1943 Ontario general election

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1943 Ontario general election
Flag of Ontario.svg
  1937 August 4, 1943 1945  

90 seats in the 21st Legislative Assembly of Ontario
46 seats were needed for a majority
 First partySecond partyThird party
  GeorgeDrew.jpg Ted jolliffe 1942.jpg Harry Nixon MLA.jpg
Leader George Drew Ted Jolliffe Harry Nixon
Party Progressive Conservative Co-operative Commonwealth Liberal
Leader since December 9, 1938 April 3, 1942 April 30, 1943
Leader's seat High Park York South Brant
Last election23063
Seats won383415
Seat changeIncrease2.svg15Increase2.svg34Decrease2.svg48
SwingDecrease2.svg4.3pp Increase2.svg26.1pp Decrease2.svg20.4pp

Premier before election

Harry Nixon

Premier after election

George Drew
Progressive Conservative

The 1943 Ontario general election was held on August 4, 1943, to elect the 90 Members of the 21st Legislative Assembly of Ontario (Members of Provincial Parliament, or "MPPs") of the Province of Ontario. [1]


The Ontario Progressive Conservative Party, led by George Drew, defeated the Ontario Liberal Party government. The Liberal government had disintegrated over the previous two years because of a conflict between Mitchell Hepburn, the Ontario caucus and the federal Liberal Party of Canada.

Hepburn resigned and was eventually succeeded by Harry Nixon in early 1943. The change in leadership was not enough to save the government. The election held later that year resulted in the Conservative Party, recently renamed the "Progressive Conservative Party", winning a minority government. This began forty-two uninterrupted years of government by the Tories who combined moderate progressive policies with pragmatism and caution.

The Liberals fell to third place behind a new force, the socialist Ontario Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF), led by Ted Jolliffe, went from obscurity to form the Official Opposition, winning 32% of the vote and 34 seats in the legislature, just four short of Drew's Tories. The Liberals and their Liberal-Progressive allies fell from 66 seats to a mere 15.

Two members of the banned Communist Party of Ontario running as "Labour" candidates won seats in the Legislature for the first time in this election: A.A. MacLeod in the Toronto riding of Bellwoods, and J.B. Salsberg in the Toronto riding of St. Andrews. Several days following the election the Labor-Progressive Party was officially formed and Salsberg and MacLeod agreed to sit in the legislature as the party's representatives.


Elections to the 21st Parliament of Ontario (1943)
Political partyParty leaderMPPsVotes
Candidates 1937 Dissol. 1943±#%± (pp)
Progressive Conservative George Drew 9023233815Increase2.svg469,67235.75%3.69Decrease2.svg
Co-operative Commonwealth Ted Jolliffe 863434Increase2.svg415,44131.62%26.30Increase2.svg
Liberal Harry Nixon 8963631548Decrease2.svg397,01430.22%19.27Decrease2.svg
Labor–Progressive 222Increase2.svg11,8880.90%0.29Increase2.svg
Independent Liberal311Steady2.svg8,2520.63%0.69Decrease2.svg
Liberal–Progressive 1222Decrease2.svg4,0420.31%0.77Decrease2.svg
United Farmers Farquhar Oliver 11Decrease2.svgDid not campaign
Labour 32,3640.18%0.17Decrease2.svg
Independent 32,5930.20%0.06Decrease2.svg
Soldier 25690.04%New
Communist Did not campaign
Farmer–Labour Did not campaign
Independent ConservativeDid not campaign
Social Credit Did not campaign
Blank and invalid ballots10,745
Registered voters / turnout2,255,30158.74%12.22Decrease2.svg
Seats and popular vote by party
PartySeatsVotesChange (pp)
  Progressive Conservative
38 / 90
  Co-operative Commonwealth
34 / 90
15 / 90
3 / 90

Seats that changed hands

Elections to the 21st Parliament of Ontario – seats won/lost by party, 1937–1943
Party1937Gain from (loss to)1943
Progressive Conservative 23(5)19138
Co-operative Commonwealth 528134
Liberal 63(19)(28)(2)(1)1115
Labor–Progressive 22
Independent-Liberal [a 1] 1(1)11
Liberal–Progressive [a 2] 2(1)(1)
United Farmers [a 3] 1(1)
  1. Morrison Mann MacBride (Brantford) had died in office in 1938. Mitchell Hepburn (Elgin) was re-elected as an Independent-Liberal in 1943
  2. Roland Patterson (Grey North) was re-elected as a Liberal, while Douglas Campbell (Kent East) retired from the legislature.
  3. Farquhar Oliver (Grey South) was re-elected as a Liberal.

There were 58 seats that changed allegiance in the election.

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  1. "1943 General Election". Elections Ontario. Elections Ontario. Retrieved January 3, 2021.

See also