Canadian federal election, 1872
The Canadian federal election of 1872 was held from July 20 to October 12, 1872, to elect members of the Canadian House of Commons of the 2nd Parliament of Canada. Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald's Conservatives remained in power, defeating the Liberals.
Edward Blake, who had a seat in both the Canadian House of Commons and the Ontario legislature, resigned as Premier of Ontario in order to run in the 1872 federal election as dual mandates had been abolished. Had the Liberals won the election, he likely would have been offered the position of Prime Minister of Canada. The party had no formal leader as such until 1873 when Alexander Mackenzie was given the title after Blake declined due to ill health. Blake was ill during much of the 1872 campaign, and it was Mackenzie who essentially led the Liberal campaign in Ontario, though not outside of the province.
The 1872 election was the first general election participated in by the provinces that had joined the Confederation of Canada after the Canadian federal election of 1867. Manitoba (1870) and British Columbia (1871) had held special byelections, shortly after they each joined Canada, to select their Members of Parliament for the 1st Canadian Parliament.
Voter turn-out: 70.3%
|Party||Party leader||# of candidates||Seats||Popular vote|
|Conservative||Sir John A. Macdonald||92||71||63||-11.3%||82,024||25.76%||+2.31pp|
|Liberal||none (unofficially, Edward Blake)||111||62||95||+53.2%||110,556||34.72%||+12.05pp|
Note: 1 Though identifying themselves as Liberal-Conservatives, these MPs and those identifying as Conservatives were both led by Sir John A. Macdonald (himself a Liberal-Conservative) and sat together in the House of Commons.
The following MPs were acclaimed:
- British Columbia: 3 Liberal-Conservatives
- Manitoba: 1 Liberal-Conservative
- Ontario: 3 Conservatives, 3 Liberal-Conservatives, 10 Liberals
- Quebec: 9 Conservatives, 5 Liberal-Conservatives, 5 Liberals
- New Brunswick: 6 Liberals
- Nova Scotia: 1 Conservative, 4 Liberal-Conservatives, 2 Liberals
Results by province
For a list of candidates elected in the 1872 election, including by-elections held before 1874, see 2nd Canadian parliament.