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1887 · members Canada members · 1896
Canadian federal election, 1891
215 seats in the 7th Canadian Parliament
March 5, 1891
First party Second party
JaMAC.jpg WilfriedLaurier.jpg
Leader John A. Macdonald Wilfrid Laurier
Party Conservative Liberal
Leader since 1867 1887
Leader's seat Kingston Quebec East
Last election 122 80
Seats won 117 90
Seat change -5 +10
Popular vote 376,518 350,512
Percentage 48.58% 45.22%
Swing +1.16% +2.09%
Canada 1891 Federal Election.svg

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

A Conservative election poster from 1891.
The Canadian parliament after the 1891 election

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.

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", and he had in fact supported John Thompson to succeed Macdonald. Abbott, in failing health, was finally succeeded by Thompson in 1892. Mackenzie Bowell, a senator, succeeded Thompson after his sudden death from a heart attack on Dec. 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.

This was Wilfrid Laurier's first election as leader of the Liberals. Although he lost the election, he increased the Liberals' support and returned in 1896 to win a solid majority.

This election was the lowest voter turnout by percentage up to this point in Canadian Federal elections.

Voter turnout: 64.4%

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


Contents

National results

Party Party leader # of
candidates
Seats Popular vote
1887 Elected Change # % Change
     Conservative John A. Macdonald 187 87 97 +11.5% 332,961 42.96% +2.80 %
     Liberal-Conservative 25 24 20 -16.7% 43,557 5.62% -1.64%
     Liberal
Wilfrid Laurier
194 79 90 +13.9% 350,512 45.22% +2.09%
     Independent Conservative 4 3 3 - 15,045 1.94% +0.38%
     Independent 4 3 2 -66.7% 6,357 0.82% -0.42%
     Nationalist 1 1 1 - -1 0.00% -0.66%
     Independent Liberal 2 5 1 -80% 5,573 0.72% -1.45%
     Nationalist Conservative 1 2 1 -50% 1,271 0.16% -0.32%
     Unknown 14 1 - -100% 16,890 2.18% -1.15%
     Equal Rights 2 * - * 2,455 0.32% *
     Progressive2 2 * - * 468 0.06% *
Total 436 205 215 +4.9% 775,089 100%  
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;

  • British Columbia: 1 Conservative, 1 Liberal-Conservative
  • Manitoba: 1 Conservative
  • Ontario: 1 Conservative
  • Quebec: 1 Conservative, 2 Liberal, 1 Nationalist

Results by province

Party name BC NW MB ON QC NB NS PE Total
     Conservative Seats: 5 4 1 39 24 10 12 2 97
     Popular vote (%): 71.6 81.0 12.6 42.2 45.4 48.9 41.9 48.5 43.0
     Liberal-Conservative Seats: 1   3 7 3 2 4   20
     Vote (%):     40.5 5.3 3.0 3.7 10.8   5.6
     Liberal Seats: - - 1 44 33 4 5 3 90
     Vote (%): 28.4 19.0 46.9 49.1 45.9 41.3 43.6 41.0 45.2
     Independent Conservative Seats:       1 2       3
     Vote (%):       1.3 5.9       1.9
     Independent Seats:       1 1 -     2
     Vote (%):       0.7 1.2 3.2     0.8
     Nationalist Seats:         1       1
     Vote (%):         -       -
     Independent Liberal Seats:           -   1 1
     Vote (%):           2.9   10.5 0.7
     Nationalist Conservative Seats:         1       1
     Vote (%):         0.7       0.2
Total seats 6 4 5 92 65 16 21 6 215
Parties that won no seats:
     Unknown Vote (%):       2.0 3.8   3.1   2.2
     Equal Rights Vote (%):       0.7         0.3
     Progressive Vote (%):             0.5   0.1

See also

External links

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