1878 Canadian federal election

← 1874 September 17, 1878 1882 →

206 seats in the House of Commons
104 seats needed for a majority
Turnout69.1%[1] (Decrease0.5pp)
  First party Second party
 
Sir John A Macdonald circa 1878 retouched crop.jpg
Alexander Mackenzie portrait crop.jpg
Leader John A. Macdonald Alexander Mackenzie
Party Conservative Liberal
Leader since 1867 1873
Leader's seat Victoria[a] Lambton
Last election 65 seats, 30.1% 129 seats, 39.5%
Seats won 134 63
Seat change Increase69 Decrease66
Popular vote 229,191 180,074
Percentage 42.06% 33.05%
Swing Increase11.96pp Decrease6.45pp

Canada 1878 Federal Election.svg
1878 Canadian electoral map

Chambre des Communes 1878.png
The Canadian Parliament after the 1878 election

Prime Minister before election

Alexander Mackenzie
Liberal

Prime Minister after election

John A. Macdonald
Conservative

The 1878 Canadian federal election was held on September 17, 1878 to elect members of the House of Commons of the 4th Parliament of Canada. It resulted in the end of Prime Minister Alexander Mackenzie's Liberal government after only one term in office. Canada suffered an economic depression during Mackenzie's term, and his party was punished by voters for it. The Liberals' policy of free trade also hurt their support with the business establishment in Toronto and Montreal.

Sir John A. Macdonald and his Conservative Party were returned to power after having been defeated four years before amidst scandals over the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway.

National results

1878 Canadian parliament.svg


Party Party leader # of candidates Seats Popular vote
1874 Elected Change # % Change
  Conservative John A. Macdonald 101 38 85 +118.4% 143,192 26.28% +7.80pp
  Liberal-Conservative 60 26 49 +76.9% 85,999 15.78% +3.50pp
  Liberal Alexander Mackenzie 121 126 63 -54.8% 180,074 33.05% -7.74pp
  Independent 11 4 5 +25% 14,783 2.71% -0.48pp
  Independent Conservative 2 2 2 - 1,001 0.18% -0.76pp
  Unknown 117 -   114,043 20.93% -1.93pp
  Independent Liberal 4 1 1 +100% 5,388 0.99% -
  Nationalist Conservative 1 * 1 * 401 0.07% *
Total 417 197 206 +3.6% 544,881 100.0% -
Sources: http://www.elections.ca -- History of Federal Ridings since 1867

Note:

* Party did not nominate candidates in the previous election.

Acclamations

The following Members of Parliament were elected by acclamation;

Results by province

Party name BC MB ON QC NB NS PE Total
  Conservative Seats: 1 2 37 33 1 8 3 85
  Popular vote (%): - 49.6 25.5 35.0 5.9 21.7 31.6 26.3
  Liberal-Conservative Seats: 2 1 23 12 3 6 2 49
  Vote (%): 39.6 - 15.8 13.2 14.3 22.7 12.0 15.8
  Liberal Seats: 2   27 17 9 7 1 63
  Vote (%): -   36.3 21.7 48.2 34.9 37.2 33.1
  Independent Seats: 1   1 1 2 -   5
  Vote (%): 12.2   1.5 1.6 13.1 4.3   2.7
  Independent Conservative Seats:   1   1       2
  Vote (%):   50.4   0.7       0.2
  Unknown Seats:  
  Vote (%): 48.2   19.9 27.4 14.8 14.7 19.3 20.9
  Independent Liberal Seats:       1 -   1
  Vote (%):     1.0   3.7 1.7   1.0
  Nationalist Conservative Seats:     1 -   1
  Vote (%):       0.3       0.1
Total seats 6 4 88 65 16 21 6 206

Further reading

Notes

  1. ^ Macdonald also ran in Kingston (where he was defeated) and Marquette (where he was elected); as his appointment as Prime Minister meant he was required by convention at the time to vacate his seat and run again, he chose to stand again in Victoria rather than Marquette.

References

  1. ^ "Voter Turnout at Federal Elections and Referendums". Elections Canada. Retrieved 10 March 2019.

See also