British Columbia general election, 1952

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The British Columbia general election, 1952 was the 23rd general election in the Province of British Columbia, Canada. It was held to elect members of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. The election was called on April 10, 1952, and held on June 12, 1952. The new legislature met for the first time on February 3, 1953. It was the first general election to use a preferential ballot.

This system had been designed to enable the Conservative and Liberal parties to keep the socialist Co-operative Commonwealth Federation out of power. Unexpectedly, due to an elimination ballot system recently approved by referendum, also meant to forestall a CCF victory, this enabled Social Credit to win the largest number of seats with the benefit of second-preference ballots from Conservative and Liberal voters, and also from CCF voters.

The British Columbia Social Credit League (BCSCL) nominated and supported the candidates (who were BCSCL members) but in assuming power, the new government referred to itself as Social Credit.

W.A.C. Bennett was a former member of the legislature who had left the Progressive Conservative Party to sit as an independent after failing in his bid to become leader of the Progressive Conservative Party in 1951. In December of that year, he took out a membership in the Social Credit League. Social Credit fell short of holding a majority after the election, however. Bennett had succeeded in convincing Tom Uphill, a Labour member of the Legislature (MLA), to support the party, and so the Socreds were able to form a minority government.

The party had no official leader. In a vote of the newly elected caucus, Bennett defeated Phil Gaglardi for the position of party leader and became premier-elect on July 15, 1952.

The centre-right coalition formed by the Liberal and Conservative parties in order to defeat the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation in the 1945 and 1949 elections split, and the two parties nominated candidates under their own names. The Conservative Party adopted the "Progressive Conservative" name used by its federal counterpart.

Results[edit]

Party Party leader # of
candidates
Seats Popular vote
1949 Elected % Change First count % Change Final count %
Social Credit Ernest George Hansell 47 - 19 - 209,049 27.20% +25.99% 203,932 30.18%
     Co-operative Commonwealth Fed. Harold Winch 48 7 18 +157.1% 236,562 30.78% -4.32% 231,756 34.3%
Liberal Byron Ingemar Johnson 48 391 6 n/a1 180,289 23.46% n/a1 170,674 25.26%
     Progressive Conservative Herbert Anscomb 48 4 129,439 16.84% 65,285 9.66%
     Labour Tom Uphill 1 1 1 - 1,290 0.16% -0.05% 1,758 0.26%
Christian Democratic   8 * 0 * 7,176 0.93% * 1,318 0.2%
     Labor-Progressive   5 - - - 2,514 0.33% +0.09% 931 0.14%
     Independents 5 1 - -100% 1,312 0.17% -0.57% - -
     Labour Representation Committee   1 * 0 * 654 0.09% * - -
Socialist   1 * 0 * 276 0.04% * - -
Total 212 48 48 - 768,561 100% - 675,654 100%
Source: Elections BC

Note:

* Party did not nominate candidates in the previous election.

1 In the previous election, the Liberal and Conservative parties ran candidates jointly as "Coalition" candidates, electing 39 MLAs. The Conservatives withdrew from the coalition in 1951 hastening the government's collapse.

Results by riding[edit]

Results of British Columbia general election, 1952
Government Opposition
Member Riding
& party
Riding
& party
Member
     William Ralph Talbot Chetwynd
Cariboo
BC Social Credit League
          Alberni
Co-operative Commonwealth Fed.
Stanley John Squire
    
     William Kenneth Kiernan
Chilliwack
BC Social Credit League
          Atlin
Co-operative Commonwealth Fed.
Frank Calder
    
     Richard Orr Newton
Columbia
BC Social Credit League
          Burnaby
Co-operative Commonwealth Fed.
Ernest Edward Winch
    
     Thomas Irwin
Delta
BC Social Credit League
          Comox
Co-operative Commonwealth Fed.
William Campbell Moore     
     Lyle Wicks
Dewdney
BC Social Credit League
          Cowichan-Newcastle
Co-operative Commonwealth Fed.
Robert Martin Strachan     
     Llewllyn Leslie King
Fort George
BC Social Credit League
          Cranbrook
Co-operative Commonwealth Fed.
Leo Thomas Nimsick     
     Philip Arthur Gaglardi
Kamloops
BC Social Credit League
          Esquimalt
Co-operative Commonwealth Fed.
Frank Mitchell     
     Wesley Drewett Black
Nelson-Creston
BC Social Credit League
          Grand Forks-Greenwood
Co-operative Commonwealth Fed.
Rupert Haggen     
     Lorne Shantz
North Okanagan
BC Social Credit League
          Kaslo-Slocan
Co-operative Commonwealth Fed.
Randolph Harding     
     Cyril Morley Shelford
Omineca
BC Social Credit League
          Mackenzie
Co-operative Commonwealth Fed.
Anthony John Gargrave     
     Charles William Parker
Peace River
BC Social Credit League
          New Westminster
Co-operative Commonwealth Fed.
Rae Eddie     
     Robert Edward Sommers
Rossland-Trail
BC Social Credit League
          Prince Rupert
Co-operative Commonwealth Fed.
George Edwin Hills     
     James Allan Reid
Salmon Arm
BC Social Credit League
          Revelstoke
Co-operative Commonwealth Fed.
Vincent Segur     
     Harry Denyer Francis
Similkameen
BC Social Credit League
          Saanich
Co-operative Commonwealth Fed.
Frank Snowsell     
     William Andrew Cecil Bennett
South Okanagan
BC Social Credit League
          Vancouver Centre
Co-operative Commonwealth Fed.
James Campbell Bury     
     Eric Charles Fitzgerald Martin
Vancouver-Burrard
BC Social Credit League
          Laura Emma Marshall Jamieson     
     Bert Price
          Vancouver East
Co-operative Commonwealth Fed.
Arthur James Turner     
     Tilly Rolston
Vancouver-Point Grey
BC Social Credit League
          Harold Edward Winch     
     Irvine Finlay Corbett
Yale
BC Social Credit League
          Fernie
Labour
Thomas Aubert Uphill     
     Lillooet
Progressive Conservative
Ernest Crawford Carson     
     Nanaimo and the Islands
Progressive Conservative
Larry Giovando     
     Vancouver-Point Grey
Progressive Conservative
Albert Reginald MacDougall     
     George Clark Miller     
     Skeena
Liberal
Edward Tourtellotte Kenney     
     North Vancouver
Liberal
Martin Elliott Sowden     
     Oak Bay
Liberal
Philip Archibald Gibbs     
     Victoria City
Liberal
Nancy Hodges     
     Daniel John Proudfoot     
     William Thomas Straith     
Source: Elections BC

Further reading[edit]

  • Argyle, Ray. Turning Points: The Campaigns That Changed Canada - 2011 and Before (2011) excerpt and text search ch 11

See also[edit]