1942 Canadian conscription plebiscite

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1942 Canadian conscription plebiscite
Canadian Red Ensign (1921-1957).svg
April 27, 1942 (1942-04-27)

Are you in favour of releasing the Government from any obligations arising out of any past commitments restricting the methods of raising men for military service?
VOTE conscription plebiscite 1942.png
Advertisement appearing in The Canadian Champion (Milton, Ontario, April 23, 1942) soliciting votes for the 1942 Canadian conscription plebiscite.
Votes %
Light brown x.svgNo1,543,00634.38%
Valid votes4,488,52096.76%
Invalid or blank votes150,3273.24%
Total votes4,638,847100.00%
Registered voters/turnout6,502,23471.34%

Canada 1942 Referendum.svg
Results by province and territory

A plebiscite on conscription was held in Canada on 27 April 1942. [1] It was held in response to the Conservative Party lobbying Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King (Liberal leader) to introduce compulsory overseas military service, the government having previously promised not to introduce same in 1940. [2] The result was 66% voting in favour, [2] with Quebec being the only province to have a majority voting against. Quebec's strong majority against the comitment's release prompted the prime minister not to pursue the issue until later events prompted a change in position.



Are you in favour of releasing the Government from any obligations arising out of any past commitments restricting the methods of raising men for military service?

Invalid/blank votes50,327
Registered voters/turnout6,502,23471.34
Source: Nohlen

By province

Canadian conscription plebiscite, 1942
Jurisdiction Yes check.svg YesNo
Votes %Votes %
Alberta 186,62471.175,88028.9
British Columbia 253,84480.462,03319.6
Manitoba 218,09380.353,65119.7
New Brunswick 105,62969.845,74330.2
Nova Scotia 120,76377.135,84022.1
Ontario 1,202,95384.0229,84716.0
Prince Edward Island 23,56982.94,86917.1
Quebec 375,65027.9971,92572.1
Saskatchewan 183,61773.167,65426.9
Yukon 84774.429125.6
Total civilian vote2,670,08863.31,547,72436.7
Military vote251,11880.560,88519.5
Canada 2,921,20664.51,608,60935.5

The referendum was held in all 245 electoral districts, which covered all nine provinces and one of the two territories. Residents in the Northwest Territories did not have a vote, as their area was not organized as an electoral district.

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  1. Nohlen, D (2005) Elections in the Americas: A data handbook, Volume I, p127 ISBN   978-0-19-928357-6
  2. 1 2 Nohlen, p130