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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.

1867 Quebec general election

August – September, 1867 1871 →

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)
  First party Second party
  Pierre-Joseph-Olivier Chauveau (1820-1890).jpg HenriGustaveJolydeLotbiniere23.jpg
Leader Pierre-Joseph-Olivier Chauveau Henri-Gustave Joly de Lotbinière
Party Conservative Liberal
Leader since July 15, 1867 Informal
Leader's seat Quebec County Lotbinière
Seats won 51 12
Popular vote 40,489 26,847
Percentage 53.48% 35.46%

Quebec election 1867.svg
Map of the results by riding.

Premier before election

Pierre-Joseph-Olivier Chauveau
Conservative Party of Quebec

Premier after election

Pierre-Joseph-Olivier Chauveau
Conservative Party of Quebec

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.[1] 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.[2][3]

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.[4] 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.[5][6]

Party structureEdit

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.[7]

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[8] Popular Vote[9] Vote Percentage[9]
Conservative Pierre-Joseph-Olivier Chauveau 51 40,489 53.48%
Liberal Henri-Gustave Joly de Lotbinière 12 26,847 35.46%
     Independent Liberal 1 8,389 11.06%
     Other -
Vacant[10] (1) - -
Total 65 75,725 100%


See alsoEdit