Alberta general election, 1935
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. The scandal seriously damaged the United Farmers of Alberta's reputation among socially conservative Albertans. The new UFA leader, Richard G. Reid, was unable to recover the party's popularity. The UFA's fiscal conservatism and the taint of moral turpitude led to the government's defeat in the 1935 election at the hands of the new Social Credit Party of Alberta and its leader evangelist William Aberhart. Every UFA candidate was defeated. Aberhart's combination of economic populism with Christian social conservatism highlighted the UFA's weaknesses. 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 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 William 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.
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.
|Party||Party Leader||# of
|1930||Elected||% Change||#||%||% Change|
|Source: Elections Alberta|
For complete electoral history, see individual districts
- Election Alberta (July 28, 2008). 2008 General Report. p. 158. Retrieved April 29, 2011.