Grande Prairie (provincial electoral district)
Grande Prairie is a provincial electoral district in Alberta, Canada, that has existed twice, first from 1930 to 1993 and again from 2019. It is one of 87 districts mandated to return a single member (MLA) to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta.
|Alberta electoral district|
The Grande Prairie district (red) within the City of Grande Prairie (white), 2017 boundaries.
|Provincial electoral district|
|Legislature||Legislative Assembly of Alberta|
|Pop. density (per km²)||417|
|Census subdivisions||Grande Prairie|
Grande Prairie is a predominantly urban riding. The riding includes most of the City of Grande Prairie, including the downtown core, residential areas to the north, west, and south, and a small agricultural area to the northwest that falls within city limits. Some neighbourhoods on the city's east side are part of Grande Prairie-Wapiti, a rural riding that completely surrounds its urban counterpart.
The first incarnation of Grande Prairie, a sprawling rural district, was created out of the southern half of Peace River in 1930. It was reduced in size for the 1940 election when its northern area was transferred to the new district of Spirit River, and further reduced in 1986 to the city of Grande Prairie and the rural areas to its west and south. The riding was abolished in 1993, with the northern half of the city transferred to the new district of Grande Prairie-Smoky, and the remainder becoming Grande Prairie-Wapiti.
In 2017, the Electoral Boundaries Commission recommended re-uniting the two halves of the city into a new, urban-only district called Grande Prairie, abolishing Grande Prairie-Smoky. The rural areas to the north and east, along with some neighbourhoods on the east side of the city, were transferred to Grande Prairie-Wapiti, which now surrounds the new district.
|Members of the Legislative Assembly|
for Grande Prairie
|See Peace River 1905–1930|
|7th||1930–1935||Hugh Allen||United Farmers|
|8th||1935–1940||William Sharpe||Social Credit|
|9th||1940–1944||Lewis O'Brien||Unity Movement|
|10th||1944–1948||Ira McLaughlin||Social Credit|
|17th||1971–1975||Winston Backus||Progressive |
|See Grande Prairie-Smoky and Grande Prairie-|
|30th||2019–||Tracy Allard||United Conservative|
When the district of Peace River was split in 1930, incumbent MLA Hugh Allen chose to run in the new district of Grande Prairie. Since no other candidates challenged him, no election was held, and he was acclaimed.
In 1940, the traditional parties attempted to defeat Social Credit by running joint candidates as independents in what became known as the Unity Movement. Their candidate in Grande Prairie, Lewis O'Brien, defeated Sharpe on the second count. He, too, would serve only one term as MLA, and did not run for re-election. O'Brien was the only opposition member ever elected in Grande Prairie, making the riding something of a bellwether while it existed.
Social Credit took Grande Prairie back in the 1944 election, with candidate Ira McLaughlin easily cruising to victory. He was re-elected six more times, serving as MLA until 1971.
Progressive Conservative candidate Winston Backus won Grande Prairie in 1971. The PCs held the riding until it was abolished, but Backus served only two terms, retiring in 1979. The next PC candidate, Elmer Borstad, served only one term.
The riding's final representative was Bob Elliott, who became MLA in 1982 and served three terms, until Grande Prairie was split in 1993.
|1930 Alberta general election|
|United Farmers||Hugh Allen||Acclaimed|
|Total valid votes||0|
|United Farmers pickup new district.|
|1935 Alberta general election|
|Social Credit||William Sharpe||2,741||37.04%|
|United Farmers||Hugh Allen||1,809||24.44%|
|Social Credit||William Sharpe||3,142||50.65%||+13.61%|
|Total valid votes||7,401|
|Rejected, spoiled, and declined||401|
|Electors / Turnout||10,317||75.62%|
|Social Credit gain from United Farmers||Swing||-|
Final count swing reflects increase in vote share from the first count.
|1940 Alberta general election|
|Independent Movement||Lewis O'Brien||1,998||47.26%|
|Social Credit||William Sharpe||1,556||36.80%||-0.24%|
|Co-operative Commonwealth||William Rigby||674||15.94%|
|Independent Movement||Lewis O'Brien||2,233||55.59%||+8.33%|
|Social Credit||William Sharpe||1,784||44.41%||+7.61%|
|Total valid votes||4,228|
|Rejected, spoiled, and declined||226|
|Electors / Turnout||6,328||70.39%||-5.23%|
|Independent Movement gain from Social Credit||Swing||+23.75%|
|1944 Alberta general election|
|Social Credit||Ira McLaughlin||2,366||55.93%||+19.13%|
|Co-operative Commonwealth||William Rigby||1,128||26.67%||+10.73%|
|Total valid votes||4,230|
|Rejected, spoiled, and declined||-|
|Electors / Turnout||-||-|
|Social Credit gain from Independent Movement||Swing||+4.20%|
|1948 Alberta general election|
|Social Credit||Ira McLaughlin||2,952||62.29%||+6.36%|
|Co-operative Commonwealth||Leslie Harris||1,019||21.50%||-5.17%|
|Total valid votes||4,739|
|Rejected, spoiled, and declined||373|
|Electors / Turnout||7,468||68.45%|
|Social Credit hold||Swing||+5.77%|
|1952 Alberta general election|
|Social Credit||Ira McLaughlin||2,967||61.76%||-0.53%|
|Co-operative Commonwealth||Percy Johnson||902||18.78%||-2.72%|
|Total valid votes||4,804|
|Rejected, spoiled, and declined||356|
|Electors / Turnout||7,886||65.43%||-3.02%|
|Social Credit hold||Swing||-1.89%|
|1955 Alberta general election|
|Social Credit||Ira McLaughlin||3,240||57.49%||-4.27%|
|Co-operative Commonwealth||James Hughson||538||9.55%||-9.23%|
|Total valid votes||5,636|
|Rejected, spoiled, and declined||482|
|Electors / Turnout||9,694||70.77%||+4.57%|
|Social Credit hold||Swing||-5.55%|
In 1959, Alberta abandoned instant runoff voting in rural districts, instead electing MLAs by the first past the post method. Although a second round had not been needed in Grande Prairie since 1940, this change is evident in the dramatic drop in rejected (incorrectly marked) ballots.
|1959 Alberta general election|
|Social Credit||Ira McLaughlin||4,213||65.62%||+8.13%|
|Progressive Conservative||David Williamson||1,391||21.67%||+14.98%|
|Total valid votes||6,420|
|Rejected, spoiled, and declined||19|
|Electors / Turnout||9,694||66.42%||-4.35%|
|Social Credit hold||Swing||-3.43%|
|1963 Alberta general election|
|Social Credit||Ira McLaughlin||4,763||73.03%||+7.41%|
|New Democratic||Charles Evaskevich||762||11.68%|
|Total valid votes||6,522|
|Rejected, spoiled, and declined||8|
|Electors / Turnout||11,368||57.44%||-8.98%|
|Social Credit hold||Swing||+2.42%|
|1967 Alberta general election|
|Social Credit||Ira McLaughlin||4,847||55.54%||-17.49%|
|New Democratic||Alan Bush||2,748||31.49%||+19.81%|
|Total valid votes||8,727|
|Rejected, spoiled, and declined||25|
|Electors / Turnout||12,666||69.10%||+11.66%|
|Social Credit hold||Swing||-18.65%|
|1971 Alberta general election|
|Progressive Conservative||Winston Backus||4,553||42.76%|
|Social Credit||William Bowes||4,104||38.54%||-17.00%|
|New Democratic||Arthur Macklin||1,992||18.71%||-12.78%|
|Total valid votes||10,649|
|Rejected, spoiled, and declined||32|
|Electors / Turnout||14,157||75.45%||+6.35%|
|Progressive Conservative gain from Social Credit||Swing||+29.88%|
|1975 Alberta general election|
|Progressive Conservative||Winston Backus||6,466||61.27%||+18.51%|
|New Democratic||Ross Campbell||1,962||18.59%||-0.12%|
|Social Credit||John Baergen||1,475||13.98%||-24.56%|
|Total valid votes||10,554|
|Rejected, spoiled, and declined||32|
|Electors / Turnout||16,615||63.71%||-11.74%|
|Progressive Conservative hold||Swing||+9.32%|
|1979 Alberta general election|
|Progressive Conservative||Elmer Borstad||6,313||50.26%||-11.01%|
|Social Credit||Donald Wood||3,380||26.91%||+12.93%|
|New Democratic||Ross Campbell||2,266||18.04%||-0.55%|
|Total valid votes||12,560|
|Rejected, spoiled, and declined||5|
|Electors / Turnout||20,718||60.79%||-2.92%|
|Progressive Conservative hold||Swing||-11.97%|
|1982 Alberta general election|
|Progressive Conservative||Bob Elliott||9,555||58.22%||+7.96%|
|New Democratic||Bernie Desrosiers||3,280||19.98%||+1.94%|
|Western Canada Concept||Jack Smith||2,249||13.70%|
|Social Credit||Roy Housworth||494||3.01%||-23.90%|
|Total valid votes||16,413|
|Rejected, spoiled, and declined||31|
|Electors / Turnout||24,639||66.74%||+5.95%|
|Progressive Conservative hold||Swing||+3.01%|
|1986 Alberta general election|
|Progressive Conservative||Bob Elliott||6,239||61.58%||+3.36%|
|New Democratic||Bernie Desrosiers||3,095||30.55%||+10.57%|
|Total valid votes||10,131|
|Rejected, spoiled, and declined||26|
|Electors / Turnout||22,209||45.73%||-21.01%|
|Progressive Conservative hold||Swing||-3.61%|
|1989 Alberta general election|
|Progressive Conservative||Bob Elliott||5,319||52.62%||-8.96%|
|New Democratic||Evelyn Vardalas||2,696||26.67%||-3.88%|
|Social Credit||Murray Gauvreau||482||4.77%|
|Total valid votes||10,108|
|Rejected, spoiled, and declined||20|
|Electors / Turnout||22,850||44.32%||-1.41%|
|Progressive Conservative hold||Swing||-2.54%|
|2015 Alberta general election redistributed results|
|2019 Alberta general election|
|United Conservative||Tracy Allard||12,713||63.02%||8.21%|
|New Democratic||Todd Russell||4,361||21.62%||-12.62%|
|Alberta Party||Grant Berg||2,516||12.47%||4.14%|
|Freedom Conservative||Bernard Hancock||392||1.94%||–|
|Alberta Independence||Ray Robertson||126||0.62%||–|
|Rejected, Spoiled and Declined||217||–||–|
|Eligible electors / Turnout||31,775||64.17%||–|
|United Conservative notional hold||Swing||+10.03%|
1957 liquor plebisciteEdit
|1957 Alberta liquor plebiscite results: Grande Prairie|
|Question A: Do you approve additional types of outlets for the|
sale of beer, wine and spirituous liquor subject to a local vote?
|Rejected, Spoiled and Declined||9|
|8,907 Eligible Electors, Turnout 28.12%|
On October 30, 1957 a stand alone plebiscite was held province wide in all 50 of the then current provincial electoral districts in Alberta. The government decided to consult Alberta voters to decide on liquor sales and mixed drinking after a divisive debate in the Legislature. The plebiscite was intended to deal with the growing demand for reforming antiquated liquor control laws.
The plebiscite was conducted in two parts. Question A asked in all districts, asked the voters if the sale of liquor should be expanded in Alberta, while Question B asked in a handful of districts within the corporate limits of Calgary and Edmonton asked if men and woman were allowed to drink together in establishments.
Province wide Question A of the plebiscite passed in 33 of the 50 districts while Question B passed in all five districts. Grande Prairie voted in favour of the proposal by a solid majority. Voter turnout in the district was abysmal, and one of the lowest districts in the province falling well under the province wide average of 46%.
Official district returns were released to the public on December 31, 1957. The Social Credit government in power at the time did not considered the results binding. However the results of the vote led the government to repeal all existing liquor legislation and introduce an entirely new Liquor Act.
Municipal districts lying inside electoral districts that voted against the Plebiscite were designated Local Option Zones by the Alberta Liquor Control Board and considered effective dry zones, business owners that wanted a license had to petition for a binding municipal plebiscite in order to be granted a license.
- Statistics Canada: 2016
- Alberta Electoral Boundaries Commission (October 2017). "Proposed Electoral Division Areas, Boundaries, and Names for Alberta. Final Report to the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta" (PDF). Legislative Assembly of Alberta. ISBN 978-1-988620-04-6. Retrieved May 29, 2020.
- "Alberta Heritage Foundation: Grande Prairie Results". Archived from the original on 2010-10-24. Retrieved 2017-03-24.
- Alberta Gazette. 53 (December 31 ed.). Government of Alberta. 1957. pp. 2, 247–2, 249.
- "Albertans Vote 2 to 1 For More Liquor Outlets". Vol L No 273. The Lethbridge Herald. October 31, 1957. pp. 1–2.
- "No Sudden Change In Alberta Drinking Habits Is Seen". Vol L No 267. The Lethbridge Herald. October 24, 1957. p. 1.
- "Entirely New Act On Liquor". Vol LI No 72. The Lethbridge Herald. March 5, 1958. p. 1.
- "Bill 81". Alberta Bills 12th Legislature 1st Session. Government of Alberta. 1958. p. 40.