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The Canadian federal election of 1878 was held on September 17 to elect members of the House of Commons of Canada of the 4th Parliament of Canada. It resulted in the end of Prime Minister Alexander Mackenzie's Liberal government after only one term in office. Canada suffered an economic depression during Mackenzie's term, and his party was punished by the voters for it. The Liberals' policy of free trade also hurt their support with the business establishment in Toronto and Montreal.

1878 Canadian federal election

← 1874 September 17, 1878 1882 →

206 seats in the House of Commons
104 seats needed for a majority
Turnout69.1%[1] (Decrease0.5pp)
  First party Second party
  Sir John A Macdonald circa 1878 retouched.jpg Alexander Mackenzie portrait.jpg
Leader John A. Macdonald Alexander Mackenzie
Party Conservative Liberal
Leader since 1867 1873
Leader's seat Victoria[2] Lambton
Last election 65 seats, 30.1% 129 seats, 39.5%
Seats won 134 63
Seat change Increase69 Decrease66
Popular vote 229,151 180,074
Percentage 42.1% 33.1%
Swing Increase12.0% Decrease6.4%

Prime Minister before election

Alexander Mackenzie
Liberal

Prime Minister-designate

John A. Macdonald
Conservative

Sir John A. Macdonald and his Conservative/Liberal-Conservative party was returned to office after having been defeated five years before amidst scandals over the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway.

Contents

National resultsEdit

 
The Canadian parliament after the 1878 election
 
1878 Canadian ele ctoral map
134 63 9
Conservative Liberal O
Party Party leader # of candidates Seats Popular vote
1874 Elected Change # % Change
  Conservative John A. Macdonald 101 38 85 +118.4% 143,192 26.28% +7.80pp
  Liberal-Conservative 60 26 49 +76.9% 85,999 15.78% +3.50pp
  Liberal Alexander Mackenzie 121 126 63 -54.8% 180,074 33.05% -7.74pp
  Independent 11 4 5 +25% 14,783 2.71% -0.48pp
  Independent Conservative 2 2 2 - 1,001 0.18% -0.76pp
  Unknown 117 -   114,043 20.93% -1.93pp
  Independent Liberal 4 1 1 +100% 5,388 0.99% -
  Nationalist Conservative 1 * 1 * 401 0.07% *
Total 417 197 206 +3.6% 544,881 100.0% -
Sources: http://www.elections.ca -- History of Federal Ridings since 1867

Note:

* Party did not nominate candidates in the previous election.

Acclamations

The following Members of Parliament were elected by acclamation;

  • British Columbia: 1 Conservative, 1 Liberal-Conservative
  • Manitoba: 2 Conservatives, 1 Liberal-Conservative
  • Quebec: 1 Conservative, 2 Liberal-Conservatives, 1 Liberal
  • New Brunswick: 1 Liberal, 1 Independent

Results by provinceEdit

Party name BC MB ON QC NB NS PE Total
  Conservative Seats: 1 2 37 33 1 8 3 85
  Popular vote (%): - 49.6 25.5 35.0 5.9 21.7 31.6 26.3
  Liberal-Conservative Seats: 2 1 23 12 3 6 2 49
  Vote (%): 39.6 - 15.8 13.2 14.3 22.7 12.0 15.8
  Liberal Seats: 2   27 17 9 7 1 63
  Vote (%): -   36.3 21.7 48.2 34.9 37.2 33.1
  Independent Seats: 1   1 1 2 -   5
  Vote (%): 12.2   1.5 1.6 13.1 4.3   2.7
  Independent Conservative Seats:   1   1       2
  Vote (%):   50.4   0.7       0.2
  Unknown Seats:  
  Vote (%): 48.2   19.9 27.4 14.8 14.7 19.3 20.9
  Independent Liberal Seats:       1 -   1
  Vote (%):     1.0   3.7 1.7   1.0
  Nationalist Conservative Seats:     1 -   1
  Vote (%):       0.3       0.1
Total seats 6 4 88 65 16 21 6 206

Vote and seat summariesEdit

Popular vote
Conservative
42.06%
Liberal
33.05%
Others
24.89%
Seat totals
Conservative
65.05%
Liberal
30.58%
Others
4.37%

Further readingEdit

  • Argyle, Ray. Turning Points: The Campaigns That Changed Canada - 2011 and Before (2011) excerpt and text search ch 3

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Voter Turnout at Federal Elections and Referendums". Elections Canada. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  2. ^ Macdonald initially ran in Kingston, where he was defeated. He then ran unopposed in Marquette, and following his appointment as Prime Minister was required by the convention at the time to vacate his seat and run again. On doing so, he chose to stand in Victoria rather than Marquette.

See alsoEdit