Manitoba general election, 1990

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Manitoba general election, 1990
1988 ←
September 11, 1990 → 1995

57 seats of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba
29 seats were needed for a majority
  First party Second party Third party
  PC Gary Doer.jpg LIB
Leader Gary Filmon Gary Doer Sharon Carstairs
Party Progressive Conservative New Democratic Liberal
Leader since December 10, 1983 March 30, 1988 March 4, 1984
Leader's seat Tuxedo Concordia River Heights
Last election 25 12 20
Seats won 30 20 7
Seat change +5 +8 -13
Popular vote 206,810 141,328 138,146
Percentage 41.99% 28.80% 28.15%
Swing +3.62% +5.18% -7.37%


Map of Election Results

Premier before election

Gary Filmon
Progressive Conservative

Elected Premier

Gary Filmon
Progressive Conservative

The Manitoba general election of September 11, 1990 was held to elect Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) of the Province of Manitoba, Canada. It was won by the Progressive Conservative (PC) Party, which took 30 out of 57 seats. The New Democratic Party finished second with 20, while the Liberal Party fell from 21 to 7.


The 1990 election took place against the backdrop of the failed Meech Lake constitutional accord, which sought to clarify Quebec's position within Canada. The accord, which was signed in 1988, required passage by the federal government and the ten provincial governments before June 23, 1990 to become law. Although Manitoba Premier Howard Pawley had approved the accord in 1987, his government did not bring it before the legislature before their surprise defeat in 1988.

Pawley's replacement, PC leader Gary Filmon, was less inclined to support the deal, and requested that certain aspects be re-negotiated before his government would grant approval. After some reluctance, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney allowed re-negotiations with all provincial Premiers, and convinced Filmon to introduce the accord to the Manitoba legislature shortly before the scheduled deadline. Liberal leader Sharon Carstairs and NDP leader Gary Doer were also willing to support the revised deal.

Some members of Doer's caucus still opposed the accord, however. When it was put before the legislature, NDP MLA Elijah Harper refused to grant unanimous leave for emergency debate, on the grounds that the deal did not recognize the position of aboriginals in Canada's constitutional framework. Harper, the first Treaty Indian to serve in the Manitoba legislature, was strongly supported by aboriginal leaders such as Phil Fontaine and Ovide Mercredi, and continued his protest in the legislature during the following weeks. With assistance from former parliamentary clerk Gord Mackintosh, Harper was able to delay the legislative process until the accord simply could not be passed on time. Harper became a national celebrity, and polls showed that most English-speaking Canadians supported his stand.

Ironically, Gary Filmon's Tories may have benefitted from Harper's actions. Filmon was a long-time opponent of the accord, and was a fairly tepid supporter even after the renegotiated compromise was reached. Subsequently, Filmon used the accord's failure to highlight differences between himself and Mulroney, who was becoming increasingly unpopular as Prime Minister.


Filmon's Progressive Conservatives made the fewest promises of any major party. Their platform called for an end to abuse of the elderly in retirement homes, environmental initiatives, and low-cost economic development. They proposed to cut the size of the Winnipeg City Council, and vowed not to raise taxes.

The Liberals focused on economic issues, promising a major investment in job training, research and development, and business support. They also proposed to cut the Winnipeg Council, create government grants for tourism and adult education, and restore Tory cuts to health and other programs.

The NDP platform focused on workers' concerns, the environment, preventative health programs and housing. They supported an increase in the minimum wage, affirmative actions programs, and laws which would make it expensive to shut down plants in Manitoba. They also promised not to raise taxes, and opposed the safe of Manfor Ltd., a Crown corporation owned by the Province of Manitoba.

The small Progressive Party opposed affirmative action and the proposal to recognize in the Canadian constitution the Province of Quebec as a "distinct society" within Canada.

The campaign[edit]

A poll published in the Winnipeg Free Press indicated that the NDP were the most trusted party on economic issues, followed by the Tories. The NDP were still damaged from their poor showing in the 1988 election, however, and began the campaign in third place. The struggle for government initially appeared to be between the Liberals and Progressive Conservatives.

The Liberals ran a weak campaign, however, and were overtaken by the NDP after a strong performance from Gary Doer in the leaders' debate. Doer further increased the NDP's standing in the last weeks of the campaign by highlighting the connections between Filmon and the Mulroney government on a number of issues. The NDP's return to official opposition status was regarded as a major development after their near-collapse in 1988.


The Tories continued their dominance in Manitoba's rural south, winning every seat in the region. They also won 13 of 31 seats in Winnipeg and a few ridings to the city's immediate north, enough to provide the party with a majority government.

The NDP won 11 seats in Winnipeg, and swept the province's north. They also won four seats in the mid-northern region, and retained Brandon East, their lone southern riding outside of Winnipeg.

All seven seats won by the Liberals were in Winnipeg, mostly in the centre and northwest of the city.

Party Party Leader # of
Seats Popular Vote
Before1 Elected % Change # % Change
     Progressive Conservative Gary Filmon 57 24 30 +25.0% 206,810 41.99% +3.62
     New Democratic Gary Doer 57 12 20 +66.7% 141,328 28.80% +5.18
     Liberal Sharon Carstairs 57 21 7 -66.7% 138,146 28.15% -7.37
     Confederation of Regions Irene Armishaw (president) 5 - - - 1,564 0.32% -1.00
     Western Independence Fred Cameron 6 - - - 1,355 0.28% -0.17
     Progressive Sidney Green 5 - - - 1,163 0.24% +0.06
     Libertarian Clancy Smith 5 - - - 637 0.13% +0.04
     Communist Frank Goldspink (organizer) 1 - - - 25 0.00% -0.05
     Independent 5 - - - 450 0.09% -0.30
Total 198 57 57 - 490,690 100%  

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.

Preceded by
1988 Manitoba election
List of Manitoba elections Succeeded by
1995 Manitoba election

See also[edit]

Constituency results[edit]

Party key:

x - denotes incumbent


Manitoba general election, 1990: Assiniboia
Party Candidate Votes %
     Progressive Conservative Linda McIntosh 4,054 49.85
Liberal Ed Mandrake 2,730 33.57
     New Democratic Party Joan Johannson 1,348 16.58
Total valid votes 8,132 100.00
Rejected and declined ballots 18
Turnout 8,150 69.83
Electors on the lists 11,672

Brandon East:

Brandon West:


Manitoba general election, 1990: Burrows
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
     New Democratic Party Doug Martindale 4,206 54.34
Liberal William Chornopyski 2,056 26.56
     Progressive Conservative Chris Aune 1,478 19.10
Total valid votes 7,740 100.00
Rejected ballots 29
Turnout 7,769 66.86
Electors on lists 11,619



Manitoba general election, 1990: Concordia
Party Candidate Votes %
New Democratic Gary Doer 4,588 58.17
Progressive Conservative Vic Rubiletz 1,937 24.56
Liberal Gunter Grosskamper 1,059 13.43
Western Independence Fred Cameron 168 2.13
Libertarian Guy Beaudry 135 1.71
Total valid votes 7,887 100.00
Rejected votes 12
Turnout 7,899 68.38
Electors on the lists 11,551



Manitoba general election, 1990: Elmwood
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
     New Democratic Party Jim Maloway 4,127 46.98
     Progressive Conservative Vic Toews 3,035 34.55
Liberal Ed Price 1,623 18.47
Total valid votes 8,785 100.00
Rejected ballots 35
Turnout 8,820 71.63
Registered voters 12,313


Flin Flon:

Manitoba general election, 1990: Fort Garry
Party Candidate Votes %
Progressive Conservative Rosemary Vodrey 5,105 47.07
Liberal Laurie Evans 3,992 36.81
New Democratic Shirley Lord 1,500 13.83
Western Independence Jan Mandseth 249 2.30
Total valid votes 10,846 100.00
Rejected ballots 17
Turnout 10,863 72.96
Registered voters 14,890






Kirkfield Park:

Lac du Bonnet:


La Verendrye:




Manitoba general election, 1990: Osborne
Party Candidate Votes %
Liberal Reg Alcock 3,941 40.21
     New Democratic Party Donald Bailey 2,861 29.19
     Progressive Conservative Sondra Braid 2,859 29.17
     Libertarian Jim Weidman 139 1.42
Total valid votes 9,800 100.00
Rejected ballots 41
Turnout 9,841 71.64
Registered voters 13,737


Manitoba general election, 1990: Point Douglas
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
     New Democrat George Hickes 2,778 54.72
Liberal Errol Lewis 1,550 30.53
     Progressive Conservative Calvin Pompana 575 11.33
     Independent William Hawryluk 108 2.13
     Independent Roy Price 66 1.30
Total valid votes 5,077 100.00
Rejected ballots 71
Turnout 5,148 60.92
Electors on lists 8,450

Portage La Prairie:



River East:

River Heights:




St. Boniface:

St. James:

St. Johns:

St. Norbert:

St. Vital:

Ste. Rose:

Seine River:




Sturgeon Creek:

Swan River:

The Maples:

The Pas:


Manitoba general election, 1990: Transcona
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
     New Democratic Party Daryl Reid 4,363 49.48
Liberal Richard Kozak 2,554 28.97
     Progressive Conservative Ray Hargreaves 1,732 19.64
     Progressive Thomas Bunn 168 1.91
Total valid votes 8,817 100.00
Rejected and declined ballots 20
Turnout 8,837 70.22
Electors on the lists 12,584

Turtle Mountain:


Manitoba general election, 1990: Wellington
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
     New Democratic Party Becky Barrett 3,484 46.01
Liberal Ernie Gilroy 2,324 30.69
     Progressive Conservative Clyde Perry 1,534 20.26
     Progressive Neil Schipper 128 1.69
     Independent Walter Diawol 68 0.90
     Independent Stephen Keki 35 0.46
Total valid votes 7,573 100.00
Rejected ballots 44
Turnout 7,617 68.25
Registered voters 11,161


Post-election changes[edit]

Crescentwood (res. Jim Carr, February 1992), September 15, 1992:

Edward Connery (PC, Portage la Prairie) resigned his seat on June 23, 1992. A by-election was called for September 15, 1992.

Manitoba provincial by-election, September 15, 1992: Portage La Prairie
Party Candidate Votes % Expenditures
     Progressive Conservative Brian Pallister 3,226 51.56 $17,992.91
Liberal Helen Christoffersen 1,995 31.88 $12,952.25
     New Democratic Party Ralph Jackson 648 10.36 $13,381.00
     Reform Fred Debrecen 388 6.20 $0.00
Total valid votes 6,257 100.00
Rejected ballots 20
Turnout 6,277 53.81
Registered voters 11,665

Rupertsland (res. Elijah Harper, November 30, 1992), September 21, 1993:

Rossmere (res. Harold Neufeld, May 12, 1993), September 21, 1993:

The Maples (res. Gulzar Cheema, June 17, 1993), September 21, 1993

Osborne (res. Reg Alcock, July 30, 1993), September 21, 1993:

Manitoba provincial by-election, September 21, 1993: St. Johns
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
     New Democratic Party Gord Mackintosh 3,232 67.11
Liberal Naty Yankech 878 18.23
     Progressive Conservative June Robertson 465 9.66
     Progressive Neil Schipper 241 5.00
Total valid votes 4,816 100
Rejected and declined ballots 34
Turnout 4,850 44.48
Electors on the lists 10,903

Flin Flon (res. Jerry Storie, July 20, 1994)

River Heights (Sharon Carstairs appointed to the Senate of Canada, September 15, 1994)