1940 Alberta general election
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57 seats in the Legislative Assembly of Alberta
29 seats were needed for a majority
Despite its failure to implement its key policy, providing prosperity certificates to all Albertans, the Social Credit Party of Premier William Aberhart won a second term in government. Nevertheless, it lost a considerable number of seats that it had gained in the 1935 landslide.
The Conservative and Liberal parties as well as the remains of the United Farmers, recognizing the widespread popularity of the Social Credit party, ran joint candidates as independents in what was called the "Independent Movement" or the "Unity Movement". Although independent candidates won almost as many votes as Social Credit, their support was not concentrated in enough areas to translate into seats. The Independent Movement lost a number of races by small margins. However, due to the first past the post system, which awards power solely on the basis of seats won, Social Credit was returned for a second term, albeit with a considerably reduced majority.
The Liberals under leader Edward Gray chose only to support Independent candidates that they played a hand in nominating, and nominated other candidates under its own banner. Gray felt that candidates should not be machined into the field and left it up to the individual Liberal constituency associations to decide if they would support a candidate or not.
This would be the most opposition that Social Credit would face until 1959.
The social democratic Cooperative Commonwealth Federation nominated candidates for the first time, but failed to win any seats in the legislature, despite winning over 10% of the popular vote under the leadership of former United Farmers of Alberta MLA Chester Ronning. Like Ronning, most of the CCF's candidates had run in the 1935 election for the UFA.
|Party||Party Leader||# of
|1935||Elected||% Change||#||%||% Change|
|Social Credit||William Aberhart||56||56||36||−35.7%||132,507||42.90%||−11.35%|
|Cooperative Commonwealth||Chester Ronning||36||-||34,316||11.11%|
|Independent Social Credit||1||-||362||0.12%|
|Source: Elections Alberta|
1 First vote count used.
For complete electoral history, see individual districts
- "Liberals Against Independents If "Machined into Field" - Gray". XXXIII No 36. The Lethbridge Herald. January 23, 1940. p. 7.