Alberta general election, 1905

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Alberta general election, 1905
← 1902 9 November 1905 (1905-11-09) 1909 →

25 seats in the Legislative Assembly of Alberta
13 seats were needed for a majority
  Majority party Minority party
  Alexander Rutherford.jpg Young R. B. Bennett.JPG
Leader Alexander Rutherford R. B. Bennett
Party Liberal Conservative
Leader since 3 August 1905 1905
Leader's seat Strathcona Calgary
Last election 1 9
Seats won 22 3
Popular vote 14,485 9,316
Percentage 57.6% 37.1%


Premier before election

Alexander C. Rutherford


Alexander C. Rutherford

The Alberta general election of 1905 was the first general election held in the Province of Alberta, Canada. It was held on 9 November 1905, to elect members of the Alberta legislature to the 1st Alberta Legislative Assembly, shortly after the province was created out of the Northwest Territories on 1 September 1905.

The Alberta Liberal Party of Alexander C. Rutherford won twenty three of the twenty five seats in the new legislature, defeating the Conservative Party, which was led by a young lawyer, Richard Bennett, who later served as Prime Minister of Canada.

Prior to the 1905 election the two political parties saw numerous changes and defections, In Alberta a host of former Liberal-Conservative MLA's jumped ship to the Liberals, when Sir Wilfrid Laurier appointed the Liberal provisional government prior to the election. The Conservatives had no strong leader to rally around at the time as Frederick Haultain, had moved to Saskatchewan.

The election in 1905 was a bitter one, especially in Calgary and Southern Alberta where the Liberals were accused of vote tampering and interfering with Conservative voters. Recounts especially in Calgary took almost a month and saw the result swing back and forth. The scandal led to the arrest of some key Liberal organizers, including William Cushing's campaign manager, who had been a returning officer at a Calgary polling station.


Party Party Leader Candidates[1] Elected Popular Vote
# %
Liberal Alexander C. Rutherford 261 22 14,4853 57.56%
     Conservative Richard Bennett 222 3 9,3163 37.13%
  Independent 7 - 1,336 5.31%
Total 56 25 25,163 100%
Source: Elections Alberta


  1. 2 Liberals contested the Peace River district after the results were voided.
  2. Conservative L. Dubuc only contested the original Peace River election.
  3. Vote returns for the first Peace River election are not included in totals.

Members of the Legislative Assembly elected[edit]

For complete electoral history, see individual districts

1st Alberta Legislative Assembly
  District Member Party
  Athabasca William Bredin Liberal
  Banff Charles W. Fisher Liberal
  Calgary William Cushing Liberal
  Cardston John William Woolf Liberal
  Edmonton Charles Wilson Cross Liberal
  Gleichen Charles Stuart Liberal
     High River Albert Robertson Conservative
  Innisfail John A. Simpson Liberal
  Lacombe William Puffer Liberal
  Leduc Robert Telford Liberal
  Lethbridge Leverett DeVeber Liberal
  Macleod Malcolm McKenzie Liberal
  Medicine Hat William Finlay Liberal
  Pincher Creek John Plummer Marcellus Liberal
  Ponoka John R. McLeod Liberal
  Red Deer John T. Moore Liberal
     Rosebud Cornelius Hiebert Conservative
  St. Albert Henry William McKenney Independent Liberal
  Stony Plain John McPherson Liberal
  Strathcona Alexander Cameron Rutherford Liberal
  Sturgeon John R. Boyle Liberal
  Vermilion Matthew McCauley Liberal
  Victoria Francis A. Walker Liberal
  Wetaskiwin Anthony Rosenroll Liberal

Peace River[edit]

James Cornwall was declared elected to the Peace River district on election night 1905 for the Liberal Party. The election results were overturned by significant irregularities leaving the seat vacant. A new election was held on 15 February 1906.

Thomas Brick declared his candidacy in the new election for the Liberals after being asked to run by a large group of people who appeared at his homestead. He faced James Cornwall who attempted to re-win his seat and he also ran under the Liberal banner. The runner up candidate from the original 1905 election Conservative candidate Lucien Dubuc did not run again leaving a rare two way race under the same party banner. Thomas Brick would go on to defeat James Cornwall in a landslide.[2]

  District Member Party
Election Night
  Peace River James Cornwall Liberal
15 February 1906
  Peace River Thomas Brick Liberal

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Members elected to first legislature November 17, 1905". Alberta Advocate. Retrieved 2007-03-18. 
  2. ^ Yvette T. M. Mahé. "I remember Peace River, Alberta and adjacent districts. Part I". The Women's Institute of Peace River. Retrieved 2007-03-18.