1935 Canadian federal election

← 1930 October 14, 1935 1940 →

245 seats in the House of Commons
123 seats needed for a majority
Turnout74.2%[1] (Increase0.7pp)
  First party Second party Third party
 
Wm Lyon Mackenzie King.jpg
Richard Bedford Bennett.jpg
W aberhart.jpg
Leader W. L. Mackenzie King R. B. Bennett William Aberhart (unofficial)
Party Liberal Conservative Social Credit
Leader since 1919 1927 1935
Leader's seat Prince Albert Calgary West Did not run[a]
Last election 89 137 pre-creation
Seats won 173 39 17
Seat change Increase84 Decrease98 Increase17
Popular vote 1,967,839 1,290,671 180,679
Percentage 44.68% 29.84% 4.10%
Swing Increase0.65pp Decrease18.48pp Increase4.10pp

  Fourth party Fifth party
 
Ac.woodsworth.jpg
Henry Herbert Stevens.jpg
Leader J. S. Woodsworth H. H. Stevens
Party Co-operative Commonwealth Reconstruction
Leader since 1932 1935
Leader's seat Winnipeg North Centre Kootenay East
Last election pre-creation pre-creation
Seats won 7 1
Seat change Increase7 Increase1
Popular vote 410,125 384,462
Percentage 9.31% 8.73%
Swing Increase9.31pp Increase8.73pp

Canada 1935 Federal Election.svg

Chambre des Communes 1935.png
The Canadian parliament after the 1935 election

Prime Minister before election

R. B. Bennett
Conservative

Prime Minister after election

William Lyon Mackenzie King
Liberal

The 1935 Canadian federal election was held on October 14, 1935, to elect members of the House of Commons of Canada of the 18th Parliament of Canada. The Liberal Party of William Lyon Mackenzie King won a majority government, defeating Prime Minister R. B. Bennett's Conservatives.[2]

The central issue was the economy, which was still in the depths of the Great Depression. In office since the 1930 election, Bennett had sought to stimulate the economy during his first few years through a policy of high tariffs and trade within the British Empire. In the last months of his time in office, he reversed his position, copying the popular New Deal of Franklin Roosevelt in the United States. Upset about high unemployment and inaction by the federal government, voters were unwilling to allow the Conservatives to continue to govern, despite their change of policy.

The Conservatives were also suffering severe internal divisions. During his first years in office, Bennett had alienated those in his party who supported intervention in the economy. His last minute conversion to interventionism alienated the rest of the party. Former cabinet minister H.H. Stevens left to form the Reconstruction Party. Senior minister Sir Joseph Flavelle announced he would be supporting the Liberals.

Voters opted for Mackenzie King's promise of mild reforms to restore economic health. The Liberals crushed the Tories, winning 173 seats to the Conservatives' 39, the worst ever performance by the Tories until their collapse in 1993. The Liberal Party would continue to hold power until 1957.

The 1935 election was also important in it saw the final demise of the Progressive Party and the United Farmers of Alberta. Two new movements rose out of the west, however. The new Co-operative Commonwealth Federation, a social democratic party, first competed in this election and won seven seats, promising social reform.

The Social Credit Party of Canada was even more successful, capturing seventeen seats on its platform of monetary reform despite winning less of the popular vote than the former. Fifteen of these seats were in Alberta, where the party dominated after having swept to power in a landslide less than two months before the federal vote. John Horne Blackmore was chosen to lead the Social Credit caucus after the election. The de facto leader of the national movement was Alberta Premier William Aberhart, who did not stand in the federal election himself.

National results

1935 Canadian parliament English version.svg
Party Party leader # of
candidates
Seats Popular vote
1930 Elected % Change # % pp Change
  Liberal W. L. Mackenzie King 245 90 173 +92.2% 1,967,839 44.68% +0.65
  Conservative R. B. Bennett 228 134 39 -70.9% 1,290,671 29.30% -18.48
Social Credit 46 * 17 * 180,679 4.10% *
  Co-operative Commonwealth J. S. Woodsworth 121 * 7 * 410,125 9.31% *
Liberal–Progressive   5 3 4 +33.3% 29,569 0.67% -0.48
Reconstruction H.H. Stevens 172 * 1 * 384,462 8.73% *
  Independent Liberal 24 - 1   54,239 1.23% +0.86
  Independent 13 2 1 -50.0% 17,207 0.39% -0.16
  United Farmers of Ontario-Labour   1 - 1   7,210 0.16% +0.16
  Independent Conservative 4 - 1   1,078 0.02% -0.24
Communist Tim Buck 12 - - - 20,140 0.46% +0.34
Labour   5 2 - -100% 14,423 0.33% -0.35
  Progressive-Conservative   2 1 - -100% 12,220 0.28% -0.13
  Verdun   1 * - * 4,214 0.10% *
  Anti-Communist   1 * - * 3,961 0.09% *
  Unknown 3 - - - 3,407 0.08% -0.11
  Independent Reconstructionist 1 * 0 * 865 0.02% *
  Technocrat   1 * 0 * 733 0.02% *
  Liberal-Labour   3 - - - 708 0.02% -0.17
  Socialist Party of Canada (WSM)   1 * - * 251 0.01% *
  Independent Labour 1 - - - 221 0.01% -0.41
  Veteran   1 * - * 79 x *
Total 891 245 245 - 4,404,301 100%  
Sources: http://www.elections.ca -- History of Federal Ridings since 1867

Notes:

* The party did not nominate candidates in the previous election.

x - less than 0.005% of the popular vote

Results by province

Party name BC AB SK MB ON QC NB NS PE YK Total
  Liberal Seats won by party: 6 1 16 10 56 59 9 12 4 - 173
  Popular Vote (%): 31.8 21.6 40.8 31.7 42.2 56.0 57.2 52.7 58.3 44.4 44.7
  Conservative Seats: 5 1 1 1 25 5 1 - - 39
  Vote: 24.9 17.6 18.0 27.9 35.8 27.5 31.9 34.5 38.4 29.8
  Co-operative Commonwealth Seats: 3 - 2 2 - -       7
  Vote: 32.7 12.0 21.3 19.4 8.0 0.6     8.8
  Social Credit Seats: - 15 2 -             17
  Vote: 0.6 46.6 17.8 2.0             4.1
  Liberal-Progressive Seats:       4           4
  Vote:       10.5           0.7
  Reconstruction Seats: 1 - - - - - - - -   1
  Vote: 7.3 0.7 1.3 5.9 11.4 9.3 9.7 12.7 3.4   8.7
  Independent Liberal Seats:       - - 1 - -     1
  Vote:     0.2 0.6 3.8 0.4 3     1.2
  Independent Seats: 1     - - - -       1
  Vote: 1.8 0.1 0.2 0.7 0.8     0.4
  UFO-Labour Seats:         1           1
  Vote:         0.5           0.2
  Independent Conservative Seats:         -       1 1
  Vote:         xx       55.6 xx
Total Seats 16 17 21 17 82 65 10 12 4 1 245
Parties that won no seats:
Communist Vote: 0.5 1.1 0.8 0.7 0.5 0.3         0.5
  Farmer-Labour Vote: 0.3       0.5 0.5         0.3
  Progressive-Conservative Vote:       0.5   0.7         0.1
  Verdun Vote:           0.4         0.1
  Anti-Communist Vote:         0.2           0.1
  Unknown Vote:         0.x 0.x         0.1
  Independent Reconstruction Vote:           0.1         xx
  Technocrat Vote:   0.3                 xx
  Liberal-Labour Vote:           0.1         xx
Socialist Vote: 0.1                   xx
  Independent Labour Vote:           0.x         xx
  Veteran Vote:           0.x         xx

See also

Further reading

Notes

  1. ^ Aberhart was Premier of Alberta, and represented the provincial seat of Okotoks-High River, but was not a candidate in the federal election. John Horne Blackmore acted as Social Credit's parliamentary leader afterwards.

References

  1. ^ "Voter Turnout at Federal Elections and Referendums". Elections Canada. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  2. ^ Reid, Escott (1936). "The Canadian Election of 1935—and After". American Political Science Review. 30 (1): 111–121. doi:10.2307/1948012. ISSN 0003-0554.