Prince Edward Island general election, 1935

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Prince Edward Island general election, 1935
Prince Edward Island
← 1931 July 23, 1935 (1935-07-23) 1939 →

30 seats of the Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island
16 seats needed for a majority
  First party Second party
  Walter Maxfield Lea.jpg William Macmillan.jpg
Leader Walter Lea William J. P. MacMillan
Party Liberal Conservative
Leader since 1930 1933
Leader's seat 4th Prince 5th Queens (lost)
Last election 12 seats, 48.3% 18 seats, 51.7%
Seats won 30 0
Seat change +18 -18
Popular vote 43,824 31,840
Percentage 57.9% 42.1%
Swing +9.6pp -9.6pp

Prince Edward Island General Election 1935.png
Map of PEI's ridings coloured in based on how they voted

Premier before election

William J. P. MacMillan


Walter Lea

The Prince Edward Island general election, 1935 was held in the Canadian Province of Prince Edward Island on 23 July 1935.[1] The Liberal party swept the board by winning every seat in every constituency. This was the first time in the British Commonwealth that a government would face no opposition in an elected chamber.[2] To date , this feat has only been accomplished one other time in Canadian history, the 1987 New Brunswick election.


The 1935 election took place in the shadow of the Great Depression. In 1931, the Conservative Party, then under James David Stewart, defeated the incumbent Liberal government, installing Stewart as Premier. As Premier, Stewart worked to get federal assistance in combating the Depression, but stress caused him to die in office in 1933.

When Stewart's health was failing, he was replaced as acting Premier by William J. P. MacMillan, who took over for Stewart upon his death. MacMillan continued Stewart's policies of increased economic spending and government assistance, until the election in 1935.

Walter Lea, a farmer by trade, had been elected to the Legislature in 1915, and had been Premier before Stewart from 1930-31. During his time as Premier, he "undertook many initiatives to improve and diversify the island’s agricultural industry".[3] After his loss to James Stewart, he continued in opposition until 1935. By the time the 1935 election came around, Lea was very ill. He coordinated most of the campaign "from a hospital bed for six weeks, and then from his home for the remainder of the election. He made only one public appearance during the entire campaign".[3]


Party Party Leader Seats Popular Vote
1931 Elected Change # % Change
  Liberal Walter Lea 12 30 +18 43,824 57.9% +9.6%
  Conservative William J. P. MacMillan 18 - -18 31,840 42.1% -9.6%

The Liberal Party, under Lea, won all 30 seats in the House of Assembly, a feat that had never been accomplished before in the Commonwealth. News media across the Commonwealth broadcast the story. When faced with this unusual institutional setup, Lea had several members of his own party act as members of the opposition, as an actual opposition party did not exist within the legislature.[3] This step was also used in the New Brunswick Legislative Assembly after the 1987 election, in which the New Brunswick Liberal Party won all 58 seats in the Legislative Assembly.

Lea died a few months into his mandate, and was replaced by Thane Campbell, who served as Premier until 1943.


The Legislature of Prince Edward Island had two levels of membership from 1893 to 1996 - Assemblymen and Councillors. This was a holdover from when the Island had a bicameral legislature, the General Assembly and the Legislative Council.

In 1893, the Legislative Council was abolished and had its membership merged with the Assembly, though the two titles remained separate and were elected by different electoral franchises. Assembleymen were elected by all eligible voters of within a district, while Councillors were only elected by landowners within a district.[4]


District Assemblyman Party Councillor Party
1st Kings     Peter A. MacIsaac Liberal     Herbert H. Acorn Liberal
2nd Kings     Harry Cox Liberal     James P. McIntyre Liberal
3rd Kings     John Mustard Liberal     Stephen Hessian Liberal
4th Kings     John A. Campbell Liberal     Montague Annear Liberal
5th Kings     William Hughes Liberal     George Saville Liberal


District Assemblyman Party Councillor Party
1st Queens     Donald N. McKay Liberal     W. F. Alan Stewart Liberal
2nd Queens     Angus McPhee Liberal     Bradford W. LePage Liberal
3rd Queens     Russell C. Clark Liberal     Mark R. MacGuigan Liberal
4th Queens     Dougald MacKinnon Liberal     John Walter Jones Liberal
5th Queens     T. William L. Prowse Liberal     C. St. Clair Trainor Liberal


District Assemblyman Party Councillor Party
1st Prince     Aeneas Gallant Liberal     Thane Alexander Campbell Liberal
2nd Prince     George H. Barbour Liberal     William H. Dennis Liberal
3rd Prince     Marin Gallant Liberal     Thomas Linkletter Liberal
4th Prince     Cleveland Baker Liberal    
Walter Lea Liberal
5th Prince     Edward P. Foley Liberal     Lucas R. Allan Liberal


  1. ^ "Provincial General Election Results, 1935" (PDF). Elections PEI. 
  2. ^ "Walter Maxfield Lea". PEI Legislative Documents Online. 
  3. ^ a b c "Lea's Landslide". Canada's History. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  4. ^ Fred Driscoll. "History and Politics of Prince Edward Island" (PDF). Canadian Parliamentary Review.