Electoral history of Jean Chrétien

This article is the Electoral history of Jean Chrétien, the twentieth Prime Minister of Canada.

Jean Chrétien in 2008.

A liberal, Chrétien served three terms as Prime Minister (1993 to 2003), having decisively defeated Prime Minister Kim Campbell in the 1993 general election. He was the first prime minister to win three consecutive majority governments since Sir Wilfrid Laurier.

Chrétien led the Liberal Party of Canada in three general elections (1993, 1997 and 2000). He resigned the party leadership in 2003 and was succeeded by Paul Martin.

Chrétien stood for election to the House of Commons of Canada twelve times and was elected each time (eleven general elections and one by-election). He served continuously in the House from 1963 to 1986, when he resigned over disagreements with Liberal leader John Turner. After winning the Liberal leadership in 1990, he re-entered the Commons by a by-election, and was re-elected three more times, until he retired in 2004.

Chrétien stood for election as leader of the Liberal Party twice. He lost in 1984 to Turner, but he won in 1990, succeeding Turner as Liberal leader.

SummaryEdit

 
Canada had ten provinces and two territories at the beginning of Chrétien's term as Prime Minister.
 
Canada had ten provinces and three territories at the end of Chrétien's term as Prime Minister.

Chrétien ranks fifth out of twenty-three prime ministers for time in office, serving one term of ten years and thirty-eight days.[1]

Chrétien was the sixth of eight prime ministers from Quebec, the others being Sir John Abbott, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Louis St. Laurent, Pierre Trudeau, Brian Mulroney, Paul Martin and Justin Trudeau. He was also the fourth of five francophone prime ministers, the others being Laurier, St. Laurent, Pierre Trudeau, and Justin Trudeau.

A lawyer, Chrétien got involved in politics at an early age. He was first elected to the House of Commons at age 30, in the federal election of 1963. He was appointed to Cabinet by Prime Minister Lester Pearson in 1967 and remained in Cabinet until 1984 under Prime Ministers Pierre Trudeau and John Turner (except for the short Clark government (1979–80)).[2][3]

Chrétien led the Liberals in three general elections, winning each time. He is the first prime minister since Sir Wilfrid Laurier to win three back-to-back majority governments.

Chrétien stood for election to the House of Commons twelve times, all but once for the riding of Saint-Maurice, which included his home town of Shawinigan. He won more than a majority of the votes in all but two elections, and often had strong majorities. Chrétien was a Member of Parliament from 1963 to 1986, when he resigned over disagreements with Liberal leader John Turner.[3] In 1990, after winning the Liberal leadership, he was elected to the Commons in a by-election for the riding of Beauséjour in New Brunswick. He was re-elected in Saint-Maurice in the next three elections, until he retired in 2004. His total service in Parliament was 35 years, 10 months, and 25 days.

Chrétien stood for election as leader of the Liberal Party twice, in 1984 and 1990. In 1984, he came in second, behind Turner. In 1990, after Turner's resignation, he won the leadership against his principal opponent, Paul Martin. Although Chrétien was successful in leading the party in three general elections, Martin and his supporters gradually undercut Chrétien's leadership, leading to Chrétien's retirement late in 2003. He was succeeded by Martin as prime minister and Liberal leader.[3]

Chrétien remained a Member of Parliament until the 2004 general election, when he retired from politics.

Federal general elections: 1993, 1997, and 2000Edit

Chrétien led the Liberal Party in three general elections: 1993, 1997 and 2000. He won majority governments each time.

Federal election, 1993Edit

In his first general election as leader, Chrétien won a majority government and in the process reduced the Progressive Conservatives from a majority to just two seats in the Commons.

Canadian Federal Election, 1993 - Parties, Leaders, Seats Won and Popular Vote
Party Leaders Seats Won Popular Vote
Liberal Jean Chrétien1 177 41.2%
Bloc Québécois Lucien Bouchard2 54 13.5%
Reform Preston Manning 52 18.7%
  New Democratic Party Audrey McLaughlin 9 6.9%
  Progressive Conservative Kim Campbell3 2 16.0%
  Independent 1 0.7%
Total 295 97.0%4
Sources: Library of Parliament – History of Federal Ridings since 1867

1 Leader of the Opposition when election was called; Prime Minister after election.
2 Leader of a third party when election was called; Leader of the Opposition after the election.
3 Prime Minister when election was called; not a Member of Parliament after the election.
4 Table does not include parties which received votes but did not elect any members.

Federal election, 1997Edit

In his second general election, Chrétien again won a majority government, albeit with a reduced number of seats, against a fractured set of opposition parties.

Canadian Federal Election, 1997 - Parties, Leaders, Seats Won and Popular Vote
Party Leaders Seats Won Popular Vote
Liberal Jean Chrétien1 155 38.5%
Reform Preston Manning2 60 19.4%
Bloc Québécois Gilles Duceppe3 44 10.7%
  New Democratic Party Alexa McDonough 21 11.1%
  Progressive Conservative Jean Charest 20 18.8%
  Independent 1 0.5%
Total 301 99.0%4
Sources: Library of Parliament – History of Federal Ridings since 1867

1 Prime Minister when election was called; Prime Minister after election.
2 Leader of a third party when election was called; Leader of the Opposition after the election.
3 Leader of the Opposition when election was called; leader of a third party after the election.
4 Table does not include parties which received votes but did not elect any members.

Federal election, 2000Edit

In his third general election, Chrétien won another majority government with an increased number of seats, against a number of opposition parties.

Canadian Federal Election, 2000 - Parties, Leaders, Seats Won and Popular Vote
Party Leaders Seats Won Popular Vote
Liberal Jean Chrétien1 172 40.9%
  Canadian Alliance Stockwell Day2 66 25.5%
Bloc Québécois Gilles Duceppe 38 10.7%
  New Democratic Party Alexa McDonough 13 8.5%
  Progressive Conservative Joe Clark 12 12.2%
Total 301 97.8%3
Sources: Library of Parliament – History of Federal Ridings since 1867

1 Prime Minister when election was called; Prime Minister after election.
2 Leader of the Opposition when election was called; Leader of the Opposition after the election.
3 Table does not include parties which received votes but did not elect any members.

Federal constituency elections: 1963 to 1984; 1990 to 2000Edit

Chrétien stood for election to the House of Commons twelve times. He was elected each time, often with substantial majorities.

1963 Federal Election: Saint-Maurice—LaflècheEdit

Federal Election, 1963: Saint-Maurice—Laflèche, Quebec
Party Candidate Popular Vote %
Liberal   Jean Chrétien 16,358 45.7%
Social Credit X Gérard Lamy 14,414 40.3%
  Progressive Conservative Bruno Pellerin 3,018 8.4%
  New Democratic Party Martial La Forest 1,983 5.5%
Total 35,773 99.9%1
Source: Library of Parliament – History of Federal Ridings since 1867: Saint-Maurice—Laflèche

  Elected.
X Incumbent.
1 Rounding error.

1965 Federal Election: Saint-Maurice—LaflècheEdit

Federal Election, 1965: Saint-Maurice—Laflèche, Quebec
Party Candidate Popular Vote %
Liberal   X Jean Chrétien 14,395 44.1%
Ralliement créditiste Alphonse Poulin 7,429 22.8%
  New Democratic Party C. Liddle 5,669 17.4%
  Progressive Conservative Louis Lizotte 5,115 15.7%
Total 32,608 100.0%
Source: Library of Parliament – History of Federal Ridings since 1867: Saint-Maurice—Laflèche

  Elected.
X Incumbent.

The riding of Saint-Maurice—Laflèche was abolished in the re-distribution of 1966.

1968 Federal Election: Saint-MauriceEdit

Federal Election, 1968: Saint-Maurice, Quebec
Party Candidate Popular Vote %
Liberal   X Jean Chrétien 13,895 44.5%
Ralliement créditiste Alphonse Poulin 12,198 39.1%
  Progressive Conservative Guy Germain 4,570 14.6%
  New Democratic Party Jean-Guy LaLancette 550 1.8%
Total 31,213 100.0%
Source: Library of Parliament – History of Federal Ridings since 1867: Saint-Maurice

  Elected.
X Incumbent.

1972 Federal Election: Saint-MauriceEdit

Federal Election, 1972: Saint-Maurice, Quebec
Party Candidate Popular Vote %
Liberal   X Jean Chrétien 19,840 56.7%
Social Credit Guy Germain 11,363 32.5%
  Progressive Conservative Antonio Genest 2,227 6.4%
  New Democratic Party Robert McLeod 1,032 2.9%
  Non-affiliated Pierre Drolet 552 1.6%
Total 35,014 100.1%1
Source: Library of Parliament – History of Federal Ridings since 1867: Saint-Maurice

  Elected.
X Incumbent.
1 Rounding error.

1974 Federal Election: Saint-MauriceEdit

Federal Election, 1974: Saint-Maurice, Quebec
Party Candidate Popular Vote %
Liberal   X Jean Chrétien 20,465 65.3%
Social Credit Antonio Genest 5,471 17.4%
  Progressive Conservative Richard Durand 3,501 11.2%
  New Democratic Party Claude De Carufel 1,442 4.6%
  Non-affiliated Pierre Rousseau 482 1.5%
Total 31,361 100.0%
Source: Library of Parliament – History of Federal Ridings since 1867: Saint-Maurice

  Elected.
X Incumbent.

1979 Federal Election: Saint-MauriceEdit

Federal Election, 1979: Saint-Maurice, Quebec
Party Candidate Popular Vote %
Liberal   X Jean Chrétien 27,243 71.1%
Social Credit Pierre-André Hamel 6,837 17.8%
  Progressive Conservative Roger Armand Charbonneau 2,795 7.3%
  New Democratic Party Robert Deschamps 952 2.5%
Union populaire Pierre Chénard 351 0.9%
Marxist–Leninist Normand Beaudoin 160 0.4%
Total 38,338 100.0%
Source: Library of Parliament – History of Federal Ridings since 1867: Saint-Maurice

  Elected.
X Incumbent.

1980 Federal Election: Saint-MauriceEdit

Federal Election, 1980: Saint-Maurice, Quebec
Party Candidate Popular Vote %
Liberal   X Jean Chrétien 27,356 76.7%
  Progressive Conservative Roger Armand Charbonneau 2,516 7.1%
Social Credit Normand LaFrenière 2,369 6.6%
  New Democratic Party Edgar Paquette 1,963 5.5%
Rhinoceros J. F. le Calife De Vernal 1,206 3.4%
Union populaire Lionel C. LaPorte 161 0.5%
Marxist–Leninist Normand Beaudoin 95 0.3%
Total 35,666 100.1%1
Source: Library of Parliament – History of Federal Ridings since 1867: Saint-Maurice

  Elected.
X Incumbent.
1 Rounding error.

1984 Federal Election: Saint-MauriceEdit

Federal Election, 1984: Saint-Maurice, Quebec
Party Candidate Popular Vote %
Liberal   X Jean Chrétien 24,050 58.9%
  Progressive Conservative Roger Armand Charbonneau 14,468 35.4%
  New Democratic Party Danielle Delbeque 1,433 3.5%
  Parti nationaliste du Québec Alain Déry 892 2.2%
Total 40,843 100.0%
Source: Library of Parliament – History of Federal Ridings since 1867: Saint-Maurice

  Elected.
X Incumbent.

Note: Chrétien resigned his seat effective February 27, 1986.

1990 Federal By-Election: BeauséjourEdit

The incumbent, Fernand Robichaud, resigned his seat on September 24, 1990, after Chrétien was elected party leader, to allow Chrétien an opportunity to enter the House of Commons.

Federal By-election, December 10, 1990: Beauséjour, New Brunswick
Party Candidate Popular Vote %
Liberal   Jean Chrétien 17,332 51.5%
  New Democratic Party Guy Cormier 12,587 37.4%
Confederation of Regions Margie Bowes-Legood 2,783 8.3%
  Independent Alonzo LeBlanc 450 1.3%
Christian Heritage May Boudreau-Padersen 286 0.8%
Rhinoceros Bryan Gold 246 0.7%
Total 33,684 100.0%
Source: Library of Parliament – History of Federal Ridings since 1867: Beauséjour

  Elected.

1993 Federal Election: Saint-MauriceEdit

Federal Election, 1993: Saint-Maurice, Quebec
Party Candidate Popular Vote %
Liberal   Jean Chrétien 25,200 54.1%
Bloc Québécois Claude Rompré 18,896 40.5%
  Progressive Conservative Pauline B. Daneault 1,909 4.1%
Natural Law Christian Simard 372 0.8%
  New Democratic Party Robert Des Champs 236 0.5%
Total 46,613 100.0%
Source: Library of Parliament – History of Federal Ridings since 1867: Saint-Maurice

  Elected.

1997 Federal Election: Saint-MauriceEdit

Federal Election, 1997: Saint-Maurice, Quebec
Party Candidate Popular Vote %
Liberal   X Jean Chrétien 22,266 47.3%
Bloc Québécois Yves Duhaime 20,664 43.9%
  Progressive Conservative Denis Vincent 3,657 7.8%
  New Democratic Party Eric Hébert 489 1.0%
Total 47,076 100.0%
Source: Library of Parliament – History of Federal Ridings since 1867: Saint-Maurice

  Elected.
X Incumbent.

2000 Federal Election: Saint-MauriceEdit

Federal Election, 2000: Saint-Maurice, Quebec
Party Candidate Popular Vote %
Liberal   X Jean Chrétien 23,345 54.1%
Bloc Québécois François Marchand 16,821 39.0%
  Canadian Alliance Jean-Guy Mercier 1,461 3.4%
  Progressive Conservative Pierre Blais 966 2.2%
  New Democratic Party Raymond Chase 359 0.8%
Communist Sylvain Archambault 223 0.5%
Total 43,175 100.0%
Source: Library of Parliament – History of Federal Ridings since 1867: Saint-Maurice

  Elected.
X Incumbent.

Liberal Party Leadership Conventions: 1984, 1990Edit

Chrétien contested the Liberal leadership twice. He lost in 1984 to Turner, who then led the Liberal party in the next two general elections. Turner retired after the loss in the 1988 general election, and Chrétien won the leadership convention held in 1990.

1984 Leadership ConventionEdit

Trudeau announced his retirement early in 1984. Chrétien entered the leadership election but lost on the second ballot to Turner.

Liberal Party Leadership Convention, June 16, 1984
Voting results by ballot
Candidate First Ballot Second Ballot
Votes cast % Votes cast %
  John Turner 1,593 46.4% 1,862 54.4%
  Jean Chrétien 1,067 31.1% 1,368 40.0%
  Don Johnston 278 8.1% 192 5.6%
John Roberts
185
Withdrew after first ballot.
5.4%
Mark MacGuigan
135
Withdrew after first ballot.
3.9%
John Munro
93
Withdrew after first ballot.
2.7%
Eugene Whelan
84
Eliminated after first ballot.
2.4%
Total 3,435 100.0% 3,422 100.0%
Source: CPAC – 1984 Liberal Convention

1990 Leadership ConventionEdit

Following the Liberal defeat in the 1988 general election, Turner announced his retirement. At the leadership convention held in 1990, Chrétien won on the first ballot, defeating his principal opponent, Paul Martin.

Liberal Leadership Convention, June 23, 1990
Voting results by ballot
Candidate First Ballot
Votes cast %
  Jean Chrétien 2,652 56.9%
  Paul Martin 1,176 25.2%
Sheila Copps 499 10.7%
Tom Wappel 267 5.7%
  John Nunziata 64 1.4%
Total 4,658 99.9%1
Source: CPAC – 1990 Liberal Leadership Convention

1 Rounding error.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit