Red Deer (provincial electoral district)

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Red Deer was a provincial electoral district representing the city of Red Deer, Alberta in the Legislative Assembly of Alberta from 1905 to 1986. The district was split into Red Deer North and Red Deer South in 1986.

For most of the districts history, it was a swing riding, with no party being able win with a second representative until the Progressive Conservatives in the 1970s.

Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs)[edit]

  Name Party Elected Left Office
  John T. Moore Liberal 1905 1909
  Edward Michener Independent 1909 1910
  Conservative 1910 1918
  John Gaetz Liberal 1918 1921
  George Wilbert Smith United Farmers 1921 1931
  William Ernest Payne Conservative 1931 1935
  Alfred Hooke Social Credit 1935 1940
  Alfred Speakman Independent 1940 1943
  David A. Ure Social Credit 1943 1954
  William Cameron Kirby Conservative 1954 (elected in a by-election) 1959
  William Ure Social Credit 1959 1971
  James Foster Progressive Conservative 1971 1979
  Norman Magee Progressive Conservative 1979 1982
  Jim McPherson Progressive Conservative 1982 1986

Election results[edit]

1905 general election[edit]

Returning Officer[1]
Frank L. Farley
1905 Alberta general election results[2] Turnout Unknown
Affiliation Candidate Votes %
  Liberal John T. Moore 524 48.03%
  Conservative Leonard Gaetz 479 43.90%
  Independent Alexander McKenzie 88 8.07%
Total 1,091 100%
Rejected, Spoiled and Declined 8

1940 general election[edit]

1940 Alberta general election[3] Turnout %Turnout %
Affiliation Candidate 1st % Votes % Count
  Independent Alfred Speakman 2,760 36.99% 2,354 42.80% 2nd
  Social Credit J.H. McCulloch 2,110 38.23% 1,368 24.78%
  Independent Progressive Alban MacLellan 971 57.20% 2nd Eliminated 2nd
Valid Ballots 5,814 100% 3,722 100%
Exhausted Ballots 2,092 2 Counts

1943 by-election[edit]

December 18, 1943 by-election[3] Turnout %
Affiliation Candidate 1st % Votes % Count
  Social Credit David Ure 2,110 38.23% 2,539 57.20% 2nd
  Independent Wilfred J. Edgar 2,042 36.99% 2,354 42.80% 2nd
     Cooperative Commonwealth E.P. Johns 1,368 24.78% Eliminated 2nd
Valid Ballots 5,520 100% 4,839 100%
Exhausted Ballots 627 2 Counts

Plebiscite results[edit]

1957 liquor plebiscite[edit]

1957 Alberta liquor plebiscite results: Grande Prairie[4]
Question A: Do you approve additional types of outlets for the
sale of beer, wine and spirituous liquor subject to a local vote?
Ballot Choice Votes %
Yes 3,565 56.88%
No 2,703 43.12%
Total Votes 6,268 100%
Rejected, Spoiled and Declined 80
14,151 Eligible Electors, Turnout 44.86%

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.[5]

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.[4]

Province wide Question A of the plebiscite passed in 33 of the 50 districts while Question B passed in all five districts. Red Deer voted in favour of the proposal with a solid majority. Voter turnout in the district was slightly under the province wide average of 46%.[4]

Official district returns were released to the public on December 31, 1957.[4] The Social Credit government in power at the time did not considered the results binding.[6] However the results of the vote led the government to repeal all existing liquor legislation and introduce an entirely new Liquor Act.[7]

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.[8]


  1. ^ "Territories Elections Ordinance; Province of Alberta". Vol VI No. 12. The Rocky Mountain Echo. October 30, 1905. p. 4. 
  2. ^ "Official Declaration". Vol V No. 24. Alberta Advocate. November 24, 1905. p. 10. 
  3. ^ a b "Social Credit Wins in Red Deer By-election". Vol. XLII No. 51. Red Deer Advocate. December 22, 1943. p. 1. 
  4. ^ a b c d Alberta Gazette. 53 (December 31 ed.). Government of Alberta. 1957. pp. 2,247–2,249. 
  5. ^ "Albertans Vote 2 to 1 For More Liquor Outlets". Vol L No 273. The Lethbridge Herald. October 31, 1957. pp. 1–2. 
  6. ^ "No Sudden Change In Alberta Drinking Habits Is Seen". Vol L No 267. The Lethbridge Herald. October 24, 1957. p. 1. 
  7. ^ "Entirely New Act On Liquor". Vol LI No 72. The Lethbridge Herald. March 5, 1958. p. 1. 
  8. ^ "Bill 81". Alberta Bills 12th Legislature 1st Session. Government of Alberta. 1958. p. 40.