Atlin (electoral district)

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Atlin was a provincial electoral district in the Canadian province of British Columbia. It made its first appearance on the hustings in the 10th provincial general election in 1903 and last appeared in the 34th provincial general election in 1986, after which it was merged with the Skeena riding.

Demographics[edit]

Population, 1986
Population change, 1903-1986
Area (km²)
Population density

Political geography[edit]

Always one of the province's largest ridings by area, it was always among the smallest in population, and is often cited as an example of a lack of proper representation-by-population in the BC political system. From the perspective of riding residents, who are spread out in a handful of small settlements from the Nass River to the Yukon border, a riding incorporating larger population centres was unfair to them. Ultimately the pressure to redress lack of equality in voting-weight among BC ridings saw the Atlin riding became merged with Skeena riding.

Notable elections[edit]

Because of its small electorate, battles over spoiled ballots were critical in Atlin's electoral history:

First Nations[edit]

Another important factor in the Atlin riding was the dominance of its First Nations population, including the whole of the Nisga'a Nation (Frank Calder and Larry Guno were both Nisga'a). Also in the riding in its entirety was the Tahltan Nation, centred on the isolated towns of Telegraph Creek and Dease Lake. The area of the town of Atlin is part of the Inland Tlingit Nation.

Towns and industry[edit]

Another factor in the riding was the dominance of working men in its handful of industrial towns (principally mining).

The main towns in the riding were:

Notable MLAs[edit]

The most notable Member of the Legislative Assembly from Atlin was Frank Calder. A Nisga'a, he originally ran for the CCF, and then the NDP, but in the 1975 election he switched sides to Social Credit, but went down to defeat under that party's banner in 1979 and retired from electoral politics.

Electoral history[edit]

Note: Winners of each election are in bold.

10th British Columbia election, 1903
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal John Kirkland 202 46.12% unknown
     Conservative Henry Essen Young 236 53.88% unknown
Total valid votes 438 100.00%
Total rejected ballots
Turnout %
11th British Columbia election, 1907
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal John Irving 46 37.10% unknown
     Conservative Henry Essen Young 78 62.90% unknown
Total valid votes 124 100.00%
Total rejected ballots
Turnout %
12th British Columbia election, 1909
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal John Irving 65 37.79% unknown
     Conservative Henry Essen Young 107 62.21% unknown
Total valid votes 172 100.00%
Total rejected ballots
Turnout %
13th British Columbia election, 1912
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
     Conservative Henry Essen Young (acclamation) n/a % unknown
Total valid votes - --.--%
Total rejected ballots
Turnout %
14th British Columbia election, 1916
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
     Conservative William X. McDonald 277 45.71% unknown
     Liberal Frank Harry Mobley 329 54.29% unknown
Total valid votes 606 100.00%
Total rejected ballots
Turnout %
British Columbia general election, 1920
Party Candidate Votes %
Liberal Herbert Frederick Kergin 390 36.69%
Federated Labour George Bernard Casey 300 28.22%
Conservative William Cameron Ross 229 21.542%
Independent Harold Randolph King 86 8.09%
Independent Labour Patrick Daly 30 2.8%
Independent Oakley Beauport Bush 28 2.63%
Total valid votes 1,063 100.00%
16th British Columbia election, 1924
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Provincial Robert Armour 380 31.77% unknown
     Conservative Edmund John Conway 353 29.52% unknown
     Liberal Herbert Frederick Kergin 463 38.71% unknown
Total valid votes 1,196 100.00%
Total rejected ballots
Turnout %
17th British Columbia election, 1928
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
     Conservative Thomas Wilbert Falconer 542 46.68% unknown
     Liberal Herbert Frederick Kergin 567 50.56% unknown
     Independent William Herbert Moult 32 2.76% unknown
Total valid votes 1,161 100.00%
Total rejected ballots 22
Turnout %
18th British Columbia election, 1933
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
     Liberal William James Asselstine 419 32.63% unknown
Independent Conservative Thomas Wilbert Falconer 136 10.59%
     Independent Herbert Frederick Kergin 267 20.79% unknown
Total valid votes 1,284 100.00%
Total rejected ballots 34
Turnout %
19th British Columbia election, 1937
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
     Liberal William James Asselstine 562 54.46% unknown
     Co-operative Commonwealth Charles H. Lake 263 25.53% unknown
     Conservative Ernest Love 205 19.90% unknown
Total valid votes 1,030 100.00%
Total rejected ballots 31
Turnout %
20th British Columbia election, 1941
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
     Liberal William James Asselstine 454 54.83% unknown
     Labour John Scott 374 45.17% unknown
Total valid votes 828 100.00%
Total rejected ballots 24
Turnout %
21st British Columbia election, 1945
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
     Co-operative Commonwealth Fed. Norman Cunningham 292 49.58%
Coalition William Duncan Smith 297 50.42%
Total valid votes 589 100.00%
Total rejected ballots 0
22nd British Columbia election, 1949
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
     Co-operative Commonwealth Fed. Frank Arthur Calder 376 50.40%
Coalition William Duncan Smith 370 49.60%
Total valid votes 746 100.00%
Total rejected ballots 190
Turnout %
23rd British Columbia election, 19521
Party Candidate Votes
1st count
% Votes
final count
% ±%
     Co-operative Commonwealth Fed. Frank Arthur Calder 595 56.61% 595 56.61% unknown
     Progressive Conservative Thomas Sutherland MacKay 164 15.60% 164 15.60% unknown
     Liberal William Duncan Smith 292 27.78% 292 27.78% unknown
Total valid votes 1,051 100.00% 1,051 %
Total rejected ballots 44
Turnout %
1 preferential ballot - only 1 count needed
24th British Columbia election, 1953 2
Party Candidate Votes
1st count
% Votes
final count
% ±%
Social Credit Frank Assu 108 11.54% 108 11.54%
     Co-operative Commonwealth Fed. Frank Arthur Calder 553 59.08% 553 59.08% unknown
     Liberal William Duncan Smith 275 29.38% 275 29.38% unknown
Total valid votes 936 100.00% 936 %
Total rejected ballots 125
Total Registered Voters 5,933 (1952 list)
Turnout %
Preferential ballot; only one count needed
25th British Columbia election, 1956
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Social Credit William James Asselstine 454 48.04% unknown
     Co-operative Commonwealth Fed. Frank Arthur Calder 360 38.10% unknown
Liberal George Douglas Frizzell 131 13.86% unknown
Total valid votes 945 100.00%
Total rejected ballots 59
Turnout %
26th British Columbia election, 1960
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Social Credit William James Asselstine 267 32.05% unknown
     Conservative Charles Jewell Brown 122 14.65% unknown
     Co-operative Commonwealth Fed. Frank Arthur Calder 444 53.30% unknown
Total valid votes 833 100.00%
Total rejected ballots 85
Turnout %
27th British Columbia election, 1963
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Social Credit William James Asselstine 308 30.56% unknown
     New Democratic Party Frank Arthur Calder 549 54.46% unknown
Liberal Cyril Felix Dopson 444 53.30% unknown
Total valid votes 1,008 100.00%
Total rejected ballots 19
Turnout %
28th British Columbia election, 1966
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
     New Democratic Party Frank Arthur Calder 572 59.71% unknown
Liberal Robin Roy Datziel 125 13.05% unknown
Social Credit Kirkwood, Thomas James 271 27.24% unknown
Total valid votes 958 100.00%
Total rejected ballots 10
Turnout %
29th British Columbia election, 1969
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
     New Democratic Party Frank Arthur Calder 639 53.12% unknown
Social Credit Peter John Curran 230 19.12% unknown
Liberal Basil Edward Studer 334 27.76% unknown
Total valid votes 1,203 100.00%
Total rejected ballots 13
Turnout %
30th British Columbia election, 1972
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Social Credit John Norman Anderson 245 14.88% unknown
     New Democratic Party Frank Arthur Calder 675 40.98% unknown
     Progressive Conservative Glen Leslie Clayton 65 3.95% unknown
     Independent Peter John Curran 242 14.69% unknown
Liberal Basil Edward Studer 242 14.69% unknown
Total valid votes 1,467 100.00%
Total rejected ballots 27
Turnout %
31st British Columbia election, 1975
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Social Credit Frank Arthur Calder 984 55.50% unknown
Liberal Peter John Curran 292 16.47% unknown
     New Democratic Party Gordon Steidl 497 28.03% unknown
Total valid votes 1,773 100.00%
Total rejected ballots 22
Turnout %
32nd British Columbia election, 1979
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Social Credit Frank Arthur Calder 749 49.97% unknown
     New Democratic Party Al Passarell 750 50.03% unknown
Total valid votes 1,499 100.00%
Total rejected ballots 39
Turnout %
33rd British Columbia election, 1983
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Social Credit Robert Edmund Allen (Bobby) Ball 1,208 40.48% unknown
     Independent Paul Danny Brohman 84 2.82% unknown
     Independent Burgess A. Longson 105 3.52% unknown
     New Democratic Party Al Passarell 1,587 53.18% unknown
Total valid votes 2,984 70.76%
Total rejected ballots 393
Turnout %
34th British Columbia election, 1986
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Social Credit Andrew (Andy) Burton 858 37.29% unknown
     New Democratic Party Larry Guno 1,443 62.71% unknown
Total valid votes 2,301 100.00%
Total rejected ballots 31
Turnout %