British Columbia general election, 1903

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The British Columbia general election of 1903 was the tenth general election for the Province of British Columbia, Canada. It was held to elect members of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. The election was called on September 5, 1903, and held on October 3, 1903. The new legislature met for the first time on November 26, 1903.

This was the first election in British Columbia that was fought by political parties. Prior to this election, British Columbia politics were non-partisan.

The first election was dominated by the Conservative and Liberal parties, which were affiliated with existing parties at the federal level. See Conservative Party of Canada and Liberal Party of Canada.

The Conservative Party won over 46.4% of the popular vote and a slim majority of the seats in the legislature.

Results by party[edit]

Party Party leader # of
candidates
Seats Popular vote
Elected # %
     Conservative 1 Richard McBride 41 22 27,913 46.43%
     Liberal 1 James Alexander MacDonald 39 17 22,715 37.78%
Socialist   10 2 4,787 7.96%
     Labour 2   5 1 4,421 7.36%
Socialist Labour   1 - 284 0.47%
Total 95 42 60,120 100%
Sources: Elections BC

Notes:

* Party did not nominate candidates in the previous election.

1 The Conservative Party and the Liberal Party each elected one candidate by acclamation.

2 There was no provincial "Labour Party" as such. Each of the three Electoral Districts with a Labour candidate (Nanaimo, Slocan, and Vancouver City) had a local, autonomous Labour Party. As well, some Liberal candidates appear to have run on a "Liberal-Labour" platform (Atlin, Victoria and Ymir).

Results by riding[edit]

Results of British Columbia general election, 1903
Government Opposition
Member Riding
& party
Riding
& party
Member
     Henry Esson Young
Atlin
Conservative
          Alberni
Liberal
William Wallace Burns McInnes
    
     Robert Grant
Comox
Conservative
          Cariboo
Liberal
Harry Jones     
     Richard McBride1 Dewdney
Conservative
          Cariboo
Liberal
James Murphy     
     Charles Edward Pooley
Esquimalt
Conservative
          Chilliwhack
Liberal
Charles William Munro
    
     William Roderick Ross Fernie
Conservative
          Columbia
Liberal
Wilmer Cleveland Wells     
     George Arthur Fraser Grand Forks
Conservative
          Cowichan
Liberal
John Newell Evans     
     Frederick John Fulton Kamloops
Conservative
          Cranbrook
Liberal
James Horace King     
     Robert Francis Green Kaslo
Conservative
          Delta
Liberal
John Oliver     
     John Houston Nelson City
Conservative
          Greenwood
Liberal
John Robert Brown     
     Thomas Gifford New Westminster City
Conservative
          The Islands
Liberal
Thomas Wilson Paterson     
     Price Ellison Okanagan
Conservative
          Rossland City
Liberal
James Alexander MacDonald2     
     Thomas Taylor Revelstoke
Conservative
          Saanich
Liberal
Henry Ernest Tanner     
     Francis Lovett Carter-Cotton Richmond
Conservative
          Victoria City
Liberal
William George Cameron     
     Lytton Wilmot Shatford Similkameen
Conservative
          Robert Low Drury     
     Charles William Digby Clifford Skeena
Conservative
          Richard Hall     
     Charles William John Bowser Vancouver City
Conservative
          James Dugald McNiven     
     James Ford Garden           Yale
Liberal
Stuart Alexander Henderson     
     Alexander Henry Boswell MacGowan           Nanaimo City
Socialist
James Hurst Hawthornthwaite     
     Robert Garnett Tatlow           Newcastle
Socialist
Parker Williams     
     Charles Wilson           Slocan
Labour
William Davidson     
     Harry Wright Ymir
Conservative
    
1 Premier-Elect
2 Leader of the Opposition
Source: Elections BC

See also[edit]

Further reading & references[edit]

  • In the Sea of Sterile Mountains: The Chinese in British Columbia, Joseph Morton, J.J. Douglas, Vancouver (1974). Despite its title, a fairly thorough account of the politicians and electoral politics in early BC.