Liberal Party of Canada leadership elections

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The first three leaders of the Liberal Party of Canada were not chosen at a leadership convention. Alexander Mackenzie (March 1873 – April 1880) and Edward Blake (May 1880 – June 1887) were chosen by the party caucus. Wilfrid Laurier (June 1887 – February 1919) was also chosen by caucus members with the party convention of 1893 ratifying his leadership. The most recent leadership election was held in 2013.

The first Liberal leadership convention was held on August 7, 1919. Balloting continued until one candidate won a majority of votes. After the 1919 convention, a system was adopted where the candidate with the least number of votes on a given ballot is automatically dropped. More recently, any candidate with less than 5% of the vote on the first ballot is also automatically dropped. Since 1919, time has also been given between ballots for candidates to announce if they wish to withdraw and throw their support to another candidate.

The 2009 Liberal leadership convention is the last in which the leader was chosen by delegates. Future leadership elections were to be conducted according to a weighted One Member One Vote system in which all party members could cast ballots but in which they would be counted so that each riding had equal weight. This system, however, has been modified in the 2012 Biennial Convention in Ottawa. In addition to the card-carrying membership, registered supporters, a newly created category of Liberal sympathisers, given the right to vote in their constituency.


1919 leadership convention results[edit]

The 1919 leadership convention was held in Ottawa, Ontario on August 7, 1919.

Delegate support by ballot
Candidate 1st ballot 2nd ballot 5th ballot
Votes cast  % Votes cast  % Votes cast  %
Wm Lyon Mackenzie King.jpg KING, William Lyon Mackenzie 344 36.3% 411 43.8% 476 52.1%
William Stevens Fielding, premier of Nova Scotia.jpg FIELDING, William Stevens 297 31.3% 344 36.6% 438 47.9%
George Perry Graham.jpg GRAHAM, George Perry 153 16.2% 124 13.2% Withdrew
DanielDuncanMcKenzie.jpg MCKENZIE, Daniel Duncan 153 16.2% 60 6.4% Withdrew
Total 947 100.0% 939 100.0% 914 100.0%

Graham withdrew while voting for the third ballot was underway. McKenzie withdrew while voting for the fourth ballot was in process. Votes were not counted for either one, and the convention proceeded directly to the fifth ballot.

1948 leadership convention results[edit]

The 1948 leadership convention was held in Ottawa on August 7, 1948.

First Ballot
Candidate Delegate Support Percentage
Louisstlaurent.jpg ST. LAURENT, Louis Stephen 848 69.1%
James Garfield Gardiner.jpg GARDINER, James Garfield 323 26.3%
Charles Gavan Chubby Power.jpg POWER, Charles Gavan 56 4.6%
Total 1,227 100%

1958 leadership convention results[edit]

The 1958 leadership convention was held in Ottawa on January 16, 1958.

First Ballot
Candidate Delegate Support Percentage
Lester B. Pearson 1958.jpg PEARSON, Lester Bowles 1,074 77.8%
Paulmartinsr.jpg MARTIN, Paul Joseph James 305 22.1%
HENDERSON, Harold Lloyd 1 0.1%
Total 1,380 100%

1968 leadership convention results[edit]

The 1968 leadership convention was held in Ottawa Civic Centre in Ottawa, Ontario on April 6, 1968.

Delegate support by Ballot
Candidate 1st ballot 2nd ballot 3rd ballot 4th ballot
Votes cast  % Votes cast  % Votes cast  % Votes cast  %
Pierre Elliot Trudeau-2.jpg TRUDEAU, Pierre Elliott 752 31.5% 964 40.5% 1,051 44.2% 1,203 50.9%
Paul Hellyer-c1969.jpg HELLYER, Paul Theodore 330 13.8% 465 19.5% 377 15.9% Endorsed Winters
Robert Winters.jpg WINTERS, Robert Henry 293 12.3% 473 19.9% 621 26.1% 954 40.3%
Paulmartinsr.jpg MARTIN, Paul Joseph James 277 11.6% Did not endorse
Fmr CDN PM John Turner.jpg TURNER, John Napier 277 11.6% 347 14.6% 279 11.8% 195 8.2%
Joe Greene 1968.jpg GREENE, John James 169 7.1% 104 4.4% 29 12.2% Endorsed Trudeau
Allan MacEachen.jpg MACEACHEN, Allan Joseph 163 6.8% 11 0.5% Endorsed Trudeau[A]
KIERANS, Eric William 103 4.3% Did not endorse
HENDERSON, Harold Lloyd 0 - Did not endorse
Spoiled ballots 24 1.0% 15 0.6% 19 0.8% 13 0.6%
Total 2,390 100.0% 2,379 100.0% 2,376 100.0% 2,365 100.0%
A MacEachen announced after the first ballot that he was withdrawing and would support Trudeau, but he missed the deadline to remove his name from the ballot.

1980 leadership convention[edit]

A leadership convention was scheduled for late March, 1980, in Winnipeg, Manitoba but was cancelled due to the fall of the Progressive Conservative government on December 13, 1979 and the calling of the February 18, 1980 federal election. As a result of the snap election call, the Liberal caucus and party executive persuaded Pierre Trudeau to rescind his resignation as party leader and lead the Liberals into the election.

1984 leadership convention results[edit]

The 1984 leadership convention was held in Ottawa on June 16, 1984.

Delegate support by Ballot
Candidate 1st ballot 2nd ballot
Votes cast  % Votes cast  %
Fmr CDN PM John Turner.jpg TURNER, John Napier 1,593 46.4% 1,862 53.9%
Jean Chrétien1.jpg CHRÉTIEN, Joseph Jacques Jean 1,067 31.1% 1,398 40.5%
DonaldJohnston.jpg JOHNSTON, Donald James 278 8.1% 192 5.6%
ROBERTS, John (Moody) 185 5.4% Endorsed Chrétien
MACGUIGAN, Mark R. 135 3.9% Endorsed Turner
MUNRO, John Carr 93 2.7% Endorsed Chrétien
WHELAN, Eugene Francis 84 2.4% Endorsed Chrétien
Spoiled ballots 2 - 1 -
Total 3,437 100.0% 3,453 100.0%

1990 leadership convention results[edit]

The 1990 leadership convention was held in Calgary, Alberta on June 23, 1990.

First Ballot
Candidate Delegate Support Percentage
Chretien crop Sept 9 2002.jpg CHRÉTIEN, Joseph Jacques Jean 2,652 56.8%
Paul martin 2004.jpg MARTIN, Paul Edgar Philippe 1,176 25.2%
COPPS, Sheila Maureen 499 10.7%
WAPPEL, Thomas (Tom) William 267 5.7%
NUNZIATA, John V. 64 1.4%
Spoiled ballots 10 0.2%
Total 4,668 100%

2003 leadership convention results[edit]

The 2003 leadership convention was held in Toronto, Ontario on November 14, 2003.

First Ballot
Candidate Delegate Support Percentage
Paul martin 2004.jpg MARTIN, Paul Edgar Philippe 3,242 93.8%
COPPS, Sheila Maureen 211 6.1%
Spoiled ballots 2 0.1%
Total 3,455 100%

Source: Parliament of Canada website

2006 leadership convention results[edit]

The 2006 leadership convention was held at the Palais des congrès de Montréal in Montreal, Quebec on December 2–3, 2006.

     = Eliminated from next round
     = Withdrew nomination
     = Winner
Delegate support by Ballot
Candidate 1st ballot 2nd ballot 3rd ballot 4th ballot
Votes cast  % Votes cast  % Votes cast  % Votes cast  %
Victoria, BC Liberal Town Hall Forum public libéral.jpg IGNATIEFF, Michael Grant 1,412 29.3% 1,481 31.8% 1,660 34.5% 2,084 45.3%
Bob Rae.jpg RAE, Robert Keith (Bob) 977 20.3% 1,132 24.1% 1.375 28.5% Released delegates
Stéphane Dion.jpg DION, Stéphane Maurice 856 17.8% 974 20.8% 1.782 37.0% 2,521 54.7%
Gerard kennedy.jpg KENNEDY, Gerard Michael 854 17.7% 884 18.8% Endorsed Dion
Ken Dryden 2011.jpg DRYDEN, Kenneth Wayne (Ken) 238 4.9% 219 4.7% Endorsed Rae
Scott Brison 2010.jpg BRISON, Scott A. 192 4.0% Endorsed Rae
Volpe.jpg VOLPE, Giuseppe Joseph (Joe) 156 3.2% Withdrew before 1st ballot began; endorsed Rae
Martha Hall Findlay 2011.jpg HALL FINDLAY, Martha 130 2.7% Endorsed Dion
Total 4,815 100.0% 4,690 100.0% 4,817 100.0% 4,605 100.0%

2009 leadership convention results[edit]

The 2009 leadership convention was held at the Vancouver Convention Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia from April 30-May 3, 2009.

Due to the selection of Michael Ignatieff as interim leader as a result of the 2008–2009 Canadian parliamentary dispute and an agreement by other candidates to withdraw in favour of Ignatieff, the 2009 convention served to ratify Ignatieff's leadership and was not a contested leadership vote. Bob Rae and Dominic LeBlanc withdrew in December 2008 (five months prior to the convention) allowing Ignatieff to become leader by default.

First Ballot
Candidate Delegate Support Percentage
Victoria, BC Liberal Town Hall Forum public libéral.jpg IGNATIEFF, Michael Grant 1,964 97%
Spoiled ballots 59 3%
Total 2,023 100%

2013 leadership election[edit]

First Ballot
Candidate
Votes cast  % Points allocated  %
INC 2009 Justin Trudeau2.JPG TRUDEAU, Justin Pierre James 81,389 78.76% 24,668.71 80.09%
JoyceMurray.jpg MURRAY, Joyce 12,148 11.76% 3,130.76 10.16%
Martha Hall Findlay 2011.jpg HALL FINDLAY, Martha 6,585 6.37% 1,760.43 5.72%
Martin Cauchon.PNG CAUCHON, Martin 1,630 1.58% 815.86 2.65%
Deborah Coyne.jpg COYNE, Deborah Margaret Ryland 833 0.81% 214.14 0.70%
McCrimmon 2013-02-16.JPG MCCRIMMON, Karen 757 0.73% 210.08 0.68%
Rejected Ballots 1,210
Total 104,552 100.00 30,800 100.00

References[edit]