1949 Canadian federal election

← 1945 June 27, 1949 1953 →

262 seats in the House of Commons
132 seats needed for a majority
Opinion polls
Turnout73.8%[1] (Decrease1.5pp)
  First party Second party
 
Leader Louis St. Laurent George A. Drew
Party Liberal Progressive Conservative
Leader since August 7, 1948 October 2, 1948
Leader's seat Quebec East Carleton
Last election 118 65
Seats won 191 41
Seat change Increase73 Decrease24
Popular vote 2,874,813 1,734,261
Percentage 49.15% 29.65%
Swing Increase9.37pp Increase2.03pp

  Third party Fourth party
 
Leader Major James Coldwell Solon Earl Low
Party Co-operative Commonwealth Social Credit
Leader since March 22, 1942 April 6, 1944
Leader's seat Rosetown—Biggar Peace River
Last election 28 13
Seats won 13 10
Seat change Decrease15 Decrease3
Popular vote 784,770 135,217
Percentage 13.42% 2.31%
Swing Decrease2.13pp Decrease1.74pp


The Canadian parliament after the 1949 election

Prime Minister before election

Louis St. Laurent
Liberal

Prime Minister after election

Louis St. Laurent
Liberal

The 1949 Canadian federal election was held June 27, 1949, to elect members of the House of Commons of Canada of the 21st Parliament of Canada.

The Liberal Party of Canada was re-elected with its fourth consecutive government, winning 191 seats (73 percent of the seats in the House of Commons), with just under 50 percent of the popular vote.

It was the Liberals' first election in almost thirty years not under the leadership of William Lyon Mackenzie King. King had retired in 1948, and was replaced as Liberal leader and Prime Minister by Louis St. Laurent.

It was the first federal election with Newfoundland voting, having joined Canada in March of that year. It was also the first election since 1904 in which part of the remaining parts of the Northwest Territories were granted representation, following the partitioning off of the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan.

The Liberal Party victory won the largest majority in Canadian history to that point. As of 2022, it remains the third largest majority government in Canadian history, and the largest in the party's history (the Progressive Conservative Party won larger seat majorities in 1958 and 1984).

The Progressive Conservative Party, led by former Premier of Ontario George Drew, gained little ground in this election. The party lost over a third of their seats.

Smaller parties, such as the social democratic Co-operative Commonwealth Federation, and Social Credit, a party that advocated monetary reform, lost support to the Liberals and, to a lesser extent, the Conservatives.

Opinion polling

Evolution of voting intentions at national level
Polling firm Last day
of survey
Source LPC PC CCF SC BP Other Undecided ME Sample
Election 1949 June 27, 1949 49.15 29.65 13.42 2.31 5.47
Gallup June 1949 [2] 49 29 15 6 22
Gallup May 1949 [3] 49 29 16 6 18
Gallup April 1949 [4] 42 32 17 5 4 22
Gallup January 1949 [2] 40 33 18 9 23
Gallup October 1948 [5] 39 27 21 7 6
Gallup August 1948 [5] 41 28 20 6 5
Gallup June 1948 [6] 41 28 19 6 6
Gallup February 1948 [6] 43 28 15 7 7
Gallup January 1948 [6] 42 28 16 6 8 26[2]
Gallup October 1947 [6] 43 28 16 6 7
Gallup July 1947 [7] 42 27 16 6 9
Bloc populaire dissolved (July 6, 1947)
Gallup May 1947 [7] 43 26 16 6 9
Gallup February 1947 [8] 41 27 18 7 4 3
Gallup December 1946 [8] 41 26 18 6 5 4
Gallup September 1946 [9] 41 27 17 5 10
Gallup May 1946 [9] 44 26 16 4 10
Gallup January 1946 [9] 45 24 16 4 10
Gallup November 1945 [9] 44 26 17 4 9
Election 1945 June 11, 1945 39.78 27.62 15.55 4.05 3.29 9.71


National results

Party Party leader # of
candidates
Seats Popular vote
1945 Elected % Change # % Change
  Liberal Louis St. Laurent 258 117 191 +63.2% 2,874,813 49.15% +9.37pp
  Progressive Conservative George Drew 249 65 41 -21.5% 1,734,261 29.65% +2.03pp
  Co-operative Commonwealth M.J. Coldwell 180 28 13 -53.6% 784,770 13.42% -2.13pp
Social Credit Solon Low 28 13 10 -23.1% 135,217 2.31% -1.74pp
  Independent 28 6 4 -33.3% 119,827 2.05% -2.84pp
  Independent Liberal 15 8 1 -87.5% 30,407 0.52% -1.27pp
  Liberal-Labour   2 - 1   11,730 0.20% +0.19pp
Liberal–Progressive   1 1 1 - 9,192 0.16% +0.04pp
  Union of Electors Réal Caouette 56 - - - 86,087 1.47% +1.46pp
Labor–Progressive Tim Buck 17 1 - -100% 32,623 0.56% -1.58pp
  Independent PC 6 1 - -100% 8,195 0.14% -0.14pp
  Farmer-Labour   1 - - - 6,161 0.11% -0.07pp
  National Unity Adrien Arcand 1 * - * 5,590 0.10% *
  Nationalist   1 * - * 4,994 0.09% *
  Independent Social Credit 2 * - * 4,598 0.08% *
Labour   2 - - - 415 0.01% x
  Socialist Labour   1 * - * 271 x *
Total 848 245 262 +7.8% 5,849,151 100%  
Sources: http://www.elections.ca -- History of Federal Ridings since 1867 Archived 2008-12-04 at the Wayback Machine

Notes:

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

x - less than 0.005% of the popular vote

Vote and seat summaries

Popular vote
Liberal
49.15%
PC
29.65%
CCF
13.42%
Social Credit
2.31%
Labor-Progressive
0.56%
Others
7.58%
Seat totals
Liberal
72.90%
PC
15.64%
CCF
4.96%
Social Credit
3.81%
Others
2.67%

Results by province

Party name BC AB SK MB ON QC NB NS PE NL Terr Total
  Liberal Seats: 11 5 14 11 55 68 8 10 3 5 1 191
  Popular Vote: 36.7 33.8 43.4 45.1 45.1 60.4 53.8 52.7 49.2 71.9 49.0 49.1
  Progressive Conservative Seats: 3 2 1 1 25 2 2 2 1 2 - 41
  Vote: 27.9 16.8 14.4 22.0 37.4 24.5 39.4 37.5 48.4 27.9   29.7
  Co-operative Commonwealth Seats: 3 - 5 3 1 - - 1 - - - 13
  Vote: 31.5 10.0 40.9 25.9 15.2 1.1 4.2 9.9 2.4 0.2 17.0 13.4
  Social Credit Seats: - 10 -   -             10
  Vote: 0.5 37.4 0.9   0.2             2.3
  Independent Seats: 1     - - 3 -         4
  Vote: 2.6     2.1 0.1 6.1 0.2       34.0 2.1
  Independent Liberal Seats:         1 - -         1
  Vote:         0.3 1.3 1.4         0.5
  Liberal-Labour Seats:         1 -           1
  Vote:         0.6 xx           0.2
  Liberal-Progressive Seats:       1               1
  Vote:       2.9               0.2
Total Seats 18 17 20 16 83 73 10 13 4 7 1 262
Parties that won no seats:
  Union of Electors Vote:         0.1 5.1 1.0         1.5
Labor–Progressive Vote: 0.8 0.7 0.4 2.0 0.7 0.3           0.6
  Independent PC Vote:         xx 0.5           0.1
  Farmer-Labour Vote:         0.3             0.1
  National Unity Vote:           0.4           0.1
  Nationalist Vote:           0.3           0.1
  Independent Social Credit Vote:   1.4                   0.1
Labour Vote:         xx xx           xx
  Socialist Labour Vote:         xx             xx

See also

References

  1. ^ "Voter Turnout at Federal Elections and Referendums". Elections Canada. Retrieved March 10, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c "Survey gives Liberals margin over others". The Calgary Gazette. June 18, 1949. p. 22.
  3. ^ "Drew versus the pollsters". The Leader-Post. June 20, 1949. p. 6.
  4. ^ "Canada's election watched for socialistic trends". The Schenectady Gazette. June 4, 1949. p. 8.
  5. ^ a b "Liberal support falls below '45 vote level". The Calgary Gazette. October 16, 1948. p. 2.
  6. ^ a b c d "CCF gaining support at liberals' expense". The Ottawa Citizen. June 30, 1948. p. 1.
  7. ^ a b "Party strength in Canada stays virtually unchanged". The Windsor Star. October 4, 1947. p. 16.
  8. ^ a b "Few changes noted in political set-up". The Calgary Herald. March 1, 1947. p. 16.
  9. ^ a b c d "No Notable Shift in Party Support". The Evening Citizen. March 1, 1947. p. 1.

Further reading