Yukon general election, 1978

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The 1978 Yukon general election, held on November 20, 1978, was the first conventional legislative election in the history of Canada's Yukon Territory. Prior elections were held to elect representatives to the Yukon Legislative Council, a non-partisan body that acted in an advisory role to the Commissioner of the Yukon. Following the passage of the Yukon Elections Act in 1977, the 1978 election was the first time that voters in the Yukon elected representatives to the Yukon Legislative Assembly in an election organized along political party lines.

Hilda Watson, the first woman ever to lead a political party into an election in Canada, was the leader of the Progressive Conservatives. Although the party won the election, Watson herself was defeated in Kluane by Liberal candidate Alice McGuire, and thus did not become government leader. The position of government leader instead went to Chris Pearson.

New Democratic leader Fred Berger was also defeated in his own riding. He remained leader of the party until 1981, when he was succeeded by the party's sole elected MLA, Tony Penikett.

Results by party[edit]

Party Party Leader # of cands Seats
Before After % of vote
Progressive Conservative Hilda Watson 15 11 37.1
Liberal Iain McKay 13 2 26.0
Independent 10 16 2 16.6
NDP Fred Berger 14 1 20.3
Total   52 16 16  

Results by riding[edit]

Electoral District Party Candidate
Campbell Robert Fleming
Faro Maurice Byblow
Hootalinqua Al Falle
Klondike Meg McCall
Kluane Alice McGuire
Mayo Peter Hanson
Old Crow Grafton Njootli
Tatchun Howard Tracey
Watson Lake Don Taylor
Whitehorse Porter Creek East Dan Lang
Whitehorse Porter Creek West Doug Graham
Whitehorse Riverdale North Chris Pearson
Whitehorse Riverdale South Iain McKay
Whitehorse North Centre Geoff Latin
Whitehorse West Tony Penikett
Whitehorse South Centre Dr. Jack Hibberd

Member changes[edit]

Liberal leader Iain MacKay resigned the party leadership and his seat in the legislature in 1980, and was succeeded in both roles by Ron Veale.[1]

Following Penikett's accession to the leadership of the NDP in 1981, Maurice Byblow, elected as an independent, joined the party.

Jack Hibberd resigned his seat in the legislature on April 15, 1981, after accepting a position as a surgical consultant with a hospital outside of the Yukon. The resulting by-election, held on October 13, was won by New Democrat Roger Kimmerly. Now holding three seats in the legislature, the NDP replaced the Liberals as the Official Opposition.[2]


  1. ^ "Byelections". CPA Activities: The Canadian Scene, Vol. 4, No. 2.
  2. ^ "NDP's by-election win makes it Opposition". The Globe and Mail, October 15, 1981.