Canadian federal election, 1963

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Canadian federal election, 1963
Canada
1962 ←
members
April 8, 1963 → 1965
members

265 seats in the 26th Canadian Parliament
133 seats needed for a majority
Turnout 79.2%[1]
  First party Second party
  Lester B. Pearson 1958.jpg John G. Diefenbaker.jpg
Leader Lester B. Pearson John Diefenbaker
Party Liberal Progressive Conservative
Leader since January 16, 1958 December 14, 1956
Leader's seat Algoma East Prince Albert
Last election 99 seats, 36.97% 116 seats, 37.22%
Seats won 128 95
Seat change +29 -21
Popular vote 3,276,996 2,591,613
Percentage 41.48% 32.80%
Swing +4.51pp -4.42pp

  Third party Fourth party
  SC TommyDouglas-c1971-crop.jpg
Leader Robert N. Thompson Tommy Douglas
Party Social Credit New Democratic
Leader since July 7, 1961 August 3, 1961
Leader's seat Red Deer Burnaby—Coquitlam
Last election 30 seats, 11.61% 19 seats, 13.57%
Seats won 24 17
Seat change -6 -2
Popular vote 940,703 1,044,701
Percentage 11.91% 13.22%
Swing +0.30pp -0.35pp

Canada 1963 Federal Election.svg


Prime Minister before election

John Diefenbaker
Progressive Conservative

Prime Minister-designate

Lester B. Pearson
Liberal

The Canadian parliament after the 1963 election

The Canadian federal election of 1963 was held on April 8 to elect members of the Canadian House of Commons of the 26th Parliament of Canada. It resulted in the defeat of the minority Progressive Conservative (Tory) government of Prime Minister John Diefenbaker. For Social Credit, despite getting their highest share of the vote however, the party lost 6 seats compared to its high-water mark in 1962.

Overview[edit]

During the Tories' last year in office, members of the Diefenbaker Cabinet attempted to remove him from the leadership of the party, and therefore from the Prime Minister's office. In addition to concern within the party about Diefenbaker's mercurial style of leadership, there had been a serious split in party ranks over the issue of stationing American nuclear missiles (see Bomarc missile) on Canadian soil for protection from possible Soviet attack. Diefenbaker and his allies opposed this proposal, while many other Conservatives and the opposition Liberal Party were in favour. Minister of National Defence Douglas Harkness resigned from Cabinet on February 4, 1963, because of Diefenbaker's opposition to accepting the missiles. The next day, the government lost two non-confidence motions on the issue, prompting the election.

The Liberal Party of Lester Pearson ran on a platform promising that, if elected, they would begin their term with "60 Days of Decision" on questions such as introducing a new Canadian flag, reforming health care, and a public pension plan, along with other legislative reforms.

Despite winning 41% of the vote, which is usually sufficient for ensuring the election of a majority government, the Liberals fell five seats short of their target. The Liberals formed a minority government that was dependent on the support of the social democratic New Democratic Party (NDP) in order to pass legislation.

The social-democratic NDP had been formed in 1961 by a socialist party, the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation, and by the Canadian Labour Congress. The 1963 election was the second vote contested by the NDP. The party won slightly fewer votes, and two fewer seats, than they had received in the 1962 election. They were again disappointed by the failure of their new partnership with the labour movement to produce an electoral breakthrough, particularly in the province of Ontario, which has the largest population and the largest number of seats in the House of Commons.

Social Credit was unable to increase its representation in western Canada, and lost four of its Quebec seats - this despite gaining a slightly better share of the vote compared to 1962. Indeed, 1963 represented the highest share Social Credit would ever get. The continuing lop-sided result led to a split in the party when Thompson refused to step aside so that Caouette could become party leader. Caouette and his followers left the Social Credit Party to sit as a separate social credit caucus, the Ralliement des créditistes.

National results[edit]

128
95
24
17
1
Liberal
Progressive Conservative
SC
NDP
O
Party Party leader # of
candidates
Seats Popular vote
1962 Elected % Change # % pp Change
     Liberal Lester Pearson 265 99 128 +29.3% 3,276,996 41.48% +4.51
     Progressive Conservative John Diefenbaker 265 116 95 -18.1% 2,591,613 32.80% -4.42
     Social Credit R.N. Thompson 224 30 24 -20.0% 940,703 11.91% +0.30
     New Democrats Tommy Douglas 232 19 17 -10.5% 1,044,701 13.22% -0.35
     Liberal-Labour 1 1 1 - 16,794 0.21% +0.01
     Independent Liberal 6 - - - 14,658 0.19% +0.05
     Independent 9 - - - 5,236 0.07% -0.04
     Communist Leslie Morris 12 - - - 4,234 0.05% -0.03
     Independent PC 2 - - - 1,965 0.02% -0.01
     Independent Conservative 2 * - * 1,159 0.01% *
     Ouvrier Indépendant   1 - - - 1,064 0.01% +0.01
     Independent Social Credit 2 * - * 717 0.01% *
     Nationalist   1 * - * 540 0.01% *
     Candidat libéral des electeurs   1 - - - 496 0.01% -0.02
     Socialist Labour   1 * - * 43 x *
Total 1,023 265 265 - 7,900,919 100%  
Sources: http://www.elections.ca History of Federal Ridings since 1867

Notes:

* The party did not nominate candidates in the previous election.

x - less than 0.005% of the popular vote

Vote and seat summaries[edit]

Popular vote
Liberal
  
41.48%
PC
  
32.80%
NDP
  
13.22%
Social Credit
  
11.91%
Others
  
0.59%


Seat totals
Liberal
  
48.30%
PC
  
35.85%
Social Credit
  
9.06%
NDP
  
6.42%
Others
  
0.38%

Results by province[edit]

Party name BC AB SK MB ON QC NB NS PE NL YK NW Total
     Liberal Seats: 7 1 - 2 51 47 6 5 2 7 - - 128
     Popular Vote: 32.3 22.1 24.1 33.8 45.8 45.6 47.3 46.7 46.4 64.5 41.0 43.2 41.5
     Progressive Conservative Seats: 4 14 17 10 27 8 4 7 2 - 1 1 95
     Vote: 23.4 45.3 53.7 42.3 35.0 19.5 40.4 46.9 52.0 30.1 49.6 56.8 32.8
     Social Credit Seats: 2 2 - - - 20 - -     -   24
     Vote: 13.3 25.8 3.9 7.0 2.0 27.3 8.6 0.1     9.4   11.9
     New Democrats Seats: 9 - - 2 6 - - - - -     17
     Vote: 30.3 6.5 18.2 16.7 16.2 7.1 3.7 6.4 1.6 4.2     13.2
     Liberal-Labour Seats:         1               1
     Vote:         0.6               0.2
Total seats: 22 17 17 14 85 75 10 12 4 7 1 1 265
Parties that won no seats:
     Independent Liberal Vote:         0.3 0.1       1.3     0.2
     Independent Vote: xx 0.1 xx 0.2 xx 0.1             0.1
     Communist Vote: 0.1 0.1 0.1   0.1 xx             0.1
     Independent PC Vote:         xx 0.1             xx
     Independent Conservative Vote:         xx               xx
     Ouvrier Indépendant Vote:           0.1             xx
     Independent Social Credit Vote:           xx             xx
     Nationalist Vote:           xx             xx
     C. l. des electeurs Vote:           xx             xx
     Socialist Labour Vote:           xx             xx
  • xx - less than 0.05% of the popular vote

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pomfret, R. "Voter Turnout at Federal Elections and Referendums". Elections Canada. Elections Canada. Retrieved 23 February 2014. 

External links[edit]