1966 Prince Edward Island general election

The 1966 Prince Edward Island general election was held on May 30, 1966.[2]

1966 Prince Edward Island general election

← 1962 May 30, 1966 (1966-05-30) (11 July 1966[1]) 1970 →

All 32 seats in the Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island
17 seats needed for a majority
  First party Second party
Leader Alex Campbell Walter R. Shaw
Party Liberal Progressive Conservative
Leader since December 11, 1965 September 17, 1957
Leader's seat 5th Prince 1st Queens
Last election 11 seats, 49.4% 19 seats, 50.6%
Seats won 17 15
Seat change Increase6 Decrease4
Popular vote 47,065 46,118
Percentage 50.5% 49.5%
Swing Increase1.1pp Decrease1.1pp

Seats won by each party per district. Voters elect two members (one Councillor and Assemblyman) from each of the 16 districts.

Premier before election

Walter R. Shaw
Progressive Conservative

Premier after election

Alex Campbell

The election in the riding of 1st Kings was delayed until July 11, 1966 due to the death of Liberal Assemblyman and candidate William Acorn.[3] As it turned out, other ridings elected a total of 15 Liberals and 15 Progressive Conservatives, and the riding of 1st Kings would by itself decide the general election.

The outgoing Progressive Conservative government attempted to win 1st Kings by resorting to such methods as naming one of the PC candidates (Keith Mackenzie) as Minister of Transports, and paving 30 miles of road in the district.[4] At the time, a reporter from the Charlottetown Guardian commented on how "the riding may well sink under the weight of the [paving] machines". The strategy failed as both Liberal candidates in 1st Kings ultimately won, giving the Liberals a 17 to 15 majority and enabling Liberal leader Alex Campbell to become Premier.

The 1966 election was the first following the splitting of the 5th Queens district. The Progressive Conservative government decided to break with the tradition of each county having five ridings and ten members; by splitting 5th Queens, it gave the city of Charlottetown two ridings and therefore four members; and gave Queen's County a sixth district. This was the single biggest change to the map since 1893 when the ridings were devised. In that time population shifts had made some changes needed, as Charlottetown's population was more than five times that of some of the more rural ridings. The Progressive Conservatives had hoped that traditionally Progressive Conservative Charlottetown would vote in two additional Progressive Conservative members to the legislature; on election day the new riding elected two Progressive Conservatives, but the now modified old riding (Fifth Queen's) elected two Liberals.

Party Standings

17 15
Liberal PC
Party Party Leader Seats Popular Vote
1962 Elected Change # % Change
  Liberal Alex Campbell 11 17 +6 47,065 50.5% +1.1%
  Progressive Conservative Walter R. Shaw 19 15 -4 46,118 49.5% -1.1%
Popular vote
Seats summary

Electoral reform


The Legislature of Prince Edward Island had two levels of membership from 1893 to 1996 - Assemblymen and Councillors. This was a holdover from when the Island had a bicameral legislature, the General Assembly and the Legislative Council.

In 1893, the Legislative Council was abolished and had its membership merged with the Assembly, though the two titles remained separate and were elected by different electoral franchises. Assembleymen were elected by eligible voters within a district. Up until past the 1962 election, Councillors were only elected by landowners within a district.

The Shaw government passed an Act in 1963, eliminating this requirement.[5]

Henceforth, until multi-member seats were abolished (1996), the Assemblyman and the Councillor in each district would be elected by universal adult suffrage identically. But each seat would be filled in separate contest, through First past the post. The separate contests were held that way despite the fact that the members would sit in the same chamber. They ensured that in each contest a party would run just one candidate so no candidate had to run against others of the same party as would have happened in a one-ballot, multi-member district. It also allowed one contest to be between Catholics of various parties and the other contest to be between Protestants of various parties.[6]

As well the ability of a voter to cast multiple votes in a contest was discontinued. Henceforth the rule would be "one man, one vote" or actually "one man, two votes".[7]

Members Elected

District Assemblyman Party Councillor Party
1st Kings     Bruce L. Stewart Liberal     Daniel J. MacDonald Liberal
2nd Kings     Walter Dingwell Progressive
    Leo Rossiter Progressive
3rd Kings     Thomas A. Curran Progressive
    Preston MacLure Progressive
4th Kings     Lorne Bonnell Liberal     Keir Clark Liberal
5th Kings     Cyril Sinnott Progressive
    George J. Ferguson Liberal
District Assemblyman Party Councillor Party
1st Prince     Prosper Arsenault Liberal     Robert E. Campbell Liberal
2nd Prince     George Dewar Progressive
    Robert Grindlay Progressive
3rd Prince     Henry Wedge Progressive
    Keith Harrington Progressive
4th Prince     Max Thompson Liberal    
Frank Jardine Liberal
5th Prince     Earle Hickey Liberal     Alexander B. Campbell Liberal
District Assemblyman Party Councillor Party
1st Queens     Frank Myers Progressive
    Walter Russell Shaw Progressive
2nd Queens     Sinclair Cutcliffe Liberal     Lloyd MacPhail Progressive
3rd Queens     Cecil A. Miller Liberal     J. Russell Driscoll Progressive
4th Queens     J. Stewart Ross Liberal     Harold P. Smith Liberal
5th Queens     Gordon L. Bennett Liberal     Elmer Blanchard Liberal
6th Queens[8]     J. David Stewart Progressive
    Alban Farmer Progressive


  1. ^ 1st Kings district election was delayed July 11, 1966
  2. ^ "Provincial General Election Results, 1966" (PDF). Elections PEI. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 25, 2015. Retrieved May 25, 2015.
  3. ^ "Prince Edward Island Chief Electoral Officer report for 1966" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 8, 2007. Retrieved September 29, 2006.
  4. ^ Political historian Wayne MacKinnon, as quoted on http://fruitsandvotes.com/?p=250
  5. ^ Fred Driscoll. "History and Politics of Prince Edward Island" (PDF). Canadian Parliamentary Review.
  6. ^ Bolger, Canada's Smallest Province, p. 294-5; 308-316
  7. ^ Bolger, Canada's Smallest Province, p. 316
  8. ^ new riding

Further reading