit
     Grande Prairie William Sharpe Social Credit
  Grouard Leonidas Giroux Liberal
     Hand Hills Wallace Warren Cross Social Credit
     Innisfail Alban MacLellan Social Credit
     Lac Ste. Anne Albert Bourcier Social Credit
     Lacombe Duncan MacMillan Social Credit
     Leduc Ronald Ansley Social Credit
     Lethbridge Hans Wight Social Credit
     Little Bow Peter Dawson Social Credit
     Macleod James Hartley Social Credit
     Medicine Hat John Lyle Robinson Social Credit
     Nanton-Claresholm Harry Haslam Social Credit
     Okotoks-High River William Morrison Social Credit
     Olds Herbert Ash Social Credit
     Peace River William Lampley Social Credit
     Pembina Harry Knowlton Brown Social Credit
     Pincher Creek Roy Taylor Social Credit
     Ponoka Edith Rogers Social Credit
     Red Deer Alfred Hooke Social Credit
     Ribstone Albert Blue Social Credit
     Rocky Mountain Ernest Duke Social Credit
     Sedgewick Albert Fee Social Credit
     St. Albert Charles Holder Social Credit
     St. Paul Joseph Beaudry Social Credit
     Stettler Charles Cockroft Social Credit
     Stony Plain William Hayes Social Credit
     Sturgeon James Popil Social Credit
     Taber James Hansen Social Credit
     Vegreville James McPherson Social Credit
     Vermillion William Fallow Social Credit
     Victoria Samuel Calvert Social Credit
     Wainwright William Masson Social Credit
     Warner Solon Low Social Credit
     Wetaskiwin John Wingblade Social Credit
     Whitford William Tomyn Social Credit


  1. ^ Election Alberta (July 28, 2008). 2008 General Report. p. 158. Retrieved April 29, 2011. 

See also[edit]