Sunday, September 2, 2012

Governments in Canada elected with less than 40% support

People are talking about the PQ winning a majority with only 33-34% of the vote.   That is would be a record for a party running a full slate of candidates in any election in Canada.    In 2007 the Liberals managed to get 33.08% of the vote in Quebec and only 38.4% of the seats, a very small minority government.

A PQ government elected with 33-34% of the vote would be one of the smallest popular mandates for a government in Canadian history.

This is the list I can find of parties that have won government in Canada with less than 40% of the vote.   Left out of this list are the results in Manitoba from 1920-1949, 1952 in BC and 1921-1930 in Alberta because first past the post was not used in those elections.   1919 Ontario is also left out because the winning United Farmers were nowhere close to running a full slate.  Also not on the list are a number of minority governments where the governing party achieved more than 40% of the vote such as the Federal Liberals in 1963 and 1965

  • 31.34% - 1924 BC - Liberals win a minority with 23 of 48 seats - Conservatives won 29.45% and 17 seats and the Provincial Party (BC's UF or Progressives) won 24.16% and 3 seats 
  • 32.94% - 1941 BC - Liberals win a minority and form a coalition with the Conservatives
  • 33.08% - 2007 Quebec - Liberals win a very small minority with 48 of 125 seats
  • 35.34% - 1998 Nova Scotia - Liberals win a minority
  • 35.7% - 1943 Ontario - PCs win a minority
  • 35.89% - 1979 Federal - PCs win a minority
  • 35.9% - 1992 Yukon - Yukon Party wins a minority
  • 36.1% - 1975 Ontario - PCs win a minority
  • 36.27% - 2006 Federal - Conservatives win a minority
  • 36.32% - 2003 Nova Scotia - PCs win a minority
  • 36.73% - 2004 Federal - Liberals win a minority
  • 37.0% - 1985 Ontario - PCs win the most seats but the Liberals with 37.9% soon form a government with the cooperation of the NDP
  • 37.1% - 1978 Yukon - PCs win a majority - it is Yukon and has a tiny electorate and tiny house, I really have trouble taking seriously
  • 37.22% - 1962 Federal - PCs win a minority
  • 37.34% - 1937 BC - Liberals win a majority - Conservatives managed 28.60% and the CCF 28.57%
  • 37.57% - 1990 Ontario - NDP wins a majority
  • 37.62% - 2011 Ontario - Liberals win a minority
  • 37.65% - 2008 Federal - Conservatives win a minority
  • 37.89% - 1920 BC - Liberals win a majority
  • 38.02% - 1944 Quebec - Union Nationale under Duplessis wins a majority but lost the popular vote to the Liberals who scored 39.35%
  • 38.27% - 1969 Manitoba - NDP wins a minority but govern with support of a Liberal MLA
  • 38.37% - 1988 Manitoba - PCs win a minority
  • 38.42% - 1972 Federal - Liberals win a minority
  • 38.46% - 1997 Federal - Liberals win a majority
  • 38.51% - 1957 Federal - PCs win a minority
  • 38.73% - 1999 Saskatchewan - NDP wins exactly half the seats
  • 39.20% - 1999 Nova Scotia - PCs win a majority
  • 39.45% - 1996 BC - NDP win a majority but loses popular vote to the Liberals
  • 39.57% - 2006 Nova Scotia - PCs win a minority
  • 39.59% - 1972 BC - NDP wins a majority
  • 39.62% - 2011 Federal - Conservatives win a majority
  • 39.7% - 1977 Ontario - PCs win a minority
  • 39.88% - 1996 Yukon - NDP wins a majority
  • 39.96% - 1966 Manitoba - PCs win a majority
If the PQ were to win a majority with only 34% of the vote, that would dramatically lower than ever before.  It is for that reason alone that I find the idea of them winning a majority unrealistic.   They would need to be very efficient in their vote in the 100 to 105 non safe Liberal seats to for a majority government.  The PQ support is strong enough among Francophones that they might be able to win a majority of francophone seats but not large enough to win an overall majority.
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