List of British Columbia general elections

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Number of seats won by major parties at each election

Elections to the unicameral legislative body of the Canadian province of British Columbia, the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, are held every four years.[1] The establishment of fixed four-year terms for the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia was instituted in 2002,[2] after the Constitution (Fixed Election Dates) Amendment Act (SBC 2001 c.36) was passed in 2001.[3] The regular election date for the Legislative Assembly is set to occur on the "second Tuesday in May in the fourth calendar year following the general voting day for the most recently held general election",[3] with the next election scheduled for May 9, 2017.[1]

The number of seats has increased over time, from 25 for the first election in 1871, to the current 85.[4][5][6] Until the 1903 election, British Columbia politics were officially non-partisan – political parties were not part of the process.[7] This began to change in the 1898 and 1900 elections with the appearance of party-designated candidates, and federal political parties were recognized in the provincial election of 1903.[3] The first elections held along party lines (1903–41) were primarily contested by the Conservative Party (which won five elections during this period) and the Liberal Party (which won six elections). For two sessions during and immediately after World War II, the legislature was managed by a coalition government between the Conservatives and the Liberals. The Social Credit Party dominated elections from 1952–86, winning eleven of the twelve elections. Provincial politics since 1986 have been dominated by the New Democratic Party which won two elections in the 1990s, and by the Liberal Party which has won every provincial election since 2001.

Summary of results[edit]

The table below shows the total number of seats won by the major political parties at each election since the recognition of political parties in British Columbia provincial elections in 1903.[5][6][8] The winning party's total is shown in bold.

Year
[5][6][8]
Seats
[4][5][6]
Win. Conservative[A] Liberal NDP[B] Socialist Social Credit Labour[C] Independent Other Parties (with notes)
1903 42 CON 22 17 2 1
1907 42 CON 26 13 3
1909 42 CON 38 2 2
1912 42 CON 39 1 2 Independent Conservative; Social Democrat
1916 47 LIB 9 36 1 1 Independent Socialist
1920 47 LIB 15 25 3 4 Federated Labour (3); People's (1)
1924 48 LIB 17 23 8 Provincial (3); Canadian Labour (3); Ind. Liberal (2)
1928 48 CON 35 12 1
1933 47 LIB 34 7 1 2 3 Non Partisan Independent Group (2), Unionist (1)
1937 48 LIB 8 31 7 1 1
1941 48 LIB 12 21 14 1
1945 48 COA[D] 37[D] 10 1
1949 48 COA[D] 39[D] 7 1 1
1952 48 SC 4 6 18 19 1
1953 48 SC 1 4 14 28 1
1956 52 SC 2 10 39 1
1960 52 SC 4 16 32
1963 52 SC 5 14 33
1966 55 SC 6 16 33
1969 55 SC 5 12 38
1972 55 NDP 2 5 38 10
1975 55 SC 1 1 18 35
1979 57 SC 26 31
1983 57 SC 22 35
1986 69 SC 22 47
1991 75 NDP 17 51 7
1996 75 NDP 33 39 3 Reform (2); Progressive Democrats (1)
2001 79 LIB 77 2
2005 79 LIB 46 33
2009 85 LIB 49 35 1
2013 85 LIB 49 34 1 Green (1)
Notes
A Includes results for the Progressive Conservatives from 1945
B Includes results for the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation up until 1961
C Includes results for the Independent Labour candidates from 1928, 1933 and 1941.
D Coalition between Progressive Conservative and Liberal parties.

Elections prior to provincial political parties[edit]

Year[9] Seats[4] Government Non-Government
1871 25 No information available
1875 25 8 17
1878 25 8 17
1882 25 5 20
1886 27 19 8
1890 33 17 16
1894 33 20 13
1898 38 18 20
1900 38 6 32

Prior the 1903 election, political parties in British Columbia were not officially recognized in provincial elections. During this period, some candidates declared their support for the administration as "Government" candidates, while those not in support ran as "Non-Government" or Independent candidates. However, these pre-election alignments often did not persist once the House was seated as allegiances would frequently shift.[7]

While there were no official party lines, there were unofficial yet unstable ones. Premiers Amor De Cosmos and Joseph Martin both sat, at various times, in the federal House of Commons as Liberals, while Premier Edward Gawler Prior sat in the House of Commons as a Conservative. There was also a clear grouping of members who would often sit in opposition to, or in the cabinet of, certain other premiers. De Cosmos and his unofficial Liberals mutually supported each other (i.e. were in each other's cabinets). These premiers included McCreight, Walkem, Bevean, Semlin, and Martin. Meanwhile, Premiers Prior, Dunsmuir, Turner, A.E.B. Davie, Robson, Theodore Davie, Smithe, and Elliot sat in each other's cabinets or otherwise supported one another; while premiers from one group often sat in opposition to premiers from the other.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "About Elections BC". Elections BC. Retrieved 2015-09-18. 
  2. ^ "B.C. Reg. 330/2002". The British Columbia Gazette, Part II. Victoria, British Columbia, Canada: Queen's Printer. 45 (23). December 17, 2002. Retrieved 2015-09-18. 
  3. ^ a b c "Electoral History of BC". Elections BC. Office of the Legislature of British Columbia. Retrieved 2015-08-29. 
  4. ^ a b c "Electoral History of British Columbia 1871–1986" (pdf). Elections British Columbia. Victoria: Queen's Printer for British Columbia. 1988. pp. 2–3. Retrieved 2015-08-29. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Electoral History of British Columbia Supplement, 1987–2001" (pdf). Legislative Library, British Columbia. Victoria: Queen's Printer for British Columbia. 2002. pp. 5, 21, 37. Retrieved 2015-08-29. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Electoral History of British Columbia Supplement 2002–2013" (pdf). Elections BC and the Legislative Library of British Columbia. Victoria, B.C.: Elections BC and the Legislative Library of British Columbia. 2014. pp. 6, 20, 34. Retrieved 2015-08-29. 
  7. ^ a b "Electoral History of British Columbia 1871–1986" (pdf). Elections British Columbia. Victoria: Queen's Printer for British Columbia. 1988. p. 6. Retrieved 2015-08-30. 
  8. ^ a b "Electoral History of British Columbia 1871–1986" (pdf). Elections British Columbia. Victoria: Queen's Printer for British Columbia. 1988. pp. 91, 99, 109, 115, 123, 139, 149, 159, 173, 183, 193, 203, 213, 221, 243, 265, 275, 285, 293, 303, 311, 321, 331, 339 & 349. Retrieved 2015-08-30. 
  9. ^ "Electoral History of British Columbia 1871–1986" (pdf). Elections British Columbia. Victoria: Queen's Printer for British Columbia. 1988. pp. 9–90. Retrieved 2015-08-30. 

Bibliography[edit]