Manitoba general election, 1945

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Manitoba's general election of October 15, 1945 was held to elect Members of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Manitoba, Canada.

The 1945 provincial election was extremely different from the previous election, which was held in 1941. In the 1941 election, the province's four legal political parties were united in a coalition government—and while coalition partners ran against one another in some constituencies, the final outcome was never in doubt.

By 1945, the coalition had been reduced to three parties. The dominant party was the Liberal-Progressive Party, whose leader was Premier Stuart Garson. The Progressive Conservative Party of Errick Willis (formerly called the Conservative Party) was the junior partner in government, while the small Social Credit League and some independents also supported the coalition.

The social-democratic Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) left the coalition in 1943, and experienced a surge in popularity over the next two years. This party was the primary opposition to the coalition government in 1945. When Tommy Douglas's CCF won a landslide election victory in 1944 in neighbouring Saskatchewan, many believed that the Manitoba party had a chance of forming government.

The communist Labour Progressive Party, which had been banned in 1941, also contested the election against the coalition. A revived Socialist Party of Canada also fielded one candidate in Winnipeg.

The CCF experienced numerous difficulties during the campaign. Two of its incumbent members, Dwight Johnson and Beresford Richards, were accused of holding communist sympathies, and broke from the party to seek re-election as "Independent CCF" candidates. Party members were divided on the positions held by Johnson and Richards, and the CCF entered the campaign in a divided state. The party also suffered a series of unexpected technical problems: some candidates were unable to campaign because of late nomination filing, insufficient signatures on their nomination forms, and related reasons.

The result of the election was a landslide majority government for the coalition. Twenty-five Liberal-Progressives and thirteen Progressive Conservatives were elected, along with two Social Crediters and three independent coalitionists. This gave the coalition forty-three of fifty-seven seats. Most of the coalition's members were from rural constituencies.

The Cooperative Commonwealth Federation won four of ten seats in Winnipeg, but could not duplicate this success in the rest of the province. The party won only nine seats in total, up from three in the previous election. Richards, who was re-elected as an Independent CCF candidate, later rejoined the caucus as a tenth member. The CCF actually received more votes than any other party, but this meant little in practical terms: the combined coalition vote was well above the CCF total, and some coalition seats were won by acclamation.

Labour Progressive Party leader Bill Kardash also won a Winnipeg seat, as did independent leftist Lewis Stubbs.

Results[edit]

Elections to the 22nd Manitoba Legislature (1945)
Political party Party leader Group MLAs Votes
Candidates 1941 1945 ± # % ± (pp)
Liberal–Progressive Stuart Garson Coalition 33 27 25 2Decrease 70,475 32.2% 3.5%Decrease
Progressive Conservative Errick Willis 18 12 13 1Increase 34,819 15.9% 0.1%Increase
Social Credit n/a 2 3 2 1Decrease 2,953 1.3% 0.4%Decrease
Independent n/a 7 5 3 2Decrease 6,384 2.9% 8.6%Decrease
Independent Liberal n/a 1 824 0.4%
Independent Liberal-Progressive n/a 3 3,248 1.5% New
Co-operative Commonwealth Seymour Farmer Opposition 39 3 9 6Increase 73,988 33.8% 16.5%Increase
Progressive Conservative 3 3Decrease 4.4%Decrease
Labor–Progressive Bill Kardash 13 1 1 10,566 4.8% 1.8%Increase
Social Credit n/a 2 1,548 0.7% 4.9%Decrease
Independent n/a 3 1 1 9,420 4.3% 0.2%Increase
Sound Money Economics n/a 0.5%Decrease
Independent Co-operative Commonwealth n/a 2 1 1Increase 4,394 2.0% New
Socialist James Milne 1 222 0.1% New
Total 124 55 55 218,841 100.00%
Turnout 55.1% 4.6%Increase

See also[edit]

Riding results[edit]

Note: The 1945 election was determined by preferential balloting in all constituencies. The constituency of Winnipeg elected ten members; all other constituencies elected one member. The results listed below are taken from reports in the Winnipeg Free Press newspaper and the Canadian Parliamentary Guide, and may differ from the final official results in some minor particulars. (In some instances, the Winnipeg Free Press results were not listed in full.)

Arthur:

Assiniboia:

Assiniboia
Party Candidate % 1st Pref Count 1 Count 2
Co-operative Commonwealth Ernest Draffin 48.22 2,948 3,082
Progressive Conservative (x)David Best 45.44 2,778 2,902
Labor–Progressive William Cecil Ross 6.35 388  
Electorate: 11,272   Valid: 6,114   Spoilt: 77   Quota: 3,058   Turnout: 6,191 (54.92%)

Beautiful Plains:

Birtle:

Brandon City:

Brandon City
Party Candidate % 1st Pref Count 1 Count 2
Liberal–Progressive Leslie McDorman 49.08 3,088 3,288
Co-operative Commonwealth Peter McDuffe 26.22 1,650 2,046
Independent Co-operative Commonwealth (x)Dwight Johnson 24.70 1,554  
Electorate: 9,960   Valid: 6,292   Spoilt: 103   Quota: 3,147   Turnout: 6,395 (64.2%)

Carillon:

Cypress:

[Note: Parsons had previously defeated Christie for the coalition nomination, by one vote.]

Dauphin:

Deloraine:

Dufferin:

Emerson:

Ethelbert:

Fairford:

Fisher:

Gilbert Plains:

Gimli:

Gladstone:

Glenwood:

Hamiota:

Iberville:

Iberville
Party Candidate % 1st Pref Count 1 Count 2
Independent Progressive Conservative John McDowell (Coalition) 48.01 1,390 1,452
Liberal–Progressive W.D. Lawrence 28.39 822 1,016
Co-operative Commonwealth H.P. Kendall 23.59 683  
Electorate: 4,630   Valid: 2,895   Spoilt: 29   Quota: 1,448   Turnout: 2,924 (63.2%)

Kildonan and St. Andrews:

[Note: Frank Simmonds appears to have lost the coalition nomination by one vote.]

Killarney:

Killarney
Party Candidate % 1st Pref Count 1 Count 2
Progressive Conservative (x)Abram Harrison 41.08 1,045 1,165
Liberal–Progressive G.M. Anderson 36.91 939 1,015
Co-operative Commonwealth William Cecil Ross 22.01 560  
Electorate: 3,360   Valid: 2,544   Spoilt: 11   Quota: 1,273   Turnout: 2,555 (76.0%)

Lakeside:

Lansdowne:

La Verendrye:

Manitou:

Minnedosa:

Morden-Rhineland:

Morris:

Mountain:

Norfolk:

Portage la Prairie:

Roblin:

Rockwood:

Rupertsland:

Russell:

St. Boniface:

St. Boniface
Party Candidate % 1st Pref Count 1 Count 2 Count 3
Co-operative Commonwealth Edwin Hansford 47.54 6,349 6,451 6,606
Liberal–Progressive Walter Tod 29.49 3,939 3,967 4,351
Independent Liberal-Progressive Laurier Regnier (Coalition) 12.80 1,710 1,726 1,812
Independent Angus McDonald (Opposition) 6.54 874 900  
Labor–Progressive Jules Pinoo 3.62 483    
Electorate: 24,052   Valid: 13,355   Spoilt: 209   Quota: 6,678   Turnout: 13,564 (56.39%)

St. Clements:

St. Clements
Party Candidate % 1st Pref Count 1 Count 2
Co-operative Commonwealth Wilbert Doneleyko 44.44 3,472 3,615
Liberal–Progressive (x)Nicholas J. Stryk 42.23 3,299 3,395
Labor–Progressive Andrew Bileski 13.33 1,041  
Electorate: 15,074   Valid: 7,812   Spoilt: 86   Quota: 3,907   Turnout: 7,898 (52.39%)

St. George:

Ste. Rose:

Springfield:

[Note: Olive and Mackay’s numbers appear to be from the third count.]

Swan River:

The Pas:

Turtle Mountain:

  • (x)Errick Willis (PC) accl.
  • Alex Cochrane (CCF) not enough signatures

Virden:

Winnipeg[edit]

Winnipeg (ten members)
Party Candidate % 1st Pref Count 1 Count 2 Count 3 Count 4 Count 5 Count 6 Count 7 Count 8 Count 9 Count 10 Count 11 Count 12 Count 13 Count 14 Count 15
Co-operative Commonwealth (x)Seymour Farmer 14.15 11,237 7,222 7,222 7,222 7,222 7,222 7,222 7,222 7,222 7,222 7,222 7,222 7,222 7,222 7,222
Liberal–Progressive (x)J.S. McDiarmid 13.56 10,771 10,771 7,222 7,222 7,222 7,222 7,222 7,222 7,222 7,222 7,222 7,222 7,222 7,222 7,222
Independent (x)Lewis Stubbs (Opposition) 10.46 8,309 8,309 8,309 7,222 7,222 7,222 7,222 7,222 7,222 7,222 7,222 7,222 7,222 7,222 7,222
Co-operative Commonwealth Lloyd Stinson 9.79 7,773 7,773 7,773 7,773 7,222 7,222 7,222 7,222 7,222 7,222 7,222 7,222 7,222 7,222 7,222
Liberal–Progressive (x)Charles Rhodes Smith 6.18 4,909 4,946 6,059 6,174 6,181 6,313 6,889 6,973 6,995 7,010 7,957 7,222 7,222 7,222 7,222
Co-operative Commonwealth (x)Morris Gray 5.13 4,075 5,743 5,787 5,915 6,026 6,111 6,165 6,664 7,462 7,222 7,222 7,222 7,222 7,222 7,222
Labor–Progressive (x)Bill Kardash 5.05 4,014 4,067 4,076 4,133 4,138 4,183 4,212 4,237 6,141 6,319 6,388 6,394 6,512 6,832 6,892
Progressive Conservative (x)Gunnar Thorvaldson 4.96 3,941 3,966 4,592 4,671 4,677 4,830 5,099 5,128 5,145 5,148 5,818 6,013 6,067 6,162 7,256
Liberal–Progressive William Scraba 4.55 3,616 3,656 3,790 3,828 3,833 3,900 4,032 4,085 4,135 4,143 4,479 4,712 4,847 4,931 5,774
Progressive Conservative Mark Long 3.79 3,012 3,035 3,227 3,272 3,276 3,425 3,776 3,806 3,819 3,822 4,121 4,191 4,232 4,273  
Labor–Progressive Joseph Zuken 3.70 2,939 2,963 2,974 3,010 3,014 3,049 3,092 3,103              
Progressive Conservative Morley Lougheed 3.38 2,681 2,715 3,200 3,285 3,291 3,407 3,637 3,664 3,679 3,683 3,993 4,192 4,242 4,315 5,621
Co-operative Commonwealth Donovan Swailes 3.35 2,663 3,682 3,709 3,876 4,087 4,210 4,243 4,902 4,924 4,941 5,065 5,089 7,863 7,222 7,222
Co-operative Commonwealth George Stapleton 2.93 2,329 2,687 2,698 2,757 2,838 2,928 2,942 3,942 3,960 3,971 4,047 4,055      
Liberal–Progressive (x)Paul Bardal 2.58 2,053 2,094 2,677 2,766 2,773 2,882 3,213 3,237 3,290 3,291          
Liberal–Progressive M. Walsh 2.35 1,867 1,898 2,127 2,166 2,171 2,253                  
Co-operative Commonwealth A.N. Robertson 2.26 1,796 2,391 2,419 2,483 2,568 2,659 2,694                
Social Credit T.H. Taylor 0.80 635 656 663 689 692                    
Progressive Conservative Roy Sully 0.75 592 623 665 706 716                    
Socialist James Milne 0.28 222 236 254 263 264                    
Electorate: 155,824   Valid: 79,433   Spoilt: n/a   Quota: 7,222   Turnout: 79,433 (50.98%)
Winnipeg (analysis of transferred votes, ranked in order of 1st preference votes)
Party Candidate Maximum
Round
Maximum
Votes
Share in
Maximum
Round
Maximum Votes
First Round VotesTransfer Votes


Co-operative Commonwealth Seymour Farmer 1 11,237 14.15%
Liberal-Progressive J.S. McDiarmid 1 10,771 13.56%
Independent Lewis Stubbs 1 8,309 10.46%
Co-operative Commonwealth Lloyd Stinson 1 7,773 9.79%
Liberal-Progressive Charles Rhodes Smith 11 7,957 10.20%
Co-operative Commonwealth Morris Gray 9 7,462 9.51%
Labor-Progressive Bill Kardash 15 6,892 9.06%
Progressive Conservative Gunnar Thorvaldson 15 7,256 9.54%
Liberal-Progressive William Scraba 15 5,774 7.59%
Progressive Conservative Mark Long 14 4,273 5.54%
Labor-Progressive Joseph Zuken 8 3,103 3.95%
Progressive Conservative Morley Lougheed 15 5,621 7.39%
Co-operative Commonwealth Donovan Swailes 13 7,863 10.20%
Co-operative Commonwealth George Stapleton 12 4,055 5.20%
Liberal-Progressive Paul Bardal 10 3,291 4.20%
Liberal-Progressive M. Walsh 6 2,253 2.85%
Co-operative Commonwealth A.N. Robertson 7 2,694 3.42%
Social Credit T.H. Taylor 5 716 0.90%
Progressive Conservative Roy Sully 5 692 0.87%
Socialist James Milne 5 264 0.33%
Exhausted votes 3,336 4.20%
MLAs returned by party
Party Number
Co-operative Commonwealth 4
Liberal–Progressive 3
Independent 1
Labor–Progressive 1
Progressive Conservative 1
Total 10

Post-election changes[edit]

Beresford Richards (Ind CCF) was re-admitted to the CCF caucus in December 1945.

Special elections for members of the armed forces were held in January 1946, in light of the fact that many Manitoba citizens had served overseas in World War II and were unable to vote in the general election. Gordon Churchill was elected to represent the Canadian Army, Alex J. Stringer was elected for the Royal Canadian Navy and Ronald Turner was elected for the Royal Canadian Air Force. Stringer later became a Progressive Conservative, while Turner became a Liberal-Progressive. Churchill sat as an Independent.

Minnedosa (res. Earl Rutledge, July 13, 1948), November 2, 1948:

Fairford (res. Stuart Garson, November 13, 1948), December 23, 1948:

Beresford Richards and Wilbert Doneleyko were expelled from the CCF in July 1949, and sat as independent members.

Iberville (res. John McDowell, 1949)

Winnipeg (res. Gunnar Thorvaldson, 1949)

Gordon Churchill, Army Representative, resigns in 1949.