Grande Prairie (provincial electoral district)
The riding was created out of the southern half of Peace River in 1930, and reduced in size for the 1940 election when its northern area was transferred to the new district of Spirit River. In 1986, the district was further reduced to the city of Grande Prairie and rural areas to its west and south. The riding was abolished in 1993, with the northern half of the city transferred to the new district of Grande Prairie-Smoky, and the remainder becoming Grande Prairie-Wapiti.
|Members of the Legislative Assembly for Grande Prairie|
|See Peace River 1905-1930|
|7th||1930 - 1935||Hugh Allen||United Farmers|
|8th||1935 - 1940||William Sharpe||Social Credit|
|9th||1940 - 1944||Lewis O'Brien||Unity Movement|
|10th||1944 - 1948||Ira McLaughlin||Social Credit|
|11th||1948 - 1952|
|12th||1952 - 1955|
|13th||1955 - 1959|
|14th||1959 - 1963|
|15th||1963 - 1967|
|16th||1967 - 1971|
|17th||1971 - 1975||Winston Backus||Progressive Conservative|
|18th||1975 - 1979|
|19th||1979 - 1982||Elmer Borstad|
|20th||1982 - 1986||Bob Elliott|
|21st||1986 - 1989|
|22nd||1989 - 1993|
|See Grande Prairie-Smoky and Grande Prairie-Wapiti after 1993|
When the district of Peace River was split in 1930, incumbent MLA Hugh Allen chose to run in the new district of Grande Prairie. Since no other candidates challenged him, no election was held, and he was acclaimed.
In 1940, the traditional parties attempted to defeat Social Credit by running joint candidates as independents in what became known as the Unity Movement. Their candidate in Grande Prairie, Lewis O'Brien, defeated Sharpe on the second count. He, too, would serve only one term as MLA, and did not run for re-election. O'Brien was the only opposition member ever elected in Grande Prairie, making the riding something of a bellwether while it existed.
Social Credit took Grande Prairie back in the 1944 election, with candidate Ira McLaughlin easily cruising to victory. He was re-elected six more times, serving as MLA until 1971.
Progressive Conservative candidate Winston Backus won Grande Prairie in 1971. The PCs held the riding until it was abolished, but Backus served only two terms, retiring in 1979. The next PC candidate, Elmer Borstad, served only one term.
The riding's final MLA was Bob Elliott, who became MLA in 1982 and served three terms, until Grande Prairie was split in 1993.
|Alberta general election, 1930|
|United Farmers||Hugh Allen||Acclaimed|
|Total valid votes||0|
|United Farmers pickup new district.|
|Alberta general election, 1935|
|Social Credit||William Sharpe||2,741||37.04%|
|United Farmers||Hugh Allen||1,809||24.44%|
|Social Credit||William Sharpe||3,142||50.65%||+13.61%|
|Total valid votes||7,401|
|Rejected, spoiled, and declined||401|
|Electors / Turnout||10,317||75.62%|
|Social Credit gain from United Farmers||Swing||-|
Final count swing reflects increase in vote share from the first count.
|Alberta general election, 1940|
|Independent Movement||Lewis O'Brien||1,998||47.26%|
|Social Credit||William Sharpe||1,556||36.80%||-0.24%|
|Co-operative Commonwealth||William Rigby||674||15.94%|
|Independent Movement||Lewis O'Brien||2,233||55.59%||+8.33%|
|Social Credit||William Sharpe||1,784||44.41%||+7.61%|
|Total valid votes||4,228|
|Rejected, spoiled, and declined||226|
|Electors / Turnout||6,328||70.39%||-5.23%|
|Independent Movement gain from Social Credit||Swing||+23.75%|
|Alberta general election, 1944|
|Social Credit||Ira McLaughlin||2,366||55.93%||+19.13%|
|Co-operative Commonwealth||William Rigby||1,128||26.67%||+10.73%|
|Total valid votes||4,230|
|Rejected, spoiled, and declined||-|
|Electors / Turnout||-||-|
|Social Credit gain from Independent Movement||Swing||+4.20%|
|Alberta general election, 1948|
|Social Credit||Ira McLaughlin||2,952||62.29%||+6.36%|
|Co-operative Commonwealth||Leslie Harris||1,019||21.50%||-5.17%|
|Total valid votes||4,739|
|Rejected, spoiled, and declined||373|
|Electors / Turnout||7,468||68.45%|
|Social Credit hold||Swing||+5.77%|
|Alberta general election, 1952|
|Social Credit||Ira McLaughlin||2,967||61.76%||-0.53%|
|Co-operative Commonwealth||Percy Johnson||902||18.78%||-2.72%|
|Total valid votes||4,804|
|Rejected, spoiled, and declined||356|
|Electors / Turnout||7,886||65.43%||-3.02%|
|Social Credit hold||Swing||-1.89%|
|Alberta general election, 1955|
|Social Credit||Ira McLaughlin||3,240||57.49%||-4.27%|
|Co-operative Commonwealth||James Hughson||538||9.55%||-9.23%|
|Total valid votes||5,636|
|Rejected, spoiled, and declined||482|
|Electors / Turnout||9,694||70.77%||+4.57%|
|Social Credit hold||Swing||-5.55%|
In 1959, Alberta abandoned instant runoff voting in rural districts, instead electing MLAs by the first past the post method. Although a second round had not been needed in Grande Prairie since 1940, this change is evident in the dramatic drop in rejected (incorrectly marked) ballots.
|Alberta general election, 1959|
|Social Credit||Ira McLaughlin||4,213||65.62%||+8.13%|
|Progressive Conservative||David Williamson||1,391||21.67%||+14.98%|
|Total valid votes||6,420|
|Rejected, spoiled, and declined||19|
|Electors / Turnout||9,694||66.42%||-4.35%|
|Social Credit hold||Swing||-3.43%|
|Alberta general election, 1963|
|Social Credit||Ira McLaughlin||4,763||73.03%||+7.41%|
|New Democratic||Charles Evaskevich||762||11.68%|
|Total valid votes||6,522|
|Rejected, spoiled, and declined||8|
|Electors / Turnout||11,368||57.44%||-8.98%|
|Social Credit hold||Swing||+2.42%|
|Alberta general election, 1967|
|Social Credit||Ira McLaughlin||4,847||55.54%||-17.49%|
|New Democratic||Alan Bush||2,748||31.49%||+19.81%|
|Total valid votes||8,727|
|Rejected, spoiled, and declined||25|
|Electors / Turnout||12,666||69.10%||+11.66%|
|Social Credit hold||Swing||-18.65%|
|Alberta general election, 1971|
|Progressive Conservative||Winston Backus||4,553||42.76%|
|Social Credit||William Bowes||4,104||38.54%||-17.00%|
|New Democratic||Arthur Macklin||1,992||18.71%||-12.78%|
|Total valid votes||10,649|
|Rejected, spoiled, and declined||32|
|Electors / Turnout||14,157||75.45%||+6.35%|
|Progressive Conservative gain from Social Credit||Swing||+29.88%|
|Alberta general election, 1975|
|Progressive Conservative||Winston Backus||6,466||61.27%||+18.51%|
|New Democratic||Ross Campbell||1,962||18.59%||-0.12%|
|Social Credit||John Baergen||1,475||13.98%||-24.56%|
|Total valid votes||10,554|
|Rejected, spoiled, and declined||32|
|Electors / Turnout||16,615||63.71%||-11.74%|
|Progressive Conservative hold||Swing||+9.32%|
|Alberta general election, 1979|
|Progressive Conservative||Elmer Borstad||6,313||50.26%||-11.01%|
|Social Credit||Donald Wood||3,380||26.91%||+12.93%|
|New Democratic||Ross Campbell||2,266||18.04%||-0.55%|
|Total valid votes||12,560|
|Rejected, spoiled, and declined||5|
|Electors / Turnout||20,718||60.79%||-2.92%|
|Progressive Conservative hold||Swing||-11.97%|
|Alberta general election, 1982|
|Progressive Conservative||Bob Elliott||9,555||58.22%||+7.96%|
|New Democratic||Bernie Desrosiers||3,280||19.98%||+1.94%|
|Western Canada Concept||Jack Smith||2,249||13.70%|
|Social Credit||Roy Housworth||494||3.01%||-23.90%|
|Total valid votes||16,413|
|Rejected, spoiled, and declined||31|
|Electors / Turnout||24,639||66.74%||+5.95%|
|Progressive Conservative hold||Swing||+3.01%|
|Alberta general election, 1986|
|Progressive Conservative||Bob Elliott||6,239||61.58%||+3.36%|
|New Democratic||Bernie Desrosiers||3,095||30.55%||+10.57%|
|Total valid votes||10,131|
|Rejected, spoiled, and declined||26|
|Electors / Turnout||22,209||45.73%||-21.01%|
|Progressive Conservative hold||Swing||-3.61%|
|Alberta general election, 1989|
|Progressive Conservative||Bob Elliott||5,319||52.62%||-8.96%|
|New Democratic||Evelyn Vardalas||2,696||26.67%||-3.88%|
|Social Credit||Murray Gauvreau||482||4.77%|
|Total valid votes||10,108|
|Rejected, spoiled, and declined||20|
|Electors / Turnout||22,850||44.32%||-1.41%|
|Progressive Conservative hold||Swing||-2.54%|
1957 liquor plebiscite
|1957 Alberta liquor plebiscite results: Grande Prairie|
|Question A: Do you approve additional types of outlets for the
sale of beer, wine and spirituous liquor subject to a local vote?
|Rejected, Spoiled and Declined||9|
|8,907 Eligible Electors, Turnout 28.12%|
On October 30, 1957 a stand alone plebiscite was held province wide in all 50 of the then current provincial electoral districts in Alberta. The government decided to consult Alberta voters to decide on liquor sales and mixed drinking after a divisive debate in the Legislature. The plebiscite was intended to deal with the growing demand for reforming antiquated liquor control laws.
The plebiscite was conducted in two parts. Question A asked in all districts, asked the voters if the sale of liquor should be expanded in Alberta, while Question B asked in a handful of districts within the corporate limits of Calgary and Edmonton asked if men and woman were allowed to drink together in establishments.
Province wide Question A of the plebiscite passed in 33 of the 50 districts while Question B passed in all five districts. Grande Prairie voted in favour of the proposal by a solid majority. Voter turnout in the district was abysmal, and one of the lowest districts in the province falling well under the province wide average of 46%.
Official district returns were released to the public on December 31, 1957. The Social Credit government in power at the time did not considered the results binding. However the results of the vote led the government to repeal all existing liquor legislation and introduce an entirely new Liquor Act.
Municipal districts lying inside electoral districts that voted against the Plebiscite were designated Local Option Zones by the Alberta Liquor Control Board and considered effective dry zones, business owners that wanted a license had to petition for a binding municipal plebiscite in order to be granted a license.
- "Alberta Heritage Foundation: Grande Prairie Results". Archived from the original on 2010-10-24. Retrieved 2017-03-24.
- Alberta Gazette. 53 (December 31 ed.). Government of Alberta. 1957. pp. 2,247–2,249.
- "Albertans Vote 2 to 1 For More Liquor Outlets". Vol L No 273. The Lethbridge Herald. October 31, 1957. pp. 1–2.
- "No Sudden Change In Alberta Drinking Habits Is Seen". Vol L No 267. The Lethbridge Herald. October 24, 1957. p. 1.
- "Entirely New Act On Liquor". Vol LI No 72. The Lethbridge Herald. March 5, 1958. p. 1.
- "Bill 81". Alberta Bills 12th Legislature 1st Session. Government of Alberta. 1958. p. 40.