Manitoba general election, 1988

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Manitoba general election, 1988
Manitoba
1986 ←
April 26, 1988
→ 1990

57 seats of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba
29 seats were needed for a majority
  First party Second party Third party
  PC LIB Gary Doer.jpg
Leader Gary Filmon Sharon Carstairs Gary Doer
Party Progressive Conservative Liberal New Democratic
Leader since December 10, 1983 March 4, 1984 March 30, 1988
Leader's seat Tuxedo River Heights Concordia
Last election 26 1 30
Seats won 25 20 12
Seat change -1 +19 -18
Popular vote 206,180 190,913 126,954
Percentage 38.37% 35.52% 23.62%
Swing -2.19 +21.60% -17.88%

MB1988.PNG

Map of Election Results

Premier before election

Howard Pawley
New Democratic

Elected Premier

Gary Filmon
Progressive Conservative

The Manitoba general election of April 26, 1988 was held to elect Members of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Manitoba, Canada. It resulted in a minority government. The Progressive Conservative Party won 25 seats, against 20 for the Liberal Party and 12 for the New Democratic Party.

Background[edit]

The election was called unexpectedly in early 1988, after disgruntled NDP backbencher Jim Walding voted against his government's budget on March 9, 1988. Walding's defection in an almost evenly-divided house resulted in Howard Pawley's NDP government being defeated, 28 votes to 27. As the budget vote was a confidence measure, the Pawley ministry was forced to resign and call new elections two years ahead of schedule.

Popular support for the NDP was at an historically low level when the election was called, due to soaring Autopac rates and a taxpayer-funded bailout of the Manitoba Telephone System. The Pawley government's support for the Meech Lake Accord was also unpopular in some circles. One internal poll had the party at only 6% support, and there were concerns that they could be reduced to only two or three seats in the 57-seat legislature. Pawley resigned as party leader, and Gary Doer narrowly defeated Leonard Harapiak to replace him at a party convention held during the campaign.[1][2]

Doer's selection did not improve the NDP's chances of forming government, though they managed to stabilize at around 20% in the polls. Many traditional NDP voters, especially in the city of Winnipeg, abandoned the party to support the Liberals in this cycle.

Issues[edit]

The Progressive Conservatives, led by Gary Filmon, ran on a platform of saving revenue by selling public corporations, including ManOil and Manfor. Filmon also promised to scrap the province's Public Investment Corporation entirely. The Liberals also promised more prudent fiscal management, but did not propose to sell these crown corporations. Liberal leader Sharon Carstairs was also known as a prominent opponent of the Meech Lake Accord.

The NDP, which retained a support base in the north of the province, promised to create northern training centres in Thompson and The Pas.

The national abortion debate also surfaced in this campaign, although none of the major parties put forward a clear position on the issue. Although Filmon was personally pro-life, the Progressive Conservatives were unwilling to propose specific action on the subject, and withdrew from an early promise to close Henry Morgentaler's private clinic. The Liberals favoured counselling, including a focus on adoption. The NDP emphasized prevention and support services for poorer women who choose to continue their pregnancies.

The small Progressive Party promised balanced budgets, opposed affirmative action, and was against government interference in negotiations between trade unions and management.

Campaign[edit]

The Progressive Conservatives entered the election with a significant lead in the polls, but saw their support undercut by the Liberals in the campaign's final weeks. Before the party leaders' debate, a Winnipeg Free Press poll indicated that 40% of voters considered Liberal leader Sharon Carstairs as the best choice for Premier, with 24% favouring Progressive Conservative Gary Filmon and 19% favouring NDP leader Gary Doer. 17% were undecided.

Carstairs performed well in the leaders' debate, and did much to improve her party's popularity as the campaign reached its end.

Results[edit]

The Liberal Party performed well in Winnipeg, winning 19 out of 29 seats in that city and picking up ridings from both the NDP and Tories. The party won only one seat outside Winnipeg, however, in the urban community of Selkirk.

The Progressive Conservatives dominated the rural south of the province, and made some inroads into NDP territory immediately north of Winnipeg. The party also won six seats in Winnipeg, and took the northern seat of Swan River from the NDP.

The New Democrats managed to retain four seats in Winnipeg, five in the north, the mid-northern ridings of Dauphin and Interlake, and Brandon East in the south of the province.

Exit polls later revealed that "new voters" (i.e. immigrants and first-time voters) had polled strongly for the Liberals in Winnipeg.

Gary Filmon was named Premier, and the Progressive Conservatives were able to form government through an unofficial arrangement with the NDP. It may be noted that both parties were concerned about a Liberal victory in the next election.

Party Party Leader # of
candidates
Seats Popular Vote
Before1 Elected % Change # % Change
     Progressive Conservative Gary Filmon 57 26 25 -3.85% 206,180 38.37% -2.19
     Liberal Sharon Carstairs 57 1 20 +1900% 190,913 35.52% +21.60
     New Democratic Gary Doer 57 30 12 -60.0% 126,954 23.62% -17.88
     Confederation of Regions Dennis Heeney 14 - - - 7,100 1.32% -1.12
Western Independence Fred Cameron 16 - - - 2,442 0.45% +0.45
     Progressive Sidney Green 6 - - - 975 0.18% -0.33
     Libertarian Clancy Smith 6 - - - 501 0.09% +0.09
     Communist Lorne Robson 5 - - - 261 0.05% -0.03
     Independent 11 2 - -100% 2,084 0.39% -0.46
Total 229 57 57 - 537,410 100%  

1 "Before" refers to standings in the Legislature at dissolution, and not to the results of the previous election. These numbers therefore reflect changes in party standings as a result of by-elections and members crossing the floor.

Riding results[edit]

Electoral District Candidates   Incumbent
  NDP   PC   Liberal   Other
Arthur Goldwyn Jones
575
Jim Downey
4,359
Douglas Mosset
2,171
Ross Meggison (CoR)
863
Jim Downey
Assiniboia Robert Johannson
1,031
Ric Nordman
3,731
Ed Mandrake
3,918
Linda Cress (WIP)
166
Ric Nordman
Brandon East Leonard Evans
3,512
Jim Armstrong
2,859
Lois Fjeldsted
2,260
Garth Shurvell (Ind)
208
Leonard Evans
Brandon West Ishbel Solvason
2,313
James McCrae
5,039
John Worley
3,618
James McCrae
Burrows Doug Martindale
3,005
Allan Yap
1,040
William Chornopyski
3,114
Michael Kibzey (Ind)
129
Lorne Robson (Comm)
79
Conrad Santos
Charleswood Bruno Zimmer
1,180
Jim Ernst
6,670
Shari Nelson
5,850
David Hollins (Ind)
158
Jim Ernst
Churchill Jay Cowan
2,396
Wayne Wittmeier
1,019
George Kernaghan
714
Jay Cowan
Concordia Gary Doer
3,702
Vic Rubiletz
2,634
Barbara Blomeley
2,948
Bill Seman (Ind)
358
Fred Cameron (WIP)
114
Charles Henry (P)
61
Gary Doer
Dauphin John Plohman
3,983
Russell Secord
3,435
Peter Rampton
2,475
John Plohman
Ellice Harvey Smith
2,457
Alex Arenson
1,538
Avis Gray
3,081
Susan Caine (WIP)
109
Harvey Smith
Elmwood Jim Maloway
3,012
Frank Syms
1,920
Ed Price
2,839
Russ Letkeman (Lbt)
113
Jim Maloway
Emerson Kurt Penner
1,407
Albert Driedger
5,027
Martin Stadler
2,615
Jake Wall (CoR)
366
Albert Driedger
Flin Flon Jerry Storie
2,948
Gordon Mitchell
1,563
Brian King
867
Jerry Storie
Fort Garry Brian Pannell
1,553
Charlie Birt
5,173
Laurie Evans
6,055
Ivan Merritt (WIP)
173
Millie Lamb (Comm)
45
Charlie Birt

Fort Rouge

Roland Penner
2,912
Robert Haier
2,303
Jim Carr
5,127
Gordon Pratt (P)
75
Dennis Owens (Lbt)
66
Nigel Hanrahan (Comm)
46
Roland Penner
Gimli John Bucklaschuk
3,352
Ed Helwer
4,716
Morley Murray
2,347
Eugene Klochko (WIP)
261
John Bucklaschuk
Gladstone Fred Tait
509
Charlotte Oleson
3,760
Cordell Barker
2,132
Brian Hildebrandt (CoR)
759
Charlotte Oleson
Inkster Don Scott
4,098
Resty Taruc
2,151
Kevin Lamoureux
4,466
Nancy Watkins (Comm)
64
Don Scott
Interlake Bill Uruski
3,057
Ed Dandeneau
2,810
Clyde Sigurdson
1,777
Bill Uruski
Kildonan Marty Dolin
4,542
John Baluta
5,068
Gulzar Cheema
5,653
Sidney Green (P)
445
Tracy Fuhr (WIP)
133
Marty Dolin
Kirkfield Park Hamish Gavin
868
Gerrie Hammond
5,269
Irene Friesen
5,014
Gerrie Hammond
Lac du Bonnet Clarence Baker
2,911
Darren Praznik
3,773
Peter Raymond
2,411
Clarence Baker
Lakeside Eduard Hiebert
972
Harry Enns
4,475
Delmer Nott
2,828
Cam Baldwin (CoR)
864
Harry Enns
La Verendrye Walter McDowell
708
Helmut Pankratz
4,377
C.E. Goertzen
2,948
Helmut Pankratz
Logan Maureen Hemphill
2,646
Linda Thomson
1,085
John Dobbin
1,660
Barry Marchand (Ind)
81
Frank Goldspink (Comm)
46
Maureen Hemphill
Minnedosa Susan Proven
1,476
Harold Gilleshammer
3,669
Terry Drebit
2,496
Dennis Heeney (CoR)
820
Dave Blake
Morris Clifford Hodgins
449
Clayton Manness
4,578
Barbara Plas
1,832
Raymond Switzer (CoR)
597
Jeffrey Plas (Ind)
57
Clayton Manness
Niakwa Stan Williams
2,026
Abe Kovnats
7,222
Herold Driedger
8,576
Lyle Cruickshank (WIP)
237
Abe Kovnats
Osborne Muriel Smith
2,753
Rosemary Vodrey
2,421
Reg Alcock
4,334
Clancy Smith (Lbt)
145
Muriel Smith
Pembina Hans Wittich
382
Don Orchard
6,043
Marilyn Skubovius
2,171
Abe Giesbrecht (CoR)
499
Don Orchard
Portage La Prairie Bill Zettler
722
Ed Connery
4,020
Darlene Hamm
2,812
Irene Armishaw (CoR)
603
Ed Connery
Radisson Gerard Lecuyer
3,113
John Samborski
3,049
Allan Patterson
4,918
Gerard Lecuyer
Rhineland Reg Loeppky
341
Jack Penner
5,166
Walter Hebert
1,059
Arnold Brown
Riel Bob Ages
1,834
Gerry Ducharme
4,289
Chris Sigurdson
3,965
John Hiebert (CoR)
121
Neil Knight (WIP)
75
Gerry Ducharme
River East Michael Dyck
3,019
Bonnie Mitchelson
7,563
Morley Golden
3,805
Niel Friesen (WIP)
233
Bonnie Mitchelson
River Heights Harry Daniels
1,036
Bob Vandewater
3,373
Sharon Carstairs
6,620
Jim Weidman (Lbt)
62
Sharon Carstairs
Roblin-Russell Dennis Trinder
1,973
Len Derkach
4,030
Neil Stewart
2,513
Len Derkach
Rossmere Vic Schroeder
3,424
Harold Neufeld
3,950
Cecilia Connelly
2,834
Chris Dondo (WIP)
146
Vic Schroeder
Rupertsland Elijah Harper
2,206
Joe Guy Wood
1,419
Maurice Berens
638
Elijah Harper
St. Boniface Lorette Beaudry-Ferland
2,061
Guy Savoie
1,586
Neil Gaudry
5,743
Laurent Desjardins
St. James Allan MacDonald
2,171
Jae Eadie
3,360
Paul Edwards
3,939
Fred Debrecen (CoR)
137
Charles Lamont (P)
74
Dennis Rice (Lbt)
69
Merle Hartlin (WIP)
62
Al Mackling
St. Johns Judy Wasylycia-Leis
3,092
Lynn Filbert
1,222
Ruth Oberman
2,480
Cyril Fogel (P)
171
Roy Price (Ind)
68
Gerald Zucawich (Ind)
35
Judy Wasylycia-Leis
St. Norbert Bennetta Benson
1,460
Gerry Mercier
5,695
John Angus
6,073
Gerry Mercier
St. Vital Gerri Unwin
2,282
Paul Herriot
3,614
Bob Rose
4,431
Katharina Cameron (WIP)
123
Trevor Wiebe (Lbt)
46
Jim Walding
Ste. Rose Gerald Follows
1,464
Glen Cummings
3,723
Brent Johnson
2,631
David Mutch
249
Glen Cummings
Selkirk Terry Sargeant
3,637
Eugene Kinaschuk
3,138
Gwen Charles
3,821
Ruth VanKoeveringe (WIP)
214
Howard Pawley
Seven Oaks Eugene Kostyra
3,553
George Finkle
1,636
Mark Minenko
3,885
Eugene Kostyra
Springfield Andy Anstett
3,749
Gilles Roch
5,815
Lance Laufer
3,806
Gilles Roch
Sturgeon Creek Len Sawatsky
903
Frank Johnston
4,174
Iva Yeo
4,833
Hugh Buskell (CoR)
158
Nigel Hanrahan (Comm)
27
Frank Johnston
Swan River Len Harapiak
3,446
Parker Burrell
4,115
Don Dennis
653
Len Harapiak
The Pas Harry Harapiak
3,221
Bruce Unfried
1,584
Scott Gray
1,426
Harry Harapiak
Thompson Steve Ashton
2,992
Ken Collin
1,989
Janice Pronteau
1,240
Steve Ashton
Transcona Wilson Parasiuk
3,191
Bill Omiucke
2,270
Richard Kozak
3,900
Ray Hargreaves (Ind)
121
Wilson Parasiuk
Turtle Mountain John Miller
446
Denis Rocan
3,208
Ross McMillan
2,610
Rod Stephenson (Ind)
767
Harold Parsonage (CoR)
476
Bill Harrison (Ind)
102
William Comer (WIP)
87
Denis Rocan
Tuxedo Catherine Hofman
714
Gary Filmon
6,427
Jasper McKee
6,303
R. EisBrenner (WIP)
149
Gary Filmon
Virden Louise Leask
967
Glen Findlay
4,459
Bill Davison
2,043
Alex Gabrielle (CoR)
588
Terry Drul (WIP)
160
Glen Findlay
Wolseley Myrna Phillips
3,112
Kirk Stanley
1,579
Harold Taylor
3,618
Derek Shettler (P)
149
Myrna Phillips

Post-election changes[edit]

Gilles Roch (PC) becomes (L) on September 8, 1988.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rastin, Sandra; Reshef, Yonatan (2003). Unions in the time of revolution: government restructuring in Alberta and Ontario. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. pp. 254–5. ISBN 0-8020-8753-1. 
  2. ^ Adams, Christopher P. (2008). Politics in Manitoba: parties, leaders, and voters. [Winnipeg]: University of Manitoba Press. ISBN 0-88755-704-X.