Number of seats won by major parties at each election
Electoral results by parties and independent MLAs (as a percentage of total Legislative Assembly seats) from 1928 to 2009.
This article provides a summary of results for the general elections to the Canadian province of British Columbia's unicameral legislative body, the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. The number of seats has increased over time, from 25 for the first election in 1871, to the current 85. Until the 1903 election, British Columbia politics were officially non-partisan - political parties were not part of the process. This began to change in the 1898 and 1900 elections with the appearance of party-designated candidates.
The chart on the right shows the information graphically, with the most recent elections on the right. It shows the popularity of the Liberal party (red) and Conservative party (blue) in the first half of the 20th century; the arrival of the Social Credit party (green), which won eleven of the twelve elections from 1952 to 1986; and the domination of provincial politics since 1986 by the Liberal party and the New Democratic Party (orange).
The table below shows the total number of seats won by the major political parties at each election. The winning party's total is shown in bold. Full details on any election are linked via the year of the election at the start of the row.
Elections prior to provincial political parties
Until the 1903 election, political parties in BC had no official recognition. However, some candidates declared their support for the administration of the time as "Government" candidates, those not in support as "Non-Government" or Independent; such alignments often did not bear out once the House was seated. Full details on any election are linked via the year of the election at the start of the row.
While there were no official party lines, there were unofficial yet unstable ones. Premiers De Cosmos and Martin both sat, at various times, in the federal House of Commons as Liberals, while premier Prior sat in the House of Commons as a Conservative. There was also a clear grouping of members who would often sit in opposition to, or in the cabinet of, certain other premiers. De Cosmos and his unofficial liberals mutually supported (i.e. were in each other's cabinets) each other. These premiers included McCreight, Walkem, Bevean, Semlin, and Martin. Meanwhile Premiers Prior, Dunsmuir, Turner, Davie, Robson, Davie, Smithe, and Elliot sat in each other's cabinets or otherwise supported one another; while premiers from one group often sat in opposition to premiers from the other.