British Columbia general election, 1871

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Formerly a British colony, British Columbia became a province of Canada on July 20, 1871. An interim Cabinet was appointed by the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, and election writs for the first general election as a province of Canada were issued to choose 25 members of the first provincial legislature from 12 ridings (electoral districts). These ridings were:

Polling conditions[edit]

The election was held from October through December 1871, and was conducted by means of a show of hands on nomination day and, if required, an open poll book on polling day. There were no organized political parties.

Statistics[edit]

  • Votes 3,804
  • Candidates 46
  • Members 25

Vancouver Island

  • Upper Island 310 votes, four seats (77.5 votes/seat)
    • Comox: 24 votes (24 votes/seat)
    • Cowichan: 196 votes (2 seats 98 votes/seat 49 voters/seat)
    • Nanaimo: 90 votes (90 votes/seat)
  • "Greater Victoria" 2,074 votes, eight seats (259.25 votes/seat):
    • Victoria: 377 votes (2 seats 188.5 votes/seat 94.25 voters/seat)
    • Victoria City: 1,515 (4 seats 378.75 votes/seat 169.3525 voters/seat)
    • Esquimalt: 182 (2 seats 91 votes/seat 45.5 voters/seat)

Mainland:

  • Interior 1,907 votes, ten seats (190.7 votes/seat):
    • Cariboo: 785 votes (3 seats 261.67 votes/seat)
    • Kootenay: 39 votes (2 seats 19.5 votes/seat)
    • Lillooet: 102 votes (2 seats 51 votes/seat
    • Yale: 171 votes (3 seats 57 votes/seat)
  • Lower Mainland 686 votes (3 seats 228.67 votes/seat:
    • New Westminster: 323 votes (2 seats 161.5 votes/seat)
    • New Westminster City: unknown at this time (vote was by acclamation)_

Note that these figures refer to votes actually cast, not the population per se nor the total of the potential voters' list.

Results by riding[edit]

Note: There is no arrangement to the ridings and members, other than by rough alphabetical order, as all were technically independents. Actual seating of the House or political alignments are not represented.


Results of British Columbia general election, 1871
Government Opposition
Member Riding
& party
Riding
& party
Member
     Cornelius Booth Cariboo
          Comox
John Ash     
     Joseph Hunter           Cowichan
John Paton Booth     
     George Anthony Boomer Walkem1           William Smithe     
     Henry Cogan Esquimalt           Kootenay John Andrew Mara     
     Alexander Rocke Robertson           Charles Todd     
     Thomas Basil Humphreys Lillooet           Nanaimo John Robson     
     Andrew Thomas Jamieson           New Westminster William James Armstrong     
     Henry Holbrook New Westminster City           Josiah Charles Hughes     
     Arthur Bunster Victoria           Victoria City Robert Beaven     
     Amor De Cosmos           Simeon Duck     
     James Robinson Yale           John Foster McCreight2     
     Charles Augustus Semlin           James Trimble     
     Robert Smith     
1 Premier-Elect 2 Incumbent Premier
Source: Elections BC

Byelections[edit]

Two sets of byelections were held to confirm appointments to the Executive Council (cabinet), as was the custom in earlier times. Ministerial candidates in this series of byelections were all confirmed by acclamation (so there were no actual polling dates). These byelections were:

Other byelections were also held due to deaths and other appointments; all were contested:

Composition of House at dissolution[edit]

Note: Government/Opposition status applies to candidate at time of election in 1871, not at time of dissolution in 1875.

Composition of 2nd British Columbia Parliament at Dissolution, 1875
Government Opposition
Member Riding
& party
Riding
& party
Member
     John George Barnston Cariboo
          Comox
John Ash     
     Joseph Hunter           Cowichan
John Paton Booth     
     George Anthony Boomer Walkem           William Smithe     
     Henry Cogan Esquimalt           Kootenay John Andrew Mara     
     Alexander Rocke Robertson           Charles Todd     
     Thomas Basil Humphreys Lillooet           Nanaimo John Robson     
     William M. Brown           New Westminster William James Armstrong     
     Henry Holbrook New Westminster City           Josiah Charles Hughes     
     William Archibald Robertson Victoria           Victoria City Robert Beaven     
     William Fraser Tolmie           Simeon Duck     
     James Robinson Yale           John Foster McCreight     
     Charles Augustus Semlin           James Trimble     
     Robert Smith     
Source: Elections BC

Further reading & references[edit]