1891 Canadian federal election

Last updated
1891 Canadian federal election
Canadian Red Ensign (1868-1921).svg
  1887 March 5, 1891 1896  

215 seats in the House of Commons
108 seats needed for a majority
Turnout64.4% [1] (Decrease2.svg5.7pp)
 First partySecond party
  Sir John A Macdonald circa 1878 retouched crop.jpg The Honourable Sir Wilfrid Laurier Photo C (HS85-10-16873) - tight crop.jpg
Leader John A. Macdonald Wilfrid Laurier
Party Conservative Liberal
Leader since18671887
Leader's seat Kingston Quebec East
Last election122 seats, 47.4%80 seats, 43.1%
Seats won11790
Seat changeDecrease2.svg5Increase2.svg10
Popular vote376,518350,512
Percentage48.6%45.2%
SwingIncrease2.svg1.2%Increase2.svg2.1%

Prime Minister before election

John A. Macdonald
Conservative

Prime Minister after election

John A. Macdonald
Conservative

The 1891 Canadian federal election was held on March 5 to elect members of the House of Commons of Canada of the 7th Parliament of Canada. It was won by the Conservative Party of Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald.

Contents

A Conservative election poster from 1891. John A Macdonald election poster 1891.jpg
A Conservative election poster from 1891.

The main issue of the 1891 campaign was Macdonald's National Policy, a policy of protective tariffs. The Liberals supported reciprocity (free trade) with the United States.

Macdonald led a conservative campaign emphasizing stability, and retained the Conservatives' majority in the House of Commons. It was a close election and he campaigned hard. Macdonald died a few months after the election, which led to his succession by four different Conservative Prime Ministers until the 1896 election.

Senator John Abbott succeeded Macdonald as Conservative leader and Prime Minister after Macdonald's death on June 6, 1891. Abbott's most famous political comment was "I hate politics." He had in fact supported John Sparrow David Thompson to succeed Macdonald. Abbott, in failing health, was finally succeeded by Thompson in 1892. Mackenzie Bowell, another senator, succeeded Thompson after his sudden death from a heart attack on December 12, 1894. Bowell was ousted by several of his own cabinet ministers and replaced by Charles Tupper in April 1896, who led the Conservatives in the June 1896 election.

It was Wilfrid Laurier's first election as leader of the Liberals. Although he lost the election, he increased the Liberals' support. He returned in 1896 to win a solid majority, despite losing the popular vote.

Canadian voters would return to the issue of free trade 20 years later in the 1911 federal election.

National results

The Canadian parliament after the 1891 election Chambre des Communes 1891.png
The Canadian parliament after the 1891 election
1891 Canadian electoral map Canada 1891 Federal Election.svg
1891 Canadian electoral map
117908
ConservativeLiberalO
PartyParty leader# of
candidates
SeatsPopular vote
1887 ElectedChange#%Change
  Conservative John A. Macdonald 1878797+11.5%332,96142.96%+2.80pp
  Liberal-Conservative 252420-16.7%43,5575.62%-1.64pp
  Liberal Wilfrid Laurier 1947990+13.9%350,51245.22%+2.09pp
 Independent Conservative433-15,0451.94%+0.38pp
 Independent43 2-66.7%6,3570.82%-0.42pp
 Nationalist111--10.00%-0.66pp
 Independent Liberal251-80%5,5730.72%-1.45pp
  Nationalist Conservative 12 1-50%1,2710.16%-0.32pp
 Unknown141--100%16,8902.18%-1.15pp
  Equal Rights 2*-*2,4550.32%*
 Progressive22*-*4680.06%*
Total436205215+4.9%775,089100% 
Sources: http://www.elections.ca -- History of Federal Ridings since 1867

Notes:

* Party did not nominate candidates in the previous election.

1 One Nationalist candidate was elected by acclamation.

2 The Parliamentary website identifies two candidates in Nova Scotia as being "Progressives". This may be an error.

Acclamations:

The following Members of Parliament were elected by acclamation;

Results by province

Party name BC NW MB ON QC NB NS PE Total
  Conservative Seats:54139241012297
 Popular vote (%):71.681.012.642.245.448.941.948.543.0
  Liberal-Conservative Seats:1 37324 20
 Vote (%):  40.55.33.03.710.8 5.6
  Liberal Seats:--1443345390
 Vote (%):28.419.046.949.145.941.343.641.045.2
 Independent ConservativeSeats:   12   3
 Vote (%):   1.35.9   1.9
 IndependentSeats:   11-  2
 Vote (%):   0.71.23.2  0.8
 NationalistSeats:    1   1
 Vote (%):    -   -
 Independent LiberalSeats:     - 11
 Vote (%):     2.9 10.50.7
 Nationalist ConservativeSeats:    1   1
 Vote (%):    0.7   0.2
Total seats 6 4 5 92 65 16 21 6 215
Parties that won no seats:
 UnknownVote (%):   2.03.8 3.1 2.2
 Equal RightsVote (%):   0.7    0.3
 ProgressiveVote (%):      0.5 0.1

Vote and seat summaries

Popular vote
Conservative
48.58%
Liberal
45.22%
Others
6.20%
Seat totals
Conservative
54.42%
Liberal
41.86%
Others
3.72%

See also

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References

  1. "Voter Turnout at Federal Elections and Referendums". Elections Canada. Retrieved 10 March 2019.