1965 Canadian federal election

← 1963 November 8, 1965 1968 →

265 seats in the House of Commons
133 seats needed for a majority
Turnout74.8%[1] (Decrease4.4pp)
  First party Second party Third party
 
Leader Lester B. Pearson John Diefenbaker Tommy Douglas
Party Liberal Progressive Conservative New Democratic
Leader since January 16, 1958 December 14, 1956 August 3, 1961
Leader's seat Algoma East Prince Albert Burnaby—Coquitlam
Last election 128 seats, 41.52% 93 seats, 32.72% 17 seats, 13.24%
Seats won 131 97 21
Seat change Increase3 Increase4 Increase4
Popular vote 3,099,521 2,500,113 1,381,658
Percentage 40.18% 32.41% 17.91%
Swing Decrease1.34pp Decrease0.31pp Increase4.67pp

  Fourth party Fifth party
 
SC
Leader Réal Caouette Robert N. Thompson
Party Ralliement créditiste Social Credit
Leader since September 1, 1963 July 7, 1961
Leader's seat Villeneuve Red Deer
Last election new party 24 seats, 11.92%
Seats won 9 5
Seat change Increase9 Decrease19
Popular vote 359,258 282,454
Percentage 4.66% 3.66%
Swing Increase4.66pp Decrease8.26pp


The Canadian parliament after the 1965 election

Prime Minister before election

Lester B. Pearson
Liberal

Prime Minister after election

Lester B. Pearson
Liberal

The 1965 Canadian federal election (formally the 27th Canadian general election) was held on November 8, 1965 to elect members of the House of Commons of Canada of the 27th Parliament of Canada. The Liberal Party of Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson was re-elected with a larger number of seats in the House. Although the Liberals lost a small share of the popular vote, they were able to win more seats, but fell just short of having a majority.

Overview

The Liberals campaigned on their record of having kept the promises made in the 1963 campaign, job creation, lowering income taxes, higher wages, higher family allowances and student loans. They promised to implement a national medicare program by 1967, and the Canada Pension Plan system of public pensions. They urged voters to give them a majority for "five more years of prosperity". The party campaigned under the slogans, "Good Things Happen When a Government Cares About People", and, "For Continued Prosperity".

The Progressive Conservative Party of John Diefenbaker, campaigning with the slogan, "Policies for People, Policies for Progress", gained a small number of seats. Despite losing a second time, Diefenbaker refused to resign as party leader, and was eventually forced from the position by a campaign by the party president Dalton Camp. Diefenbaker ran to succeed himself in the party's 1967 leadership convention, but lost to Robert Stanfield.

Old age pensions were an important issue in this campaign. The Liberal Party pointed to having increased the pension to $75 per month for persons 70 years of age and older, put in place plans to reduce the eligibility age to 65 by 1970, and to add a "Canada Assistance Program" payment for seniors with lower incomes. The PCs promised to increase OAP to $100 per month for all those 70 years old and over.

The New Democratic Party of Tommy Douglas, campaigning under the slogan, "Fed up? Speak up! Vote for the New Democrats!", increased its share of the popular vote by more than four and a half percentage points, and became the third largest party in the House, however it won only four extra seats as it continued to fail to make the electoral break-through that was hoped for when the party was founded in 1960.

These aforementioned net gains came at the expense of the Social Credit Party of Canada which was split in two before this election: Réal Caouette led French-Canadian Socreds out of the party into the new Ralliement créditiste (Social Credit Rally), lost more than half of the party's Quebec seats. Robert N. Thompson continued to lead the Social Credit Party in English-speaking Canada, and actually managed to gain one seat outside Quebec although it was still fewer than the French-Canadian breakaway party. However, even the combined seat totals of the two factions would not have been enough to prevent the NDP from replacing Social Credit as the third largest party. This would be the last time that the Social Credit Party elected federal candidates outside Quebec.

This was the first election for the Rhinoceros Party of Canada, a satirical party led by Cornelius the First. The party fielded only one candidate. Cornelius, a resident of the Granby zoo, did not seek election because Canadian election law does not permit rhinoceroses (or other zoo animals) to be nominated.

In order to govern, the minority Liberals relied on the New Democratic Party, and occasionally other smaller opposition parties in order to remain in power. Pearson announced his intention to resign as Liberal leader in December 1967, and was replaced the following April by Pierre Trudeau.

Notably, this election marked the last time that a single conservative party did not win an absolute majority of the vote in Alberta (although the totals of the Progressive Conservatives and Social Credit combined did add up to over two thirds of the vote in that province).

Party platforms

Liberal Party:

Progressive Conservative Party:

New Democratic Party:

Social Credit Party:

Ralliement des creditistes/Social Credit Rally:

Source: The Globe and Mail newspaper, October 1965.

National results

131 97 21 9 5 2
Liberal Progressive Conservative NDP RC SC O
Party Party leader # of
candidates
Seats Popular vote
1963 Dissolution Elected % Change # % Change
  Liberal Lester Pearson 265 128 128 131 +2.3% 3,099,521 40.18% -1.34pp
  Progressive Conservative John Diefenbaker 265 93 95 97 +4.3% 2,500,113 32.41% -0.31pp
  New Democrats Tommy Douglas 255 17 17 21 +23.5% 1,381,658 17.91% +4.67pp
  Ralliement créditiste Real Caouette 77     9   359,258 4.66%  
Social Credit R.N. Thompson 86 24 24 5 -79.2% 282,454 3.66% -8.26pp
  Independent 24   - 1   52,155 0.68% +0.61pp
  Independent PC 4 - - 1   13,198 0.17% +0.15pp
  Independent Liberal 10 - - - - 16,738 0.22% +0.03pp
Communist William Kashtan 12 - - - - 4,285 0.06% x
  New Capitalist Frank O'Hearn 3     -   1,009 0.01%  
  Ouvrier Indépendant   2 - - - - 650 0.01% -0.01pp
  Droit vital personnel H-G Grenier 1     -   465 0.01%  
  Independent Social Credit 2 - - - - 422 0.01% x
  Independent Conservative 1 - - - - 373 x x
Rhinoceros Cornelius I 1     -   321 x  
  Republican   1     -   297 x  
  Progressive Workers   1     -   274 x  
  Socialist Labour   1 - - - - 147 x x
Total 1,011 265 265 265 - 7,713,338 100%
Sources: http://www.elections.ca History of Federal Ridings since 1867 Archived 2008-12-04 at the Wayback Machine

Notes:

"% change" refers to change from previous election

x - less than 0.005% of the popular vote

1 "Previous" refers to the results of the previous election, not the party standings in the House of Commons prior to dissolution.

Vote and seat summaries

Popular vote
Liberal
40.18%
PC
32.41%
NDP
17.91%
Ralliement créditiste
4.66%
Social Credit
3.66%
Others
1.18%
Seat totals
Liberal
49.43%
PC
36.60%
NDP
7.92%
Ralliement créditiste
3.40%
Social Credit
1.89%
Others
0.75%

Results by province

Party name BC AB SK MB ON QC NB NS PE NL YK NW Total
  Liberal Seats: 7 - - 1 51 56 6 2 - 7 - 1 131
  Popular Vote: 30.0 22.4 24.0 31.0 43.6 45.6 47.5 42.0 44.1 64.1 44.8 56.2 40.2
  Progressive Conservative Seats: 3 15 17 10 25 8 4 10 4 - 1 - 97
  Vote: 19.2 46.6 48.0 40.7 34.0 21.3 42.5 48.6 53.9 32.4 55.2 39.1 32.4
  New Democrats Seats: 9 - - 3 9 - - - - -   - 21
  Vote: 32.9 8.2 26.0 24.0 21.7 12.0 9.4 9.1 2.0 1.2   4.7 17.9
  Ralliement créditiste Seats:         - 9 -           9
  Vote:         xx 17.5 0.4           4.7
  Social Credit Seats: 3 2 - - -   -     -     5
  Vote: 17.4 22.5 1.9 4.3 0.4   0.1     1.6     3.7
  Independent Seats:           1             1
  Vote: 0.2 0.1   0.1 0.2 2.1   0.3         0.7
  Independent PC Seats:         - 1             1
  Vote:         xx 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:           0.8       0.7     0.2
Communist Vote: 0.2 0.1 xx   xx xx             0.1
  New Capitalist Vote:         xx               xx
  Ouvrier Indépendant Vote:           xx             xx
  Droit vital personnel Vote:           xx             xx
  Independent Social Credit Vote: xx         xx             xx
  Independent Conservative Vote:         xx               xx
Rhinoceros Vote:           xx             xx
  Republican Vote:           xx             xx
  Progressive Workers Vote: xx                       xx
  Socialist Labour Vote:         xx               xx

See also

References

  1. ^ Pomfret, R. "Voter Turnout at Federal Elections and Referendums". Elections Canada. Elections Canada. Retrieved 23 February 2014.

Further reading