1948 Alberta general election

← 1944 August 17, 1948 (1948-08-17) 1952 →

57 seats in the Legislative Assembly of Alberta
29 seats were needed for a majority
  Majority party Minority party Third party
Ernest Manning.jpg
Elmer E Roper.jpg
Leader Ernest Manning Elmer E. Roper James H. Prowse
Party Social Credit Co-operative Commonwealth Liberal
Leader since May 31, 1943 1942 June 26, 1947
Leader's seat Edmonton Edmonton Edmonton
Last election 51 seats, 50.5% 2 seats, 24.2% did not run
Seats before 50 2 1
Seats won 51 2 2
Seat change Increase1 ±0 Increase1
Popular vote 164,003 56,387 52,655
Percentage 55.6% 19.1% 17.9%
Swing Increase5.1% Decrease5.1%

Premier before election

Ernest Manning
Social Credit

Premier after election

Ernest Manning
Social Credit

The 1948 Alberta general election was held on August 17, 1948, to elect members of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta.

Ernest C. Manning led the Social Credit to a fourth term in government, increasing its share of the popular vote further above the 50% mark it had set in the 1944 election. It won the same number of seats — 51 of the 57 seats in the legislature — that it had won in the previous election.

The remaining seats were won by the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation, the Liberal Party and independents.

This provincial election, like the previous five, saw district-level proportional representation (Single transferable voting) used to elect the MLAs of Edmonton and Calgary. City-wide districts were used to elect multiple MLAs in the cities. All the other MLAs were elected in single-member districts through Instant-runoff voting.

Along with this election, voters got to also vote in a province wide plebiscite. The ballot asked voters about utility regulation.


Party Party Leader # of
Seats Popular Vote
1944 Elected % Change # % % Change
  Social Credit Ernest C. Manning 57 51 51 - 164,003 55.63% +3.75%
  Cooperative Commonwealth Elmer Roper 51 2 2 - 56,387 19.13% −5.79%
Liberal James Harper Prowse 49 * 2 * 52,655 17.86% *
  Independent 7 3 1 −66.7% 9,014 3.05% −13.70%
  Independent Social Credit 3 * 1 * 2,958 1.00% *
  Independent Citizen's John P. Page 2 * - * 3,969 1.35% *
  Labour 1 * - * 3,579 1.21% *
Labor–Progressive Ben Swankey 2 - - - 1,372 0.47% −3.79%
  United Labour 1 * - * 856 0.30% *
  Veterans' & Active Force 0 1 - −100% 0 0.00% -
Total 173 57 57 - 294,793 100%  
Source: Elections Alberta


* Party did not nominate candidates in the previous election.

Popular vote
Social Credit
Seats summary
Social Credit

Electrification plebiscite

The electrification plebiscite was the fourth plebiscite conducted province-wide in Alberta's history. The ballot was not a traditional yes/no question, but presented two options on electricity generation and transmission, asking if the province should create "a publicly-owned utility administered by the Alberta Government Power Commission"[1] or leave the electricity industry in the hands of companies already in the business (a mixture of municipal operations and private companies). The driving force behind the referendum was whether to provide rural electrification through public ownership or leave it in the hands of private corporations that had done very little up to that time and did not have the financial resources to perform the task.[2] Despite the referendum result, the government sponsored the creation of many Rural Electrification Associations, of which some still exist today.[3]

The result shows how evenly divided the province was on the issue, with a plurality of only 151 votes in favour of leaving the old system in place. In fact, the majority of voters in Edmonton and in the rural areas were in favour of provincial control but an even larger majority in Calgary voted in favour of the old system.

Option A Option B
Are you in favour of the generation and distribution of electricity being continued by the Power Companies? Are you in favour of the generation and distribution of electricity being made a publicly owned utility administered by the Alberta Government Power Commission?
139,991     50.03% 139,840     49.97%

For a breakdown of results, please see individual districts.

Members elected

For complete electoral history, see individual districts.

11th Alberta Legislative Assembly
  District Member Party
  Acadia-Coronation Clarence Gerhart Social Credit
  Alexandra Anders Aalborg Social Credit
  Athabasca Gordon Lee Social Credit
  Banff-Cochrane Arthur Wray Independent Social Credit
  Beaver River Harry Lobay Social Credit
  Bow Valley-Empress Wilson Cain Social Credit
  Bruce Earl Hardy Social Credit
  Calgary Rose Wilkinson Social Credit
  Frederick C. Colborne Social Credit
  Howard MacDonald Independent
  Hugh John MacDonald Liberal
  Aylmer Liesemer Co-operative Commonwealth
  Camrose Chester Sayers Social Credit
  Cardston Nathan Eldon Tanner Social Credit
  Clover Bar Floyd Baker Social Credit
  Cypress James Underdahl Social Credit
  Didsbury Howard Hammell Social Credit
  Drumheller Gordon Taylor Social Credit
  Edmonton Elmer Roper Co-operative Commonwealth
  Lou Heard Social Credit
  Ernest Manning Social Credit
  James Harper Prowse Liberal
  Clayton Adams Social Credit
  Edson Norman Willmore Social Credit
  Gleichen George Bell Social Credit
  Grande Prairie Ira McLaughlin Social Credit
  Grouard John Wood Social Credit
  Hand Hills Wallace Cross Social Credit
  Lac Ste. Anne Albert Bourcier Social Credit
  Lacombe Duncan MacMillan Social Credit
  Leduc Ronald Ansley Social Credit
  Lethbridge John Landeryou Social Credit
  Little Bow Peter Dawson Social Credit
  Macleod James Hartley Social Credit
  Medicine Hat John Lyle Robinson Social Credit
  Okotoks-High River Ivan Casey Social Credit
  Olds Norman E. Cook Social Credit
  Peace River William Gilliland Social Credit
  Pembina Robin Jorgenson Social Credit
  Pincher Creek-Crowsnest William Kovach Social Credit
  Ponoka Ora B. Moore Social Credit
  Red Deer David A. Ure Social Credit
  Redwater Peter Chaba Social Credit
  Rocky Mountain House Alfred Hooke Social Credit
  Sedgewick Albert Fee Social Credit
  Spirit River Henry DeBolt Social Credit
  St. Albert Lucien Maynard Social Credit
  St. Paul Joseph Beaudry Social Credit
  Stettler William S. Mackie Social Credit
  Stony Plain Cornelia Wood Social Credit
  Taber Roy S. Lee Social Credit
  Vegreville Michael Ponich Social Credit
  Vermilion William Cornish Social Credit
  Wainwright William Masson Social Credit
  Warner Leonard Halmrast Social Credit
  Wetaskiwin John Wingblade Social Credit
  Willingdon William Tomyn Social Credit

See also


  1. ^ A Report on Alberta Elections, p. 185
  2. ^ The People's Weekly, August 14, Sept. 4, 1948
  3. ^ "Alberta Power Market" website, accessed May 16, 2020