Canadian federal election, 1997

Canadian federal election, 1997

Infobox Election
election_name = Canadian federal election, 1997
country = Canada
type = parliamentary
ongoing = no
previous_election = Canadian federal election, 1993
previous_year = 1993
previous_mps = 35th Canadian Parliament
next_election = Canadian federal election, 2000
next_year = 2000
next_mps = 37th Canadian Parliament
seats_for_election = 301 seats in the 36th Canadian Parliament
election_date = June 2 1997

leader1 = Jean Chrétien
leader_since1 =
party1 = Liberal Party of Canada
leaders_seat1 = Saint-Maurice
last_election1 = 177
seats1 = 155
seat_change1 = −22
popular_vote1 = 4,994,277
percentage1 = 38.46%
swing1 = −2.78%

leader2 = Preston Manning
leader_since2 =
party2 = Reform Party of Canada
leaders_seat2 = Calgary Southwest
last_election2 = 52
seats2 = 60
seat_change2 = +8
popular_vote2 = 2,513,080
percentage2 = 19.35%
swing2 = +0.66%

leader3 = Gilles Duceppe
leader_since3 =
party3 = Bloc Québécois
leaders_seat3 = Laurier—

last_election3 = 54
seats3 = 44
seat_change3 = −10
popular_vote3 = 1,385,821
percentage3 = 10.67%
swing3 = +2.85%

leader4 = Alexa McDonough
leader_since4 =
party4 = New Democratic Party
leaders_seat4 = Halifax
last_election4 = 9
seats4 = 21
seat_change4 = +12
popular_vote4 = 1,434,509
percentage4 = 11.05%
swing4 = +4.17%

leader5 = Jean Charest
leader_since5 =
party5 = Progressive Conservative Party of Canada
leaders_seat5 = Sherbrooke
last_election5 = 2
seats5 = 20
seat_change5 = +18
popular_vote5 = 2,446,705
percentage5 = 18.84%
swing5 = +2.80%

map_size = 250px
map_caption =
title = PM
before_election = Jean Chrétien
before_party = Liberal Party of Canada
after_election = Jean Chrétien
after_party = Liberal Party of Canada
The Canadian federal election of 1997 was held on June 2, 1997, to elect members of the Canadian House of Commons of the 36th Parliament of Canada. Prime Minister Jean Chrétien's Liberal Party of Canada won a second majority government. The Reform Party of Canada replaced the Bloc Québécois as the Official Opposition.

The election closely reflected the pattern that had been set out in the 1993 election. The Liberals swept Ontario, a divided Bloc managed a reduced majority in Quebec, and much of the west was won by Reform, particularly its Alberta base, enabling the Reform to overtake the Bloc as the second largest party.

The major change was that the New Democratic Party (NDP) and the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada all but wiped out the Liberals in Atlantic Canada (only Prince Edward Island remained entirely Liberal). Atlantic voters, upset over cuts to employment insurance and other programs, defeated two cabinet ministers. David Dingwall, Minister of Public Works from Nova Scotia, and Doug Young, Minister of National Defence from New Brunswick, both lost to NDP candidates in a major blow to the Liberals.

When the election was called, many commentators noted that it ended the second shortest majority mandate in Canadian history; only Wilfrid Laurier's term of office from 1908-1911 was shorter. Chrétien's decision to hold an early election was seen as cynical by some, as Manitoba was still recovering from the devastating Red River Flood earlier in the year. Reg Alcock and several others inside the Liberal Party had opposed the timing of the vote, and the poor results prompted Paul Martin's supporters to organize against Chrétien. [ [] ]

Some commentators on election night were even predicting that the Liberals would be cut down to a minority government, and/or Chrétien would lose his seat, although it was clear that none of the opposition parties could manage a plurality of seats. Chrétien did narrowly win his riding and the Liberals would manage a four-seat majority thanks to some gains in Quebec at the expense of the Bloc, although they finished considerably lower than the 1993 total due to the losses in Atlantic Canada and the West voting Reform to kick the Bloc out of the Official Opposition. Mostly because of these gains in Atlantic Canada, Jean Charest's Tories and Alexa McDonough's NDP both regained official party status in the House of Commons. This marked the first time in Canadian history that five political parties held official party status in a single session of Parliament. The Progressive Conservative Party placed third in the popular vote, behind Liberal and Reform, but still won the least amount of seats due to the first past the post system.

Independent member John Nunziata, who had been expelled from the Liberal Party for opposing the Goods and Services Tax, was also re-elected in his riding in Toronto.

Interestingly, a change of 718 votes in just five ridings, Bonavista—Trinity—Conception, Simcoe—Grey, Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, Cardigan, and Bellechasse—Etchemins—Montmagny—L'Islet (286, 241, 117, 50, and 24 votes respectively), from the Liberals to the second place candidate (NDP, Ref, PC, PC, and BQ, respectively) would have resulted in a minority government.

National results

Voter turnout was 67.0%, one of the lowest federal election turnouts ever.

Source: [ Elections Canada]


* Number of parties: 10
** First appearance: Canadian Action Party
** Final appearance: Reform Party of Canada
** Final appearance before hiatus: Christian Heritage Party of Canada (returned in 2004)

*1997 was one of only two elections in Canadian history (the other was 1993) where the official Opposition did not have the majority of the opposition's seats. 60 seats for the Reform Party, yet 86 seats for the other opposition parties and independents combined.

10 closest ridings

#Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS: Peter Stoffer, NDP def. Ken Streatch, PC by 41 votes
#Bellechasse—Etchemins—Montmagny—L'Islet, QC: Gilbert Normand, Lib def. François Langlois, BQ by 47 votes
#Selkirk—Interlake, MB: Howard Hilstrom, Ref def. Jon Gerrard, Lib by 66 votes
#Cardigan, PE: Lawrence MacAulay, Lib def. Dan Hughes, PC by 99 votes
#Bonaventure—Gaspé—Îles-de-la-Madeleine—Pabok, QC: Yvan Bernier, BQ def. Patrick Gagnon, Lib by 179 votes
#Saskatoon—Humboldt, SK: Jim Pankiw, Ref def. Dennis Gruending, NDP by 220 votes
#Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NF: Gerry Byrne, Lib def. Art Bull, PC by 232 votes
#Chicoutimi, QC: André Harvey, PC def. Gilbert Fillion, BQ by 317 votes
#Frontenac—Mégantic, QC: Jean-Guy Chrétien, BQ def. Manon Lecours, Lib by 465 votes
#Simcoe—Grey, ON: Paul Bonwick, Lib def. Paul Shaw, Ref by 481 votes

ee also

Articles on parties' candidates in this election:

External links

* [ Elections Canada: 1997 election]
* [ Transcript of English Leader's debate]
* [ Predicting the 1997 Canadian Election]

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