Canadian federal election, 1872

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Canadian federal election, 1872
Canada
← 1867 July 20–October 12, 1872 1874 →

200 seats in the 2nd Canadian Parliament
101 seats needed for a majority
  First party Second party
  JaMAC 140x190.jpg Edward Blake.jpg
Leader John A. Macdonald Edward Blake (unofficial)
Party Conservative Liberal
Leader since 1867
Leader's seat Kingston Bruce South
Last election 100 seats, 34.5% 62 seats, 22.7%
Seats won 100 95
Seat change Steady Increase33
Popular vote 123,100 110,556
Percentage 38.7% 34.7%
Swing Increase4.2% Increase12.0%

Canada 1872 Federal Election.svg

Prime Minister before election

John A. Macdonald
Conservative

Prime Minister-designate

John A. Macdonald
Conservative

The Canadian federal election of 1872 was held from July 20 to October 12, 1872, to elect members of the Canadian House of Commons of the 2nd Parliament of Canada. Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald's Conservative Party remained in power, defeating the Liberals.

Edward Blake, who had a seat in both the Canadian House of Commons and the Ontario legislature, resigned as Premier of Ontario in order to run in the 1872 federal election as dual mandates had been abolished. Had the Liberals won the election, he likely would have been offered the position of Prime Minister of Canada. The party had no formal leader as such until 1873 when Alexander Mackenzie was given the title after Blake declined due to ill health. Blake was ill during much of the 1872 campaign, and it was Mackenzie who essentially led the Liberal campaign in Ontario, though not outside of the province.

The 1872 general election was the first to include the Provinces of Manitoba and British Columbia, which had both entered the Dominion after Confederation in 1867. By-elections had been held in both provinces to elect Members of Parliament in the newly created ridings, with Manitoba receiving four seats and British Columbia five.

Voter turn-out: 70.3%

Results[edit]

The Canadian parliament after the 1872 election

National[edit]

100 95 5
Conservative Liberal O
2nd Parliament
Party Party leader # of candidates Seats Popular vote
1867 Elected Change # % Change
     Conservative Sir John A. Macdonald 92 71 63 -11.3% 82,024 25.76% +2.31pp
     Liberal-Conservative1 48 29 36 +24.1% 41,076 12.90% +1.82pp
     Liberal none (unofficially, Edward Blake) 111 62 95 +53.2% 110,556 34.72% +12.05pp
     Independents 4 - 1   5,213 1.64% +1.25pp
     Independent Conservative 3 - 2   2,220 0.70% +0.70pp
     Independent Liberal 4 - 2   5,232 1.64% +0.98pp
     Conservative Labour   1 - 1   1,422 0.45% +0.45pp
     Unknown 104 - - - 70,704 22.20% -11.64pp
Total 367 180 200 +11.1 320,037 100%  
Source: Parliament of Canada

Note: 1 Though identifying themselves as Liberal-Conservatives, these MPs and those identifying as Conservatives were both led by Sir John A. Macdonald (himself a Liberal-Conservative) and sat together in the House of Commons.

Acclamations

The following MPs were acclaimed:

  • British Columbia: 3 Liberal-Conservatives
  • Manitoba: 1 Liberal-Conservative
  • Ontario: 3 Conservatives, 3 Liberal-Conservatives, 10 Liberals
  • Quebec: 9 Conservatives, 5 Liberal-Conservatives, 5 Liberals
  • New Brunswick: 6 Liberals
  • Nova Scotia: 1 Conservative, 4 Liberal-Conservatives, 2 Liberals

Results by province[edit]

Party name  BC  Manitoba Ontario Quebec  NB   NS  Total
     Conservative Seats 1 1 26 26 2 7 63
     Popular vote 4.5 29.7 25.9 31.5 8.4 23.5 25.8
     Liberal-Conservative Seats 3 1 12 11 3 6 36
     Vote     11.9 10.5 17.8 19.8 12.9
     Liberal Seats 2 1 48 27 9 8 95
     Vote 83.7 35.6 35.3 32.6 46.8 28.1 34.7
     Conservative Labour Seats     1       1
     Vote     0.9       0.4
     Unknown Seats - - - - - - -
     Vote 11.8 14.9 23.4 21.5 26.9 16.4 22.2
     Independent Seats     - - 1 - 1
     Vote     0.8 1.7   6.1 1.6
     Independent Liberal Seats     1   1   2
     Vote     1.7     6.1 1.6
     Independent Conservative Seats   1   1     2
     Vote   19.8   2.2     0.7
Total seats 6 4 88 65 16 21 200
For a list of candidates elected in the 1872 election, including by-elections held before 1874, see 2nd Canadian parliament.

Vote and seat summaries[edit]

Popular vote
Conservative
  
38.66%
Liberal
  
34.72%
Others
  
26.62%
Seat totals
Conservative
  
50.00%
Liberal
  
47.50%
Others
  
2.50%

See also[edit]