1867 Quebec general election
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The 1867 Quebec general election was held in August and September 1867 to elect members of the 1st Legislative Assembly for the Province of Quebec, Canada. The Quebec Conservative Party, led by Premier Pierre-Joseph-Olivier Chauveau, defeated the Quebec Liberal Party led by Henri-Gustave Joly de Lotbinière.
64 of 65 seats in the 1st Legislative Assembly of Quebec
33 seats were needed for a majority
(includes vacant seat, latter filled by by-election)
Map of the results by riding.
Creation of QuebecEdit
The province of Quebec was created on July 1, 1867, with the proclamation of the British North America Act, 1867. That Act united the Province of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick into Canada. The Proivnce of Canada was split into two provinces, with Canada East (formerly Lower Canada) becoming the new province of Quebec. The Legislature of Quebec was composed of the Lieutenant Governor, representing the Queen; the elected Legislative Assembly, with sixty-five seats; and the appointed Legislative Council.
Because the old Province of Canada was dissolved on July 1, 1867, the former government ceased to exist, with no formal provisions for the creation of the government of Quebec. The first prime minister of Canada, Sir John A. Macdonald, had planned to have the experienced Quebec politician, Joseph-Édouard Cauchon, appointed as the first premier. However, the proposal met strong opposition from Montreal anglophones, based on Cauchon's position on public and religious schools, which was a major political issue at the time. As a compromise candidate, the Quebec Conservatives proposed Pierre-Joseph-Olivier Chauveau, who had political experience in the Province of Canada but had been out of electoral politics for twelve years. Chauveau was generally acceptable, and on July 15, 1867, the Lieutenant Governor appointed him as the first premier of Quebec.
Chauveau appointed the first Cabinet, and then called the first general election for Quebec. Chauveau had been a member of the Parti Bleu when he was a member of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada, and the Bleus were transitioning into the new Conservative party of Quebec. The Bleus had been well-organised under the leadership of George-Étienne Cartier, and the new Conservative party inherited that structure.
On the other hand, the liberals in the new province were not well-organised. The old Parti Rouge had opposed the confederation project, and had tended to split on that issue. Transitioning into the Liberal Party of Quebec, they did not have a strong party structure going into the election. They did not even have a leader, as many of their influential leaders had opted for federal politics and were now in Ottawa. Henri-Gustave Joly de Lotbinière was the informal leader of the Liberals, because of his political experience in the former Province of Canada.
The result of the election was a strong Conservative majority. The Liberals won a respectable number of seats, but the Conservatives were returned to office.
Following the election, the Chauveau government appointed the twenty-four members of the Legislative Council. The result was a Council with a very strong Conservative majority.
|Party||Party Leader||Seats Won||Popular Vote||Vote Percentage|
|Liberal||Henri-Gustave Joly de Lotbinière||12||26,847||35.46%|
- British North America Act, 1867, s. 6 [now known as the Constitution Act, 1867.]
- Constitution Act, 1867, s. 71.
- Constitution Act, 1867, s. 80.
- Dictionary of Canadian Biography: "Cauchon, Joseph-Édouard".
- Dictionary of Canadian Biography: "Chauveau, Pierre-Joseph-Olivier".
- Quebec National Assembly: Premiers ministres du Québec depuis 1867.
- Dictionary of Canadian Biography: "Joly de Lotbinière, Sir Henri-Gustave".
- Quebec National Assembly: La répartition des sièges aux élections générales.
- Quebec National Assembly: La répartition des voix aux élections générales.
- The election in Kamouraska was delayed due to riots on election day: Norman Ward, "Early Electioneering in Canada" (1951), 31:1 Dalhousie Review 65. It was filled in a by-election in 1869.