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1872 · members Canada members · 1878
Canadian federal election, 1874
206 seats in the 3rd Canadian Parliament
January 22, 1874
First party Second party
Alexander Mackenzie portrait.jpg Johnamacdonald1870.jpg
Leader Alexander Mackenzie John A. Macdonald
Party Liberal Conservative
Leader since 1873 1867
Leader's seat Lambton Kingston
Last election 95 99
Seats won 129 65
Seat change +34 -34
Popular vote 128,455 97,925
Percentage 39.49% 30.11%
Swing +4.77% -8.36%
Canada 1874 Federal Election.svg
The Canadian parliament after the 1874 election

The Canadian federal election of 1874 was held on January 22, 1874, to elect members of the Canadian House of Commons of the 3rd Parliament of Canada. Sir John A. Macdonald, who had recently been forced out of office as prime minister, and his Conservatives were defeated by the Liberal Party under their new leader Prime Minister Alexander Mackenzie.

Macdonald's government had been forced to resign on November 5, 1873 because of allegations of corruption relating to the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway (see the Pacific Scandal). The Liberals under Mackenzie formed a government two days later with an election called for January. The Tories were unable to recover from the scandal and lost the election as a result.

The election was the first to use secret ballots in Canada.

Voter turn-out: 69.6%


National results

3rd Parliament
Party Party leader # of candidates Seats Popular vote
1872 Elected Change # % Change
     Liberal Alexander Mackenzie 140 95 129 +35.8% 128,455 39.49% +4.77%
     Conservative John A. Macdonald 65 63 39 -38.1% 57,691 17.74% -8.02%
     Liberal-Conservative1 38 36 26 -27.8% 40,234 12.37% -0.53%
     Conservative Labour   1 1 - -100% 1,515 0.47% +0.02%
     Independents 7 1 4 +300% 10,453 3.21% +1.58%
     Independent Liberal 5 2 5 +300% 6,541 2.01% +0.37%
     Independent Conservative 3 2 3 +50% 2,360 0.73% +0.03%
     Unknown 104 -    - - 78,008 23.98% +1.78%
Total 355 200 206 +3.0% 325,247 100%  
Source: Parliamentary website

Notes:

1 Liberal-Conservatives sat with the Conservative caucus in the House of Commons.

Acclamations

The following Members of Parliament were elected by acclamation;

  • Ontario: 1 Liberal-Conservative, 13 Liberals
  • Quebec: 10 Conservatives, 4 Liberal-Conservatives, 15 Liberals
  • New Brunswick: 1 Conservative, 3 Liberals, 1 Independent Liberal
  • Nova Scotia: 5 Liberals
  • Prince Edward Island: 2 Liberals

Results by province

Party name  BC   MB   ON   QU   NB   NS   PEI  Total
     Liberal Seats 3 1 61 34 10 15 5 129
     Popular vote 34.1 47.0 39.6 34.8 47.1 38.1 56.8 39.5
     Conservative Seats 1 1 15 17 2 2 1 39
     Vote 4.5 13.8 19.5 17.6 6.8 17.8 17.5 17.7
     Liberal-Conservative Seats 1   10 12 1 2 - 26
     Vote 16.9   10.4 14.9 8.6 19.2 15.4 12.4
     Conservative Labour Seats     -         -
     Vote     0.9         0.5
     Unknown Seats                
     Vote 29.2 13.8 27.2 27.5 19.9 9.0 10.3 24.0
     Independent Seats   1 - - 2 1   4
     Vote   9.5 0.8 2.3 17.6 7.7   3.2
     Independent Liberal Seats 1   2   1 1   5
     Vote 15.4   1.7     8.2   2.0
     Independent Conservative Seats   1   2       3
     Vote   15.9   2.9       0.7
Total seats 6 4 88 65 16 21 6 206

See also

For a list of candidates elected in the 1874 election, see 3rd Canadian Parliament.

For changes between the 1874 and 1878 elections, see By-elections of the 3rd Canadian Parliament.

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