Prince Edward Island general election, 1935

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Prince Edward Island general election, 1935
Prince Edward Island
1931 ←
July 23, 1935 (1935-07-23)
→ 1939

30 seats of the Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island
16 seats needed for a majority
  First party Second party
  Walter Maxfield Lea.jpg William Macmillan.jpg
Leader Walter Lea William J. P. MacMillan
Party Liberal Conservative
Leader since 1930 1933
Leader's seat 4th Prince 5th Queens
Last election 12 seats 18 seats
Seats won 30 0
Seat change +18 -18

Premier before election

William J. P. MacMillan
Conservative Party of Prince Edward Island

Elected Premier

Walter Lea
Prince Edward Island Liberal Party

The Prince Edward Island general election, 1935 was held in the Canadian Province of Prince Edward Island on 23 July 1935.[1] The Liberal party swept the board by winning every seat in every constituency. This was the first time in the British Commonwealth that a government would face no opposition in an elected chamber.[2]

Background[edit]

The 1935 election took place in the shadow of the Great Depression. In 1931, the Conservative Party, then under James David Stewart, defeated the incumbent Liberal government, installing Stewart as Premier. As Premier, Stewart worked to get federal assistance in combating the Depression, but stress caused him to die in office in 1933.

When Stewart's health was failing, he was replaced as acting Premier by William J. P. MacMillan, who took over for Stewart upon his death. MacMillan continued Stewart's policies of increased economic spending and government assistance, until the election in 1935.

Walter Lea, a farmer by trade, had been elected to the Legislature in 1915, and had been Premier before Stewart from 1930-31. During his time as Premier, he "undertook many initiatives to improve and diversify the island’s agricultural industry".[3] After his loss to James Stewart, he continued in opposition until 1935. By the time the 1935 election came around, Lea was very ill. He coordinated most of the campaign "from a hospital bed for six weeks, and then from his home for the remainder of the election. He made only one public appearance during the entire campaign".[3]

Results[edit]

The Liberal Party, under Lea, won all 30 seats in the House of Assembly, a feat that had never been accomplished before in the Commonwealth. News media across the Commonwealth broadcast the story. When faced with this unusual institutional setup, Lea had several members of his own party act as members of the opposition, as an actual opposition party did not exist within the legislature.[3] This step was also used in the New Brunswick Legislative Assembly after the 1987 election, in which the New Brunswick Liberal Party won all 58 seats in the Legislative Assembly.

Lea died a few months into his mandate, and was replaced by Thane Campbell, who served as Premier until 1943.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Historical Election Dates". Prince Edward Island Elections. Archived from the original on 5 January 2012. Retrieved 7 January 2012. 
  2. ^ excerpt from The Book of Lists[dead link]
  3. ^ a b c "Lea's Landslide". Canada's History. Retrieved 28 November 2013.