1885 Newfoundland general election

The 1885 Newfoundland general election was held on 31 October 1885 to elect members of the 15th General Assembly of Newfoundland in the Newfoundland Colony. The Reform Party had been created by Robert Thorburn on a platform of "Protestant Rights" after supporters of the Orange Order abandoned the Whiteway government after sectarian riots in 1885 against the government's 'denominational compromise'. Whiteway's Conservative Party was destroyed as a result and Whiteway founded a new Liberal Party. Thorburn's new party swept to power but soon turned away from its sectarian agenda by inviting Catholic Liberals into the Cabinet.

Results by party

  Party Leader 1882 Seats won % change Popular vote (%)
Reform Robert Thorburn - 18
  Liberal William Whiteway - 13
  Independent 1
Totals 32

Elected members



  • Smallwood, Joseph R (1981). Encyclopedia of Newfoundland and Labrador. Vol. v. 1. ISBN 0-920508-14-6.