1926 Alberta general election

The 1926 Alberta general election was held on June 28, 1926, to elect members of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta. The United Farmers of Alberta government that had first been elected in 1921 was re-elected, taking a majority of the seats in the Alberta Legislature. Herbert Greenfield had resigned as United Farmers leader and premier, and John E. Brownlee led the UFA to this second election victory, increasing the UFA's number of seats.

1926 Alberta general election

← 1921 June 28, 1926 (1926-06-28) 1930 →

61 seats in the Legislative Assembly of Alberta
31 seats were needed for a majority
Turnout67%[1]
  Majority party Minority party
 
Leader John E. Brownlee Joseph Tweed Shaw
Party United Farmers Liberal
Leader since November 23, 1925 April 21, 1926
Leader's seat Ponoka Bow Valley
Last election 38 seats, 28.9% 15 seats, 34.1%
Seats before 40 9
Seats won 43 7
Seat change Increase3 Decrease2
Popular vote 71,967 47,450
Percentage 39.7% 26.2%
Swing Increase10.8% Decrease7.9%

  Third party Fourth party
 
Leader Fred J. White Alexander McGillivray
Party Dominion Labor Conservative
Leader since between 1921 & 1926 1925
Leader's seat Calgary Calgary
Last election 4 seats, 11.4% 0 seats, 11.0%
Seats before 3 0
Seats won 5 4
Seat change Increase2 Increase4
Popular vote 14,123 40,091
Percentage 7.8% 22.1%
Swing Decrease3.6% Increase11.1%

Premier before election

John E. Brownlee
United Farmers

Premier after election

John E. Brownlee
United Farmers

The writs of election were issued on May 10, 1926, allowing an election period of 40 days.

1926 was Alberta's first general election where Single transferable voting (STV) was used in the three largest cities and Instant-runoff voting was used everywhere else.[2]

Calgary, Edmonton and Medicine Hat continued to be multi member districts. Edmonton elected five members; Calgary elected five members; Medicine Hat elected two. Previously they had elected members by Plurality block voting. Now they elected members using STV-PR, which at the time was called the Hare Proportional representation system.[3] The seats in each city were filled by candidates who received quota or plurality of the votes whether through first-choice votes or a combination of first-choice votes and votes transferred from less-popular candidates and from successful candidates elected with surplus votes. Each voter cast just one vote so no one group could take all the seats in a city.

Outside the large cities, districts were single member districts and MLAs were elected under the Alternative Voting system. Rural voters, like their city counterparts, cast preferential ballots and had the ability to rank the candidates. The seat was filled by the candidate who received a majority of the votes whether through first-choice votes or a combination of first-choice votes and votes transferred from less-popular candidates.[4] This was the first election in Canada (and in North America) where all the members were elected through something other than X voting.

This dual system of voting would last until 1956. In 1926, Medicine Hat changed to a single-member constituency.

Under STV in Edmonton, the UFA captured one seat in Edmonton where it had taken no seats in 1921 under the Liberal government's Block Voting system. The Labour party also for the first time elected an MLA in Edmonton. As well, Edmonton voters elected a Liberal and two Conservatives. This mixed crop of representatives was much better balanced than the single-party sweeps that Edmonton had previously elected through other electoral systems.

The UFA also took a great share of the rural seats, taking 42 of the province's 49 rural seats. It took four rural seats that had been captured by Liberal candidates in 1921 (Beaver River, Leduc, Sedgewick and Whitford), and one that had been won by an Independent in 1921 (Claresholm). The UFA also won the district of Empress, formerly known as Redcliffe, which had been won by the UFA in 1921. No UFA candidate ran for re-election to its seat in Medicine Hat. It gained a seat in the newly created next-door Cypress district. It also lost its St. Albert seat.

The UFA derived no benefit from Alternative Voting - it would have won all but one of the seats it won under Alternative Voting if the contest had been conducted using First-past-the-post voting. And it lost one seat that it would have won if the contest had been held using First-past-the-post voting, (in Bow Valley).

Conservatives, being a less popular party, had been badly treated under FPTP and Block Voting in 1921 but now did better. It won two seats each in Edmonton and Calgary, where Block Voting had been replaced by STV.

At the time of the election call, six seats were sitting vacant. They had been vacated by MLAs who had run in the 1925 federal election. MLA C.W. Cross was elected in the federal election. William McCartney Davidson, Calgary Independent MLA, was another one of those who had left.[5]

The UFA vote share (as measured by First Preference votes) went up 10 percent in this election compared to 1921. This shows effect of the change in voting system - the UFA actually received 15,000 fewer votes in 1926 than in 1921, but the overall number of votes cast had decreased by 118,000. Five thousand more voters voted in this election compared to 1921. But without each city voter being able to cast multiple votes the number of votes cast was much fewer. For example, the Liberals received 54,000 fewer votes. The change in percentage of UFA support resulted from urban voters not being allowed to cast multiple voters as they had done in 1921. That had artificially raised the Liberal vote count and percentage and had lowered the UFA percentage recorded for the 1921 election.

In 1926 the UFA vote count outside the cities was 69,000, having gone down from the 81,000 the party's candidates had received outside the cities in 1921. The UFA's received about 50 percent of the first-preference votes cast outside the cities, and was the secondary choice of many voters who initially had voted for another party. In each of the 42 districts where the UFA candidate won, he or she received either a majority of first Preference votes or a majority that was composed of both First Preference votes and transferred votes.[6]

Under STV Edmonton elected a mixed bag of representatives. UFA, Liberal, Conservative and Labour MLAs were all elected, which compared well with the total sweep that Liberals made in 1921 under Block Voting.

In Calgary Conservative supporters found representation under STV where they had been shut out under Block Voting in 1921.


Under Alternative Voting outside the cities, if no candidate took a majority of votes in the first count, votes were transferred until a candidate acceptable to a majority of the voters was determined. In Bow Valley the UFA candidate leading in the first count did not have as much support from Conservative supporters as the Liberal candidate so when the Conservative votes were transferred, a Liberal took the seat.

In four districts only two candidates ran so vote transfers were not needed. But elsewhere three-way contests were the rule. three-cornered contests would be a feature of most elections from here on in, as Canada had passed the point when only two parties dominated politics. Labour and farmer parties were here to stay to fight it out against the two old-line parties.

In fifteen of the province's 49 rural districts, three or more candidates ran and vote-splitting meant no one candidate took a majority of the votes on the first count. A UFA candidate was in the top spot in most of these contests. Liberal and Conservative party supporters were split on whether to support the other old-line party or the UFA, if their candidate was eliminated and their ballots able to be transferred to another. In many cases many Conservative and Liberal back-up preferences were marked for the UFA candidate, and in eight of those 15 districts the UFA candidate who had been leading in the first count won the seat, in three the Liberal leading was elected in the end, and in two the Labour candidate was leading and elected in the end.

The only turn-overs where the candidate leading in the first count was not elected were in Bow Valley and Pincher Creek. In Pincher Creek, back-up preferences on votes at first placed on the Conservative candidate favoured the UFA candidate, who took the seat over the previously-leading Liberal candidate. In Bow Valley, vote transfers from the Conservative candidate went mostly to the Liberal, who passed the UFA candidate in popularity. Overall party-wise the two turn-overs cancelled each other but two different individuals were elected due to the Alternative Voting system than would have been elected under FPTP.

The UFA's seat majority was due to its victories in the rural areas. Its moral right to power rested on the fact that to be elected in a rural district a candidate had to have support from a majority of a district's voters. The UFA was elected through majority support in 42 of the province's 52 districts, and its candidate in Edmonton was the most popular of all the candidates who ran there as well.[7]

Redistribution of districts edit

Upon the death of Joseph State, Clearwater was abolished in 1924, with parts of it distributed to Pembina, Lac Ste. Anne, Edson and Peace River.[8]

Another Act was passed in 1926 that made changes to the following ridings:[9]

The net effect was to reduce the size of the Assembly from 61 to 60 MLAs.

Results edit

Elections to the 6th Alberta Legislative Assembly (1926)
Party Leader Candidates First-preference votes[a 1] Seats
Votes ± % Fpv 1921 1926 ±
United Farmers John E. Brownlee 46 71,967 39.68 10.76  38
43 / 60
5 
Liberal Joseph Tweed Shaw 54 47,450 26.17 7.90  15
7 / 60
8 
Labour Fred J. White 12 14,123 7.79 3.25  4
5 / 60
1 
Conservative Alexander McGillivray 56 40,091 22.10 11.12 
4 / 60
4 
Independent Labour 1 2,467 1.37 1.69 
1 / 60
1 
Independent 3 1,254 0.70 8.96  4
0 / 60
4 
Independent Liberal 5 2,728 1.51 1.02 
Independent Farmer 5 999 0.55 New
Liberal–Progressive 1 252 0.13 New
Total 183 175,137 100.00
Rejected ballots 8,855
Turnout 183,992 67.2%
Registered voters 273,750
  1. ^ Vote comparisons not given with 1921, as previous voting system had skewed results from multiple votes recorded in Calgary, Edmonton and Medicine Hat.

MLAs elected edit

  1. ^ The only instance in this election where a candidate who led in the first count was not elected in a second round count.

Synopsis of results edit

Results by riding – 1926 Alberta general election (all except Calgary and Edmonton)[10]
Riding First-preference votes Turnout
[a 1]
Final counts Winning party
Name UFA Lib Con Lab I-Lib I-Farm L-P Total UFA Lib Con Lab I-Lib 1921 1926
 
Acadia 2,056 402 627 3,085 76.5% Elected on 1st count UFA UFA
Alexandra 1,653 253 421 2,327 66.0% Elected on 1st count UFA UFA
Athabasca 295 373 245 221 1,134 68.3% 363 451 Lib Lib
Beaver River 1,168 989 2,157 64.0% Elected on 1st count Lib UFA
Bow Valley 869 847 641 2,357 67.9% 1,047 1,048 Lib Lib
Camrose 2,872 567 300 252 3,991 58.3% Elected on 1st count UFA UFA
Cardston 1,328 598 480 2,406 77.4% Elected on 1st count UFA UFA
Claresholm 939 422 1,361 75.1% Elected on 1st count Ind UFA
Cochrane 883 597 385 1,865 75.6% 1,013 673 UFA UFA
Coronation 2,387 945 498 3,830 79.3% Elected on 1st count UFA UFA
Cypress 1,220 741 175 2,136 73.7% Elected on 1st count New UFA
Didsbury 2,292 895 819 4,006 61.3% Elected on 1st count UFA UFA
Edson 702 963 1,116 2,781 58.5% 1,139 1,219 Lib Lab
Empress 922 464 189 1,575 77.7% Elected on 1st count UFA UFA
Gleichen 1,584 478 722 2,784 66.6% Elected on 1st count UFA UFA
Grouard 1,224 407 1,631 67.5% Elected on 1st count Lib Lib
Hand Hills 2,665 778 590 4,033 69.0% Elected on 1st count UFA UFA
High River 1,137 271 541 1,949 71.6% Elected on 1st count UFA UFA
Innisfail 1,187 844 534 2,565 71.8% 1,327 1,063 UFA UFA
Lac Ste. Anne 1,757 239 492 2,488 67.0% Elected on 1st count UFA UFA
Lacombe 1,891 1,162 476 3,529 74.6% Elected on 1st count UFA UFA
Leduc 1,961 1,561 823 4,345 72.2% 2,334 1,669 Lib UFA
Lethbridge 1,225 1,459 1,584 4,268 71.5% 1,713 1,962 Ind Lab
Little Bow 1,367 556 475 2,398 77.9% Elected on 1st count UFA UFA
Macleod 656 567 125 1,348 79.4% 709 600 UFA UFA
Medicine Hat 1,574 1,279 718 3,571 72.3% 1,701 1,487 New Lib
Nanton 745 204 341 1,290 75.1% Elected on 1st count UFA UFA
Okotoks 920 850 1,770 80.1% Elected on 1st count UFA UFA
Olds 1,613 708 369 2,690 70.3% Elected on 1st count UFA UFA
Peace River 2,548 1,131 965 4,644 70.9% Elected on 1st count UFA UFA
Pembina 1,930 886 427 3,243 75.1% Elected on 1st count UFA UFA
Pincher Creek 542 592 471 1,605 87.9% 720 688 UFA UFA
Ponoka 1,357 453 347 2,157 67.3% Elected on 1st count UFA UFA
Red Deer 1,450 621 1,329 3,400 70.5% 1,641 1,524 UFA UFA
Ribstone 1,524 622 284 2,430 70.2% Elected on 1st count UFA UFA
Rocky Mountain 786 801 1,765 3,352 64.7% Elected on 1st count Lab Lab
St. Albert 628 1,058 85 683 2,454 84.4% 1,174 883 UFA Lib
St. Paul 1,453 603 105 2,161 72.0% Elected on 1st count UFA UFA
Sedgewick 2,264 694 468 3,426 70.6% Elected on 1st count Lib UFA
Stettler 2,122 837 921 3,880 72.1% Elected on 1st count UFA UFA
Stony Plain 759 368 414 323 1,864 69.0% 938 485 UFA UFA
Sturgeon 2,605 1,154 348 4,107 70.0% Elected on 1st count UFA UFA
Taber 1,929 709 551 3,189 65.4% Elected on 1st count UFA UFA
Vegreville 1,986 1,395 687 337 4,405 71.1% 2,217 1,702 UFA UFA
Vermilion 1,981 492 592 3,065 67.5% Elected on 1st count UFA UFA
Victoria 1,404 1,185 90 322 96 3,097 70.0% 1,476 1,243 UFA UFA
Wainwright 1,609 1,017 2,626 71.0% Elected on 1st count UFA UFA
Warner 741 225 190 1,156 76.4% Elected on 1st count UFA UFA
Wetaskiwin 1,274 1,198 288 2,760 80.1% 1,418 1,266 UFA UFA
Whitford 1,449 371 274 461[a 2] 2,555 63.7% Elected on 1st count Lib UFA
  1. ^ including spoilt ballots
  2. ^ Andrew Shandro had won as the Liberal candidate in 1921, but the election was subsequently voided by the court. He would lose the subsequent 1922 byelection to the UFA candidate Mike Chornohus. In 1926, he received 373 votes.
  = Open seat
  = turnout is above provincial average
  = Candidate was in previous Legislature
  = Incumbent had switched allegiance
  = Previously incumbent in another riding
  = Not incumbent; was previously elected to the Legislature
  = Incumbency arose from by-election gain
  = previously an MP in the House of Commons of Canada
  = Multiple candidates

Multi-member districts edit

  = Candidate was in previous Legislature
  = First-time MLA
  = Previously incumbent in another district.

STV vote analysis edit

Calgary edit

Calgary (1926 Alberta general election)[11]
Party Candidate FPv% Count
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Conservative Alexander McGillivray 30.04% 5,928 3,290
Liberal George Webster 14.90% 2,941 3,144 3,158 3,191 3,523 3,523 3,290
Independent Labour Robert Parkyn 12.50% 2,467 2,506 2,514 2,554 2,582 2,583 2,595 2,664 2,852
Liberal Nellie McClung 9.77% 1,928 1,971 1,975 1,980 2,191 2,193 2,363 2,433 2,622
Conservative John Irwin 8.42% 1,662 3,334 3,334 3,334 3,334 3,290
Dominion Labour Alex Ross 6.41% 1,265 1,282 1,298 1,419 1,444 1,445 1,454
Dominion Labour Fred J. White 6.19% 1,222 1,247 1,248 1,467 1,478 1,479 1,500 2,676 2,923
Conservative Michael Costello 6.19% 1,221 1,817 1,827 1,838 1,864 1,903 1,924 1,946
Liberal Robert Marshall 3.17% 626 651 651 654
Dominion Labour John Russell 2.14% 423 435 438
Independent Frederick Potts 0.27% 54 60
Electorate: 34,287   Valid: 19,737   Spoilt: 644   Quota: 3,290   Turnout: 53.82  


Calgary (1926 Alberta general election)
(analysis of transferred votes, candidates ranked in order of 1st preference)
Party Candidate Maximum
round
Maximum
votes
Share in
maximum
round
Maximum votes
First round votesTransfer votes


Conservative Alexander McGillivray 1 5,928 30.03%
Liberal George Webster 6 3,523 17.88%
Independent Labor Robert Parkyn 9 2,852 15.61%
Liberal Nellie McClung 9 2,622 14.35%
Conservative John Irwin 5 3,334 16.92%
Dominion Labor Alex Ross 7 1,454 7.38%
Dominion Labor Fred J. White 9 2,923 16.00%
Conservative Michael Costello 8 1,946 9.93%
Liberal Robert Marshall 4 654 3.32%
Dominion Labor John Russell 3 438 2.22%
Independent Frederick Potts 2 60 0.30%
Exhausted votes 1,470 7.45%
Initial terminal transfer rates for votes (1926)
Transferred from Non-transferrable % transferred to Total
Conservative Liberal Ind-Lab Dom-Lab Ind
 Conservative (McGillivray) 2,268 271 39 54 6 2,638
85.97% 10.27% 1.48% 2.05% 0.23% 100.00%
 Dominion Labor (Ross) 117 22 70 69 1,176 1,454
8.05% 1.51% 4.81% 4.75% 80.88% 100.00%

Edmonton edit

Reports on the Edmonton count concentrate on the activity from the 11th count onwards.[12] Details for previous count-by-results are incomplete.[13]

Edmonton (1926 Alberta general election)
(analysis of transferred votes, candidates ranked in order of 1st preference, listing only those remaining from the 11th count onwards)[12]
Party Candidate Maximum
round
Maximum
votes
Share in
maximum
round
Maximum votes
First round votesTransfer votes


United Farmers John Lymburn 1 3,044 16.77%
Conservative Charles Yardley Weaver 11 3,065 17.32%
Liberal Warren Prevey 16 2,940 17.81%
Independent Liberal Joseph Clarke 13 1,596 9.03%
Liberal John C. Bowen 16 2,222 13.46%
Labour Alfred Farmilo 14 1,891 10.94%
Labour Lionel Gibbs 15 3,543 21.06%
Conservative David Duggan 16 2,265 13.72%
Exhausted votes 1,649 9.08%
Initial terminal transfer rates for votes (1926)
Transferred from Non-transferrable % transferred to Total
Conservative Liberal Labour
 Independent Liberal (Clarke) 392 185 449 570 1,596
24.56% 11.59% 28.13% 35.71% 100.00%
 Labour (Farmilo) 461 74 166 1,190 1,891
24.38% 3.91% 8.78% 62.93% 100.00%

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Report on Alberta Elections, p. 42
  2. ^ A Report on Alberta Elections 1905-1982
  3. ^ A Report on Alberta Elections 1905-1982
  4. ^ A Report on Alberta Elections 1905-1982, p. 193-200
  5. ^ Strathmore Standard, Feb. 24, 1926, p. 1
  6. ^ A Report on Alberta Elections, 1905-1982 p. 12
  7. ^ A Report on Alberta Elections, 1905-1982 p. 12
  8. ^ An Act to Amend the Legislative Assembly Act, S.A. 1924, c. 35
  9. ^ The Legislative Assembly Act Amendment Act, 1926, S.A. 1926, c. 3
  10. ^ A Century of Democracy: Elections of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, 1905-2005. Edmonton: Legislative Assembly of Alberta. pp. 89–101. ISBN 0-9689217-9-5.
  11. ^ "Eleven hours to count ballots in Calgary election". Calgary Albertan. June 30, 1926. p. 3.
  12. ^ a b "Gibbs, Prevey, Duggan win in final tallies". Edmonton Journal. June 30, 1926. p. 1.
  13. ^ "Eight counts result in no additions to Edmonton M.L.A.'s". Edmonton Journal. June 29, 1926. p. 1.

Further reading edit