Canadian federal election, 1911

From Academic Kids

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The Canadian parliament after the 1911 election

The Canadian federal election of 1911 was held to elect members of the Canadian House of Commons. It brought an end to fifteen years of government by the Liberal Party of Wilfrid Laurier. The election was fought over the issues of free trade with the United States, and the creation of a Canadian navy. The Conservatives formed a majority government under Robert Borden.

The Laurier Liberals, after many years in office, had run into important problems in their last term. The most important of these was the debate over the Canadian Navy. Laurier failed in his usually masterful balancing between French and English Canada and ended up annoying both groups.

The Quebec nationalist Henri Bourassa had quit the Liberal Party in disgust with what he considered the government's pro-British policies. Many English-Canadians in Ontario, and the Maritimes felt that Laurier was abandoning Canada's traditional links to the United Kingdom.

The base of Liberal support shifted to Western Canada. The West, seeking markets for its agricultural products, had long been a proponent of free trade with the United States. The protected manufacturing businesses of Central Canada were strongly against it. The Liberals, who by ideology and history were strongly in favour of free trade, decided to make the issue the central plank of their re-election strategy, and negotiated a free trade agreement in natural products with the United States.

The campaign went badly for the Liberals, however. The powerful manufacturing interests of Toronto and Montreal switched their allegiance and financing to the Conservatives. The Tories argued that free trade would undermine Canadian sovereignty and lead to a slow annexation of Canada by the U.S.

The election is often compared to the 1988 federal election, which was also fought over free trade. Ironically, in that later election, the positions of the two parties were reversed: the Liberals fought against the Tories' free trade proposal.

National results

Party Party Leader # of
candidates
Seats Popular Vote
1908 Elected Change # % Change

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Progressive Conservatives/row

Conservative 1 Robert Borden 208 82 131 +59.8% 625,697 48.03% +3.08%

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Progressive Conservatives/row

Liberal-Conservative 2 3 1 -66.7% 6,842 0.53% -0.74%

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Liberal/row

Liberal 2 Wilfrid Laurier 214 133 85 -36.1% 596,871 45.82% -3.05%

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Independents/row

Independent Conservative 3 - 3   12,499 0.96% +0.50%

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Labour/row

Labour   3 1 1 - 12,101 0.93% +0.04%

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Independents/row

Unknown 10 - - - 25,857 1.98% +0.83%

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Independents/row

Independent 12 1 - -100% 10,346 0.79% -0.65%

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Socialist/row

Socialist   6 - - - 4,574 0.35% -0.17%

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Progressive Conservatives/row

Nationalist Conservative 3   2 * - * 4,399 0.34% *

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Independents/row

Nationalist   1 * - * 3,533 0.27% *
Total 461 220 221 +0.5% 1,302,719 100%  
Sources: http://www.elections.ca -- History of Federal Ridings since 1867 (http://www.parl.gc.ca/information/about/process/house/hfer/hfer.asp?Language=E)

Notes:

* Party did not nominate candidates in the previous election.

1 One Conservative candidate was acclaimed in Ontario.

2 One Liberal candidate was acclaimed in Ontario, and two Liberals were acclaimed in Québec.

3 Two candidates sought election unsuccessfully as Nationalist Conservatives. In both cases, they were the only opponents of the Liberal candidates, and therefore would appear to have been the Conservative Party candidates.

Results by province

Party Name BC AB SK MB ON QC NB NS PE YK Total

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Progressive Conservatives/row

Conservative Seats: 7 1 1 8 71 26 5 9 2 1 131

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Progressive Conservatives/row

Popular Vote (%): 58.7 38.5 39.0 51.9 53.5 44.1 43.6 44.5 51.1 60.8 48.0

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Liberal/row

Liberal Seats: - 6 9 2 13 36 8 9 2 - 85

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Liberal/row

Vote (%): 37.7 53.3 59.4 44.8 41.2 44.6 47.7 55.2 48.9 39.2 45.8

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Independents/row

Independent Conservative Seats:         1 2         3

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Independents/row

Vote (%):         1.5 1.6         1.0

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Labour/row

Labour Seats:         - 1         1

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Labour/row

Vote (%):         0.1 3.6         0.9

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Progressive Conservatives/row

Liberal-Conservative Seats:   -     1           1

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Progressive Conservatives/row

Vote (%):   4.1     0.8           0.5
Total Seats 7 7 10 10 86 65 13 18 4 1 221
Parties that won no seats:

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Independents/row

Unknown Vote (%):   1.0     2.1 2.6 8.7       2.0

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Independents/row

Independent Vote (%):   3.1 1.6 0.3 0.5 1.2   0.3     0.8

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Socialist/row

Socialist Vote (%): 3.7     3.0 0.2 0.1         0.4

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Progressive Conservatives/row

Nationalist Conservative Vote (%):         0.3 1.0         0.3

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Independents/row

Nationalist Vote (%):           1.1         0.3

Template:Sequence

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