1996 British Columbia general election
75 seats of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia
38 seats were needed for a majority
|Turnout||59.11% 4.92 pp|
The British Columbia general election of 1996 was the thirty sixth provincial election in the Province of British Columbia, Canada. It was held to elect members of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. The election was called on April 30, 1996, and held on May 28, 1996. Voter turnout was 59.1 per cent of all eligible voters. The election is notable for producing a "false-winner" outcome, rewarding a party that got second in the popular vote with a majority government.
New Democratic Party leader and provincial premier Mike Harcourt had resigned as the result of a fundraising scandal involving one of the members of his caucus. Glen Clark was chosen by the party to replace Harcourt. Clark led the party to a second majority government, defeating the Liberal Party of Gordon Campbell. Campbell had become leader of the Liberal Party after Gordon Wilson had been forced out of the position because of his relationship with another Liberal member of the legislature, Judi Tyabji.
After Wilson was defeated by Campbell in the convention to choose a new leader, he and Tyabji left the Liberal Party to establish the Progressive Democratic Alliance. Wilson was able to win re-election, but Tyabji was not, going down to defeat with all of the other candidates fielded by the new party.
The once-dominant Social Credit Party collapsed. It elected Grace McCarthy as its leader in 1993, but she was unable to make a bid to get into the legislature until 1994, when she lost a by-election in the longtime Socred stronghold of Matsqui. Soon afterward, four of its remaining six members defected to Reform BC, leaving Social Credit without official status in the legislature. One more seat was lost in a by-election, reducing the party's one representation to one MLA, Cliff Serwa. However, Serwa retired before the election, leaving the party with no incumbents. Party leader Larry Gillanders withdrew from the race while the campaign was in progress, saying that all right wing parties should unite to topple the ruling NDP. The Socreds won only 0.4 percent of the vote and were completely shut out of the legislature. While the party still nominally exists, it has never elected another MLA, and even lost its registration from 2013 to 2016.
Reform BC held on to two of its four seats.
Although the Liberals won a larger share of the popular vote, most of their votes were wasted in the outer regions of the province; they only won eight seats in the Vancouver area. This allowed the NDP to win 6 more seats than the opposition Liberals, eking out a majority government.
|Party||Party leader||# of
|1991||Elected||% Change||#||%||% Change|
|New Democrats||Glen Clark||75||51||39||-23.53%||624,395||39.45%||-1.26%|
|Progressive Democrat||Gordon Wilson||66||*||1||*||90,797||5.74%||*|
|Social Credit||Larry Gillanders||38||7||-||-100%||6,276||0.40%||-23.65%|
|Conservative||Peter B. Macdonald||8||-||-||-||1,002||0.06%||+0.03%|
|Western Canada Concept||Doug Christie||5||-||-||-||374||0.02%||-0.02%|
|Common Sense, Community, Family||5||*||-||*||291||0.02%||*|
|Source: Elections BC|
* Party did not nominate candidates in the previous election.