Saturday, January 11, 2014

With Brian Jean resigning in Fort McMurray-Athbaska we have the 11th federal by-election

We are now up to the 11th federal vacancy since the May 2011 federal election which is getting up there in total number of by-elections within a single parliament.   If there are two more resignations or deaths before the general election in October 2015, the 41st parliament will have seen the most by-elections since the late 1970s.

We have seen a drop in by-elections in part because MPs no longer die in office which was once much more common.   Two generations ago you could expect two MPs to die every year.   We have only had four deaths in the last 20 years, once every five years.  Given that we have 16% more MPs now than several generations ago, the drop in MPs deaths is that much more remarkable.
 
With the resignation of Brian Jean, that is the sixth member of the government caucus to step down, that is also higher than has been the norm over the last decade but still short of a record.  If two more Conservatives resign this will tie the first Chretien term.  If three resign or die, this parliament will see the highest level of government held by-elections since the late 70s.

By-elections by parliament since World War II
Parl          # of    Govt  Off opp deaths
             by-elect Seats Seats
41st 2011-14   11      6      2       1     
40th 2008-11    7      1      1       0
39th 2006-08    9      0      6       1
38th 2004-06    1      1      0       0
37th 2000-04   12      7      1       0
36th 1997-00   10      4      2       1
35th 1993-97   10      8      2       1
34th 1988-93    6      2      3       2
33rd 1984-88    6      4      1       0
32nd 1980-84   12      4      5       4  
31st 1979-80    2      1      1       1
30th 1974-79   25     14      8       3
29th 1972-74    0      0      0       0
28th 1968-72   11      6      2       5
27th 1965-68   11      8      3       2
26th 1963-65    6      4      2       4
25th 1962-63    1      0      0       1
24th 1958-62   14     11      3       9
23rd 1957-58    3      2      1       1
22nd 1953-57   17     13      3       9
21st 1949-53   30     25      5      11
20th 1945-49   18     11      3       7
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