List of close election results

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This is a list of close election results at national and state level. It lists results that have been decided by a margin of less than 1 vote in 1000 (a margin of victory of less than 0.1%).

The large number of close results in Canada's federal parliamentary elections is largely due to the way that Canadian ridings are structured and allocated. Canadian ridings are set by an independent commission based on the current formula of 308 seats, with some other variables in structuring what are formally known as the "electoral districts", making ridings often unusually balanced in political affiliation. This is one (but obviously not the only) factor that accounts for the unusual number of election results that have produced a difference of less than 0.1% between the winner and loser in those elections.

Race Margin
Total Votes Cast Description
Saint-Jean; Quebec general election, 1994 0% 0 38,894 Incumbent Liberal Michel Charbonneau tied with Parti Québécois candidate Roger Paquin. Consequently, a new vote was held 42 days later, which Paquin won by 532 votes.[1]
Champlain; Quebec general election, 2003 0% 0 33,919 PQ candidate Noëlla Champagne tied with Liberal Pierre Brouillette. Consequently, a new vote was held 36 days later, which Champagne won by 642 votes.[2]
Pontiac—Témiscamingue; Canadian federal election, 1963 0% 0 16,587 Progressive Conservative incumbent Paul Martineau defeated Liberal Paul-Oliva Goulet. A deciding vote was cast by the returning officer after the two candidates tied.[3]
San Teodoro, Oriental Mindoro; Oriental Mindoro local elections 0% 0 6,472+ The vote was tied, so a coin toss was the agreed upon way to determine the winner. A second round was held after both candidates were still tied in the first round.[4]
Ashton-under-Lyne; UK general election, 1886 0% 0 6,099 The vote was tied, so under the law of the day, the returning officer was given a casting vote.[5]
Shelburne; Nova Scotia general election, 1999 0% 0 3,206 Progressive Conservative Cecil O'Donnell defeated Liberal Clifford Huskilson. The deciding vote was cast by the returning officer after the two candidates tied.
Joliette; Canadian federal election, 1887 0% 0 3,065 Conservative Édouard Guilbault defeated Liberal F. Neveu. The deciding vote was cast by the returning officer after the two candidates tied.[6]
Assiniboia West; Canadian federal election, 1896 0% 0 3,005 Conservative Nicholas Flood Davin defeated independent John K. McInnes. The deciding vote was cast by the returning officer after the two candidates tied.[7]
United States Senate election in New Hampshire, 1974 0.00090% 2 223,363 Louis Wyman beat John A. Durkin after several recounts. The US Senate called for a re-vote, which Durkin won.[8]
Indiana's 8th congressional district, 1984 0.00171% 4 233,286 Indiana's Secretary of State (a Republican) certified Rick McIntyre as the winner by 34 votes, ignoring other recounted tallies that actually showed Frank McCloskey was in the lead. The Democratic-controlled House conducted their own recount. The House seated McCloskey after declaring him the winner by just four votes.[citation needed]
Massachusetts gubernatorial election, 1839 0.00195% 2 102,066 Marcus Morton won the governorship by only two votes.[citation needed]
Legislative district 163, Sverdlovsk oblast; Russian legislative election, 2003 0.00221% 5 225,484 Incumbent Georgy Leontyev held the seat by five votes,[9] despite allegations of vote manipulations, later rejected by the Supreme Court [10]
Winchester, UK general election, 1997 0.00322% 2 62,054 Mark Oaten gained the seat from the Conservatives (the result was later annulled and Oaten won by 21,000 votes in the subsequent by-election). This was the smallest percentage majority and the joint smallest numerical majority, in a UK Parliamentary election, since universal adult suffrage.
Washington gubernatorial election, 2004 0.00473% 133 2,810,058 Democrat Christine Gregoire defeated Republican Dino Rossi, following two recounts, after the initial count and first recount showed Rossi as the winner.
Ilkeston, UK general election, 1931 0.00569% 2 35,172 A.J. Flint (National Labour) gained the seat from George Oliver (Labour) in a straight fight (the joint smallest numerical majority in a UK Parliamentary election, since universal adult suffrage).[11]
Cape Verdean presidential election, 2001 0.00791% 12 153,406 Pedro Pires (African Party for the Independence of Cape Verde) defeated Carlos Veiga (Movement for Democracy) in the second round of the election after neither won more than 50% in the first round.[12]
Fermanagh and South Tyrone, UK general election, 2010 0.00855% 4 46,803 Michelle Gildernew (Sinn Féin) defeated independent Rodney Connor.[13]
Texas Senatorial Democratic Primary Runoff, 1948 0.00880% 87 988,295 Lyndon Johnson is declared the winner over Coke Stevenson, despite suspicion about 200 mysterious votes from precinct 13 of Jim Wells County.
United States presidential election in Florida, 2000 electoral votes 0.00901% 537 5,962,657 Republican George W. Bush defeated Democrat Al Gore after a mandatory statewide recount. An additional hand recount was halted by the United States Supreme Court.
Ontario; Canadian federal election, 1972 0.00949% 4 42,150 Liberal incumbent Norman Cafik defeated Progressive Conservative Frank Charles McGee.[14]
Alaska House of Representatives District 7, 2008 0.00997% (preliminary) 1 (preliminary) 10,035 (preliminary) Incumbent Republican Mike Kelly defeated Democratic challenger Karl Kassel by one vote following a recount.[15]
United States presidential election, 1832, Maryland electoral votes 0.01044% 4 38,316 National Republican Henry Clay carried Maryland by 4 votes over Democratic President Andrew Jackson, but Jackson was reelected handily.[16]
Exeter, UK general election, December 1910 0.01047% 1 9,553 Henry Duke (Conservative), the incumbent at the time of the general election, re-gained the seat from Harold St Maur (Liberal) on an election petition in 1911. The court changed the original result (under which the Liberal had won by 4 votes). The revised result was the smallest numerical majority in a UK Parliamentary election, in the twentieth century.[17]
United States Senate election in Minnesota, 2008 0.0108% 312 2,887,646 After the first count, Norm Coleman edged out Al Franken by 215 votes, but following a state mandated recount, Al Franken defeated Norm Coleman by 225.[18] Coleman contested the recount, after which Franken's lead grew to 312. After the Minnesota Supreme Court unanimously rejected Coleman's appeals, he conceded the race to Franken on June 30, 2009, 238 days after the election.[19]
Connecticut's 2nd congressional district, 1994 0.01129% 21 186,071 After two recounts, Sam Gejdenson had 21 more votes than Edward Munster.[citation needed]
German federal election, 2002 0.01256%[20] 6,027 47,996,480 valid
(in a total of 48,582,761)
The SPD received more indirect votes (Zweitstimmen, determining the percentage of seats distributed to a party) than the CDU/CSU. This did not matter, as seats were distributed by an MMP system; for details, see Bundestag.
Leeds; Canadian federal election, 1968 0.01376% 4 29,073 Progressive Conservative Desmond Code defeated Liberal incumbent John Matheson.[21]
Delta South; British Columbia general election, 2009 0.1363% 32 23,477 Independent candidate Vicky Huntington defeats Attorney General Wally Oppal, running for the first time in Delta South in a recount called after Oppal was leading by 2 votes in the initial count.[22]
Yamaska; Canadian federal election, 1930 0.01427% 1 7,009 Liberal incumbent Aimé Boucher defeated Conservative Paul-François Comtois.[23] The riding result was later declared void, and Boucher won the by-election in 1933 by 84 votes (0.1%).
Annapolis—Kings; Canadian federal election, 1949 0.01515% 4 26,400 Liberal Angus Alexander Elderkin defeated Progressive Conservative incumbent George Nowlan.[24]
Somaliland presidential election, 2003 0.01637% 80 488,543 Dahir Riyale Kahin, of the For Unity, Democracy, and Independence party narrowly defeated the Peace, Unity, and Development Party's Ahmed M. Mahamoud Silanyo in a three-way race.[25]
London—Middlesex; Canadian federal election, 1988 0.01654% 8 48,358 Progressive Conservative MP Terry Clifford narrowly edged out Liberal Garnet Bloomfield.[26]
Attorney General of Virginia election, 2005 0.01662% 323 1,943,250 Bob McDonnell was certified as the victor over Creigh Deeds following a recount.[27]
Australian Capital Territory general election, 2012 0.0185% 41 221,172 The Canberra Liberal Party received more first preference votes than the ruling Labor Party.[28]
Oklahoma state elections, 2006 0.020846% 2 9,594 After a recount Republican Todd Thomsen beat Democrat Darrel Nemecek by two votes for the Oklahoma House of Representatives seat in its 25th district.[29][30][31]
Vancouver—Burrard; Canadian federal election, 1935 0.02133% 6 28,130 Liberal Gerald Grattan McGeer defeated Co-operative Commonwealth Arnold Alexander Webster.[32]
Ontario North; Canadian federal election, 1896 0.02148% 1 4,655 Liberal-Conservative John Alexander McGillivray defeated Patrons of Industry Duncan Graham.[7]
United States presidential election, 1904, Maryland electoral votes 0.02274% 51 224,229 Republican President Theodore Roosevelt barely carried Maryland over Democrat Alton Parker on his way to an electoral landslide.[33]
Selkirk; Canadian federal election, 1900 0.02303% 1 4,343 Liberal William Forsythe McCreary defeated Conservative John Herber Haslam.[34] This was the second time in a row that a Liberal candidate defeated his Conservative rival in this riding by a single vote.
Bruce North; Canadian federal election, 1900 0.02422% 1 4,129 Liberal-Conservative incumbent Alexander McNeill defeated Liberal J. E. Campbell.[34]
Illinois gubernatorial election, 2010, Republican primary election 0.02515% 193 767,485 Republican Bill Brady defeated Republican Kirk Dillard.[35][36]
United States presidential election, 1912, California electoral votes 0.02567% 174 677,944 Former President Theodore Roosevelt, running on the Republican and Progressive ballot lines in California (Republican President William Howard Taft was not on the ballot in the state, although he did receive 3,914 write-in votes), narrowly edged out Democrat Woodrow Wilson in California, but Wilson won a landslide in the Electoral College due to divided Republican opposition.[37]
Norfolk—Elgin; Canadian federal election, 1930 0.02654% 5 18,843 Liberal William H. Taylor defeated Conservative John Lawrence Stansell.[23]
Division of McEwen; Australian federal election, 2007 0.02794% 31 96,647 Liberal Fran Bailey defeated Labor Rob Mitchell following a recount and court challenge.[38][39]
United States presidential election, 2012; Iowa Republican caucuses 0.02798% 34 121,503 Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum defeated former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney in the statewide Republican caucuses, the closest GOP primary election in United States history.[40] Romney had been declared the winner by 8 votes on caucus night.
Kitchener—Waterloo; Canadian federal election, 2008 0.02808% 17 60,534 Conservative Peter Braid defeated Liberal Andrew Telegdi after a recount.[41]
Wentworth South; Canadian federal election, 1891 0.02821% 1 3,545 Conservative Franklin Carpenter defeated Liberal James T. Russell.[42]
Souris; Canadian federal election, 1935 0.02833% 3 10,589 Liberal-Progressive George William McDonald defeated Progressive Conservative incumbent Errick French Willis.[32]
Haldimand; Canadian federal election, 1887 0.02865% 1 3,491 Conservative Walter Humphries Montague defeated Liberal incumbent Charles Wesley Colter.[6]
Selkirk; Canadian federal election, 1896 0.02920% 1 3,425 Liberal John Alexander MacDonell defeated Conservative Hugh Armstrong.[7]
Glasgow Anniesland; Scottish Parliament general election, 2011 0.02927% 7 23,918 Incumbent Labour MSP Bill Butler was defeated by Bill Kidd of the Scottish National Party (SNP).[43]
Waitakere: New Zealand general election, 2011 0.02927% 9 30,747 National incumbent Paula Bennett retained her seat over Labour challenger Carmel Sepuloni after a judicial recount was requested by Bennett. The original official result had Sepuloni winning with a margin of 11 votes.[44][45]
Kitchener City Council election, 2010 0.02961% 1 3,377 Frank Etherington defeated Debbie Chapman.[46]
Comox—Alberni; Canadian federal election, 1968 0.02967% 9 30,331 Liberal Richard Durante defeated New Democrat incumbent Thomas Speakman Barnett.[21] The riding result was later declared void and Durante lost the by-election to Barnett in 1969.
Nicolet; Canadian federal election, 1891 0.03016% 1 3,316 Liberal Joseph Hector Leduc defeated Conservative E. C. Prince.[42]
Colchester—Hants; Canadian federal election, 1945 0.03273% 8 24,439 Progressive Conservative Frank Stanfield defeated Liberal incumbent Gordon Timlin Purdy.[47]
Oshawa—Whitby; Canadian federal election, 1968 0.03309% 15 45,332 New Democrat Ed Broadbent defeated Progressive Conservative incumbent Michael Starr.[21]
Champlain; Canadian federal election, 2000 0.03325% 15 45,111 Bloc Québécois candidate Marcel Gagnon narrowly edged out Liberal Julie Boulet.[48]
Edmonton Northwest; Canadian federal election, 1993 0.03410% 12 35,195 Liberal candidate Anne McLellan narrowly edged out Reform candidate Richard Kayler.[49]
Drummond; Canadian federal election, 1974 0.03521% 13 36,925 Liberal Yvon Pinard defeated Social Credit incumbent Jean-Marie Boisvert.[50]
United States Senate election in Nevada, 1964 0.03565% 48 134,624 Democratic incumbent Howard Cannon defeated Republican Paul Laxalt.[51]
Halifax; Canadian federal election, 1979 0.03662% 15 40,961 Progressive Conservative George Cooper defeated Liberal Brian Flemming.[52]
Ohio Attorney General election, 1990 0.03672% 1,234 3,360,162 Democratic candidate Lee Fisher defeated Republican Paul Pfeifer after a six-week recount, earning the ironic nickname "Landslide Lee." [53]
York East; Canadian federal election, 1896 0.03841% 1 3,425 Independent Conservative incumbent William F. McLean defeated Liberal Henry R. Frankland.[7]
Virginia Attorney General election, 2013 0.04097% 907 2,214,075 Democratic candidate Mark Herring defeated Republican candidate Mark Obenshain after a recount.
Nipissing—Timiskaming; Canadian federal election, 2011 0.04258% 18 42,271 Conservative Jay Aspin defeated Liberal incumbent Anthony Rota.[54]
Montana House of Representatives district 12 election, 2004 0.04735% 2 4,224 Democrat Jeanne Windham defeated Constitution Party candidate Rick Jore.[citation needed]
Vancouver South; Canadian federal election, 2008 0.04779% 20 41,852 Liberal Ujjal Dosanjh defeated Conservative Wai Young after two recounts.[55]
Montmorency; Canadian federal election, 1887 0.05328% 1 1,877 Liberal Charles Langelier defeated Conservative P. V. Valin.[6]
River Valley; Singaporean general election, 1959 0.05328% 5 9,384 People's Action Party candidate Lim Cheng Lock defeated Soh Ghee Soon of the Singapore People's Alliance.[56]
United States presidential election, 1892, California electoral votes 0.0545234% 147 269,609 Former President Grover Cleveland narrowly carried California over Republican President Benjamin Harrison and went on to reclaim the presidency in a rematch of the 1888 presidential elections, thus becoming both the 22nd and 24th president of the United States.[57]
Lakeview Local Schools tax levy, Ohio, 2010 0.05602% 2 3,570 The tax levy passed by two votes.[58]
Parry Sound—Muskoka; Canadian federal election, 2006 0.06064% 28 46,171 Conservative candidate Tony Clement narrowly edged out Liberal MP Andy Mitchell.[59]
U.S. presidential election, 2000, New Mexico electoral votes 0.06114% 366 598,605 Since Florida's electoral votes decided George W. Bush's electoral college win over Al Gore, little attention was paid to the fact that New Mexico's outcome was even closer (in terms of raw vote) than the Florida result, this time with Gore coming out ahead.[60]
Northumberland (Ontario); Canadian federal election, 1988 0.06190% 28 45,235 Liberal candidate Christine Stewart narrowly edged out Progressive Conservative Reg Jewell.[26]
United States presidential election, 1896, Kentucky electoral votes 0.0621177% 277 445,928 William McKinley was elected president twice by comfortable Electoral College majorities, but his only victory in a Southern state was his razor-thin win over William Jennings Bryan in Kentucky in his initial presidential run.[61]
United States presidential election, 1960, Hawaii electoral votes 0.0622614% 115 184,705 Just a year after becoming the 50th State, Hawaii surprised many political experts by voting for Democrat John F. Kennedy over Republican Richard Nixon, albeit by a very small margin.[62]
United States presidential election, 1916, New Hampshire electoral votes 0.0628317% 56 89,127 Although the 0.38% victory margin for President Woodrow Wilson in California—which gave Wilson the 13 electoral votes he needed to win reelection over Republican Charles Evans Hughes—garnered most of the attention, Wilson's surprise 56-vote victory over Hughes in New Hampshire (the only Northeastern state that Hughes didn't carry) was the closest contest in the election.[63]
Ohio Senate 14th District Republican primary election, 2004 0.06517% 22 33,760 Jean Schmidt won the first count by 62 votes, but Tom Niehaus prevailed in a recount and went on to win the general election.[53]
Grey South; Canadian federal election, 1891 0.06572% 3 4,565 Liberal incumbent George Landerkin defeated Conservative John Blyth.[42]
Italian general election, 2006 0.06583% 25,115 38,153,343 L'Unione (centre-left) defeated la Casa delle Libertà (conservative)[citation needed]
Selkirk; Canadian federal election, 1972 0.06690% 30 44,841 New Democrat incumbent Doug Rowland defeated Progressive Conservative Dean Whiteway.[14]
Cumberland; Canadian federal election, 1940 0.06842% 12 17,537 Liberal Percy Chapman Black defeated National Government incumbent Kenneth Judson Cochrane.[64]
Colorado 7th Congressional district election, 2002 0.06877% 121 175,938 In the first race in this newly created Congressional district, Republican Bob Beauprez narrowly beat out Democrat Mike Feeley.[65]
North Carolina State Agriculture Commissioner election, 2004 0.07066% 2,353 3,330,187 Republican Steve Troxler defeated Democrat Britt Cobb.[citation needed]
Arizona's 2nd congressional district, 2014 0.073398% 161 219,351 Martha McSally defeated Ron Barber, officially announced a month after the election, after a legally-mandated recount.[66] McSally had lost to Barber in 2012 by 2,454 votes.
Laval Centre; Canadian federal election, 2000 0.07667% 42 54,782 Bloc Québécois MP Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral narrowly edged out Liberal Pierre Lafleur.[48]
New Jersey General Assembly; District 2 election, 2013 0.07954% 40 50,288 Democrat Vince Mazzeo defeated incumbent Republican John F. Amodeo after a recount.[67]
York North; Canadian federal election, 1988 0.08767% 77 87,825 Liberal Maurizio Bevilacqua narrowly edged out Progressive Conservative Michael O'Brien.[26]
Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke; Canadian federal election, 1984 0.08792% 38 43,219 Liberal MP Len Hopkins narrowly edged out Progressive Conservative Don Whillans.[68]
Fisher state by-election, 2014; Parliament of South Australia 0.088% 9 20,559 By-election caused by the death of sitting independent MP Bob Such. The Australian Labor Party candidate Nat Cook beat the Liberal Party candidate by 9 votes.
Crawley constituency; United Kingdom general election, 2005 0.08815% 37 41,973 Labour MP Laura Moffatt retains seat.
Eure second constituency; French legislative election, 2012 0.08928% 39 43,681 Socialist Jean-Louis Destans defeated incumbent Jean-Pierre Nicolas[69]
Washington United States Senate election, 2000 0.09055% 2,229 2,461,379 Democrat Maria Cantwell unseats Republican Slade Gorton, following a mandatory recount.[citation needed]
Shefford (electoral district); Canadian federal election, 1965 0.09334% 27 28,926 Liberal Louis-Paul Neveu defeated Progressive Conservative Paul-O. Trépanier.[70]
Leeds South; Canadian federal election, 1874 0.09372% 3 3,201 Conservative David Ford Jones beat challenger W. H. Fredenburgh.[71]
St. John's West; Canadian federal election, 1962 0.09391% 24 25,557 Liberal Richard Cashin defeated Progressive Conservative incumbent William Joseph Browne.[72]
United States presidential election, 1884, New York electoral votes 0.09844% 1,149 1,167,169 Democrat Grover Cleveland edged out James G. Blaine to win New York's decisive 36 electoral votes.[citation needed]
Jacques Cartier; Canadian federal election, 1878 0.09911% 2 2,018 Conservative Désiré Girouard defeated Liberal incumbent Rodolphe Laflamme.[73]
Calgary West; Canadian federal election, 1921 0.09955% 16 16,073 Labour Joseph Tweed Shaw defeated Conservative R. B. Bennett who was, at the time, Minister of Justice.[74]


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