Vegreville (provincial electoral district)

Vegreville was a provincial electoral district in Alberta, Canada. It was mandated to return a single member to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta from 1909 to 1993.

HistoryEdit

Members of the Legislative Assembly for Vegreville
Assembly Years Member Party
See Vermilion 1905-1909
2nd 1909 - 1913 James Holden Liberal
3rd 1913 - 1917 Joseph McCallum
4th 1917 - 1921
5th 1921 - 1926 Archie Matheson United Farmers
6th 1926 - 1930
7th 1930 - 1935
8th 1935 - 1940 James McPherson Social Credit
9th 1940 - 1944 George Woytkiw
10th 1944 - 1948 Michael Ponich
11th 1948 - 1952
12th 1952 - 1955
13th 1955 - 1959 Stanley Ruzycki CCF
14th 1959 - 1963 Alex Gordey Social Credit
See Vegreville-Bruce 1963-1971
17th 1971 - 1975 John Batiuk Progressive
Conservative
18th 1975 - 1979
19th 1979 - 1982
20th 1982 - 1986
21st 1986 - 1989 Derek Fox New Democrat
22nd 1989 - 1993
See Vegreville-Viking 1993-2004

Boundary historyEdit

Vegreville was created from the northwest corner of the Vermilion district as part of the almost-doubling of seats in the Legislature in 1909. Over time, its boundaries were adjusted several times, shrinking to the area immediately surrounding the town of Vegreville.

In 1963, Vegreville was merged with some of the Bruce district to form Vegreville-Bruce, but in the redistribution that followed, the district was renamed Vegreville with little change in boundaries. The riding was finally abolished in 1993, mostly absorbed by Vegreville-Viking, with a small area transferred to Vermilion-Lloydminster.

Representation historyEdit

Vegreville (and Vegreville-Bruce) was mostly a bellwether riding, having been held by an opposition party only once until 1982. Its first MLA was James Bismark Holden, who had already served as MLA for Vermilion for the Liberals. He served one term in Vegreville and retired in 1913.

His successor was Joseph McCallum, who won Vegreville for the Liberals by a much smaller margin in 1913 and 1917 but nonetheless held the district for the government. However, in 1921, he was soundly defeated by United Farmers of Alberta candidate Archie Matheson in their party's rise to power. Matheson was a vocal backbencher in the UFA government, opposing his own government's stances on prohibition and eugenics, and aggressively advocating for local interests during his three terms.

However, Matheson was in turn soundly defeated by Social Credit candidate James McPherson when the UFA was swept out of power in 1935, placing third in the first round of voting. McPherson served only one term.

In 1940, Social Credit held the seat with candidate George Woytkiw winning on the second round. Matheson ran in this election as well in an attempt to re-take the seat, this time as a CCF candidate, but placed third again.

Woytkiw also served only one term, but Social Credit candidate Michael Ponich held the seat again in 1944, despite a strong challenge by the CCF. Ponich won again in a landslide in 1948, but faced another close race in 1952.

In 1955 Stanley Ruzycki defeated Ponich in the second round of voting to take the seat for the Co-Operative Commonwealth Federation. In response, the Social Credit government abolished instant-runoff voting in rural ridings and introduced first past the post voting across the province. Ruzycki was subsequently defeated by Social Credit candidate Alex Gordey in 1959.

After Gordey's first term, Vegreville was merged with Bruce, and he chose to run again in the new riding of Vegreville-Bruce. He served two terms there, and Vegreville was reinstated in 1971.

Running again in Vegreville, Gordey would be defeated along with Harry Strom's government by the Progressive Conservatives. John Batiuk won the seat by a significant margin, and went on to serve four terms, becoming the longest-serving MLA in the district's history.

When Batiuk chose not to run again in 1986, the open seat was picked up by New Democrat Derek Fox. He served two terms until the riding was abolished in 1993, and was defeated by future premier Ed Stelmach in the new riding of Vegreville-Viking. As of 2016, Fox is the last Alberta New Democrat to have held a rural seat for two successive terms.

Election resultsEdit

1900sEdit

1909 Alberta general election
Party Candidate Votes %[1]
Liberal James Holden 1,249 72.66%
Conservative F.W. Fane 470 27.34%
Total valid votes 1,719
Rejected, spoiled and declined -
Registered electors & turnout 2,353 73.06%
Liberal pickup new district.

1910sEdit

1913 Alberta general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%[1]
Liberal Joseph S. McCallum 812 45.72% -26.94%
Independent Peter Savarich 544 30.63%
Conservative F.A. Morrison 420 23.64% -3.70%
Total valid votes 1,776
Rejected, spoiled and declined -
Registered electors & turnout 2,179 81.51% +8.45%
Liberal hold Swing -28.79%
1917 Alberta general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%[1]
Liberal Joseph S. McCallum 1,864 59.12% +13.40%
Conservative Malcolm R. Gordon 1,289 40.88% +17.24%
Total valid votes 3,153
Rejected, spoiled and declined -
Registered electors & turnout 3,859 81.71% +0.20%
Liberal hold Swing -1.92%

1920sEdit

1921 Alberta general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%[1]
United Farmers Archie Matheson 3,047 69.69%
Liberal Joseph S. McCallum 1,325 30.31% -28.81%
Total valid votes 4,372
Rejected, spoiled and declined -
Registered electors & turnout 4,461 98.00% +16.29%
United Farmers gain from Liberal Swing +49.25%

For the 1926 election, the United Farmers government introduced alternative vote in rural constituencies. Three counts were necessary in Vegreville, as Matheson failed to win a majority on the first or second round.

1926 Alberta general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%[1]
United Farmers Archie Matheson 1,986 45.09% -24.60%
Liberal J.D. Hannan 1,395 31.67% +1.36%
Conservative A.W. Fraser 687 15.60%
Independent Farmer P. Bahry 337 7.65%
Second count
United Farmers Archie Matheson 2,217 56.57% +10.48%
Liberal J.D. Hannan 1,702 43.43% +11.76%
  Neither 486
Total valid votes 4,405
Rejected, spoiled and declined 342
Registered electors & turnout 6,674 71.13% -26.87%
United Farmers hold Swing -12.98%

Final round swing represents gain from the first round. Overall swing is calculated from first preferences.

1930sEdit

1930 Alberta general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%[1]
United Farmers Archie Matheson 2,364 57.36% +12.27%
Liberal Harry White 1,757 42.64% +10.97%
Total valid votes 4,121
Rejected, spoiled and declined 197
Registered electors & turnout 5,919 72.95% +1.82%
United Farmers hold Swing +0.65%
1935 Alberta general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%[1]
Social Credit James McPherson 2,817 50.29%
Liberal Charles Gordon 1,681 30.01% -12.63%
United Farmers Archie Matheson 995 17.76% -39.60%
Conservative M.H. Penish 109 1.95%
Total valid votes 5,602
Rejected, spoiled and declined 148
Registered electors & turnout 6,973 82.46% +9.51%
Social Credit gain from United Farmers Swing +31.46%

The source records a second count between McPherson and Gordon despite McPherson's majority result. This may be the result of an archiving error.

1940sEdit

1940 Alberta general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%[1]
Social Credit George Woytkiw 2,223 47.64% -2.65%
Independent J. Yakimaschak 1,920 41.15% +11.14%
Co-operative Commonwealth Archie Matheson 523 11.21%
Second count
Social Credit George Woytkiw 2,375 53.54% +5.90%
Independent J. Yakimaschak 2,061 46.46% +5.31%
  Neither 230
Total valid votes 4,666
Rejected, spoiled and declined 166
Registered electors & turnout 6,389 75.63% -6.83%
Social Credit hold Swing -6.90%
1940 Alberta general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%[1]
Social Credit Michael Ponich 1,874 48.89% +1.25%
Co-operative Commonwealth William Porayko 1,306 34.07% +22.86%
Labor–Progressive Peter Tymchuk 653 17.04%
Second count
Social Credit Michael Ponich 1,923 56.29% +7.40%
Co-operative Commonwealth William Porayko 1,493 43.71% +9.64%
  Neither 417
Total valid votes 3,833
Rejected, spoiled and declined 98
Registered electors & turnout 6,072 64.74% -10.89%
Social Credit hold Swing -10.81%
1948 Alberta general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%[1]
Social Credit Michael Ponich 2,101 50.75% +1.86%
Co-operative Commonwealth Jack Melenka 1,276 30.82% -3.25%
Liberal Michael Dowhaniuk 763 18.43%
Total valid votes 4,140
Rejected, spoiled and declined 303
Registered electors & turnout 6,334 70.15% +5.41%
Social Credit hold Swing +22.56%

1950sEdit

1952 Alberta general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%[1]
Social Credit Michael Ponich 1,981 43.09% -7.66%
Co-operative Commonwealth Stanley Ruzycki 1,434 31.19% +0.37%
Liberal John Koshuta 1,182 25.71% +7.28%
Second count
Social Credit Michael Ponich 2,239 56.70% +13.61%
Co-operative Commonwealth Stanley Ruzycki 1,710 43.30% +12.11%
  Neither 648
Total valid votes 4,597
Rejected, spoiled and declined 262
Registered electors & turnout 6,441 75.44% +5.29%
Social Credit hold Swing -4.02%
1955 Alberta general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%[1]
Co-operative Commonwealth Stanley Ruzycki 1,953 39.33% +8.14%
Social Credit Michael Ponich 1,887 38.00% -5.09%
Liberal E.F. Morton 1,126 22.67% -3.04%
Second count
Co-operative Commonwealth Stanley Ruzycki 2,374 51.94% +12.61%
Social Credit Michael Ponich 2,197 48.06% +10.06%
  Neither 395
Total valid votes 4,966
Rejected, spoiled and declined 276
Registered electors & turnout 6,469 81.03% +5.59%
Co-operative Commonwealth gain from Social Credit Swing +6.62%

After the 1955 election, the Social Credit government abolished alternative vote in rural districts and reintroduced first past the post. Vegreville was therefore won without a majority on the first round in 1959, and this change can also be seen in the dramatic drop in spoiled (incorrectly marked) ballots.

1959 Alberta general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%[1]
Social Credit Alex Gordey 2,248 47.75% +9.75%
Co-operative Commonwealth Stanley Ruzycki 1,253 26.61% -12.72%
Liberal John Koshuta 676 14.36% -8.31%
Progressive Conservative Joseph Melnychuk 531 11.28%
Total valid votes 4,708
Rejected, spoiled and declined 12
Registered electors & turnout 6,109 77.26% -3.77%
Social Credit gain from Co-operative Commonwealth Swing +11.24%

1970sEdit

1980sEdit

Plebiscite resultsEdit

1957 liquor plebisciteEdit

1957 Alberta liquor plebiscite results: Vegreville[2]
Question A: Do you approve additional types of outlets for the
sale of beer, wine and spirituous liquor subject to a local vote?
Ballot Choice Votes %
Yes 1,187 56.04%
No 931 43.96%
Total Votes 2,118 100%
Rejected, Spoiled and Declined 32
5,795 Eligible Electors, Turnout 37.10%

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.[3]

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.[2]

Province wide Question A of the plebiscite passed in 33 of the 50 districts while Question B passed in all five districts. Vegreville voted in favour of the proposal by a solid majority. Voter turnout in the district was abysmal falling well under the province wide average of 46%.[2]

Official district returns were released to the public on December 31, 1957.[2] The Social Credit government in power at the time did not considered the results binding.[4] However the results of the vote led the government to repeal all existing liquor legislation and introduce an entirely new Liquor Act.[5]

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.[6]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Results for Vegreville". Heritage Community Foundation. Retrieved 2017-01-21.
  2. ^ a b c d Alberta Gazette. 53 (December 31 ed.). Government of Alberta. 1957. pp. 2, 247–2, 249.
  3. ^ "Albertans Vote 2 to 1 For More Liquor Outlets". Vol L No 273. The Lethbridge Herald. October 31, 1957. pp. 1–2.
  4. ^ "No Sudden Change In Alberta Drinking Habits Is Seen". Vol L No 267. The Lethbridge Herald. October 24, 1957. p. 1.
  5. ^ "Entirely New Act On Liquor". Vol LI No 72. The Lethbridge Herald. March 5, 1958. p. 1.
  6. ^ "Bill 81". Alberta Bills 12th Legislature 1st Session. Government of Alberta. 1958. p. 40.

Coordinates: 53°30′N 112°03′W / 53.50°N 112.05°W / 53.50; -112.05