Canadian federal election, 1962

From Academic Kids

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The Canadian parliament after the 1962 election

The Canadian federal election of 1962 was held to elect members of the Canadian House of Commons. When the election was called, the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada of John George Diefenbaker had governed for almost five years with the largest majority in the House of Commons in Canadian history. The Diefenbaker government had introduced reforms to social programs, a Canadian Bill of Rights, and other changes.

This election reduced the Tories to a tenuous minority government as a result of economic difficulties such as high unemployment and a slumping Canadian dollar, as well as unpopular decisions such as the cancellation of the Avro Arrow. Despite the Diefenbaker government's difficulties, the Liberal Party, led by Lester Pearson, was unable to make up enough ground in the election to defeat the government.

The Liberals campaign under the slogan, "Take a stand for tomorrow", and attempt to portray the Diefenbaker governemnt as "feeble", with a divided cabinet. The Liberals criticized the PCs for their "reckless mismanagement of finances", the slowdown in the Canadian economy, a lack of confidence in government policies, job losses, and a lower standard of living than in 1956. The Liberals also argued that the steep devaluation in the Canadian dollar was increasing the cost of living for Canadians.

The PCs tried to defend the decline in the Canadian dollar by pointing out the benefits to the tourism industry, exports, manufacturing and farming, and employment. they denied that the devaluation had an impact on the price of bread, beef, gasoline and fruit and vegetables, saying that these prices were either set in canada or were influenced by other factors.

The 1962 election was the first contested by the social democratic New Democratic Party, which had been formed from an alliance between the old Co-operative Commonwealth Federation and the Canadian Labour Congress. The party chose longtime Premier of Saskatchewan Tommy Douglas as its first leader. The new party was able to recover ground lost by the CCF in the 1958 federal election, when it was nearly wiped out. It won almost 50% more votes than the CCF had ever managed, but it failed to achieve the major breakthrough that had been hoped for when the party was created.

Douglas failed to win his own seat in the province of Saskatchewan, and the NDP was shut out in this province, which was its political base. Douglas's campaign was hurt by chaos in Saskatchewan brought about by the introduction of Medicare and a resulting strike by the province's doctors. Douglas was forced to enter the House of Commons through a by-election in British Columbia. Despite the initial problems, medicare proved popular, spread throughout the country, and is considered the NDP's (and Douglas') major contribution to the Canadian social fabric.

Social Credit returned to the House of Commons after being shut out in the 1958 election. While leader Robert N. Thompson and three other Socreds were elected in the party's traditional base in western Canada, the party's real success came in Quebec. Réal Caouette led the party's Quebec wing to victory in 26 ridings.

National results

Party Party Leader # of
candidates
Seats Popular Vote
1958 Elected % Change # % % Change

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Progressive Conservatives/row

Progressive Conservative 265 208 116 -44.2% 2,865,542 37.22% -16.35%

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Liberal/row

Liberal <center> Lester B. Pearson 263 48 99 +106.3% 2,846,589 36.97% +3.57%

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Social Credit/row

Social Credit <center> R.N. Thompson 230 - 30   893,479 11.61% +9.02%

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/NDP/row

New Democratic <center> Tommy Douglas 218 8 19 +137.5% 1,044,754 13.57% +4.06%

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Liberal/row

Liberal-Labour <center> 1 1 1 - 15,412 0.20% +0.04%

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Independents/row

Independent Liberal 7 - - - 10,406 0.14% -0.03%

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Independents/row

Independent 11 - - - 8,084 0.08% -0.05%

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Communist/row

Communist1 <center> Leslie Morris 12 - - - 6,360 0.08% -0.05%

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Independents/row

Unknown 4 * - * 2,783 0.04% *

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Independents/row

Independent PC 4 * - * 2,713 0.04% *

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Independents/row

Candidat libéral des electeurs <center> 1 * - * 1,836 0.02% *

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Independents/row

Capital familial <center> H-G Grenier 1   -   393 0.01% -0.01%

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Independents/row

Co-operative Builders <center> 1 * - * 261 x *

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Independents/row

All Canadian <center> 1 * - * 189 x *

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Independents/row

Ouvrier Indépendant <center> 1 * - * 152 x *
Total 1,016 265 265 - 7,698,953 100%  
Sources: http://www.elections.ca History of Federal Ridings since 1867 (http://www.parl.gc.ca/information/about/process/house/hfer/hfer.asp?Language=E)

Notes:

* Party did not nominate candidates in previous election.

x - less than 0.005% of the popular vote.

1 compared to Labour Progressive Party results from previous election.


Results by province

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Independents/row
Party Name BC AB SK MB ON QC NB NS PE NL NW YK Total

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Progressive Conservatives/row

Progressive Conservative Seats: 6 15 16 11 35 14 4 9 4 1 1 - 116

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Progressive Conservatives/row

Popular Vote: 27.3 42.8 50.4 41.6 39.2 29.6 46.5 47.3 51.3 36.0 55.0 47.8 37.2

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Liberal/row

Liberal Seats: 4 - 1 1 43 35 6 2 - 6 - 1 99

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Liberal/row

Vote: 27.3 19.4 22.8 31.3 41.0 39.2 44.4 42.4 43.3 59.0 45.0 52.2 37.0

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Social Credit/row

Social Credit Seats: 2 2 - - - 26 - - - -     30

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Social Credit/row

Vote: 14.2 29.2 4.6 6.8 1.8 26.0 3.6 0.8 0.2 0.1     11.6

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/NDP/row

New Democratic Seats: 10 - - 2 6 - - 1 - -     19

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/NDP/row

Vote: 30.9 8.4 22.1 19.7 17.2 4.4 5.3 9.4 5.2 4.9     13.6

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Liberal/row

Liberal-Labour Seats:         1               1

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Liberal/row

Vote:         0.6               0.2
  Total Seats   22 17 17 14 85 75 10 12 4 7 1 1 265
Parties that won no seats:
Independent Liberal Vote:   0.1       0.5 0.2           0.1

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Independents/row

Independent Vote: xx 0.1   0.3 0.1 0.2             0.1

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Communist/row

Communist Vote: 0.2   0.1 0.6 0.1 xx             0.1

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Independents/row

Unknown Vote:         0.1 xx   0.1         xx

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Independents/row

Independent PC Vote:           0.1             xx

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Independents/row

Candidat libéral des electeurs Vote:           0.1             xx

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Independents/row

Capitale familiale Vote:           xx             xx

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Independents/row

Co-operative Builders Vote:         xx               xx

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Independents/row

All Canadian Vote:   xx                     xx

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Independents/row

Ouvrier Indépendant Vote:           xx             xx

xx - less than 0.05% of the popular vote

Template:Sequence
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