Under the Northwest Territories Act 1880 the district was mandated at its inception to return a single member to the Northwest Territories Legislature under the First Past the Post electoral system. The district was named in the honour of former Governor General, the Marquess of Lorne. Lorne would tour the through the Northwest Territories just after the electoral district was created in 1881.
The electoral district ceased to exist at the drop of the writ for the 1888 Northwest Territories general election. This was due to a population boom in the area caused by an influx of settlers. The electoral district was redistributed and split between the electoral districts of Batoche and the Prince Albert electoral district. During the nine years the district existed, it returned three members through three elections who served roughly three year terms.
The electoral district was created with the provision to cover an area of 1000 square miles and have a population of 1000 electors. The major population centres in the electoral district at the time of creation were Prince Albert, and Fort Carlton. The land around the district boomed due to a high rate of settlement in that period. The cause of this was due to the possibility of the Canadian Pacific transcontinental railway line being built through the area.
The Northwest Territories political system used at this time was run by an early form of consensus government. Candidates stood for election independent of the political parties that exist in other provinces and territories and the federal level within Canada. The government had not yet developed to the point of being a Responsible government as the majority of members were appointed and not elected. The district was served by three representatives during its eight year history.
|Name||Elected||Left Office||Lawrence Clarke||1881||1883||Day Hort MacDowall||1883||1885||Owen Hughes||1885||1888|
|March 23, 1881 by-election|
|Name||Vote||%||Lawrence Clarke||250||63.61%||Henry Stewart Moore||143||36.39%|
The election commenced when Lieutenant-Governor David Laird dropped the writ on 1881. The election was contested by two candidates, Lawrence Clarke who was a fur trader and Chief Factor of the District of Saskatchewan for the Hudson's Bay Company. Clarke's opponent was Henry Stewart Moore a local French speaking businessman from Prince Albert who had been operating a flower mill since 1875.
Clarke held a big advantage in the campaign as he was supported by the Métis who had been looking for someone to locally represent them in the Legislature since the territory was formed in 1870. Clarke had also built his popularity and name recognition as a prominent fur trader. On election day Clarke carried the district winning a solid victory. He defeated Moore winning nearly 64% of popular vote. His resounding win would make him the first elected member to sit on the Northwest Territories council.
|June 5, 1883 by-election|
|Name||Vote||%||Day Hort MacDowall||279||69.92%||Andrew Porter||120||30.08%|
MacDowall's appeal for representation translated into a landslide victory on election day. On June 5, 1883 he defeated Andrew Porter capturing nearly 70% of the popular vote. His win was the largest majority of the three elections held in the electoral district.
|1885 Northwest Territories election|
|Name||Vote||%||Owen Hughes||141||51.46%||Andrew Porter||133||48.54%|
Incumbent MacDowall, had played a major role in subduing the North-West Rebellion at the end of his term in office. He would not run for re-election instead choosing to campaign for a seat in the Canadian House of Commons. Dr. Porter attempted to win a seat by running for office a second time. Porter was challenged by Captain Owen E. Hughes, a business man from Duck Lake. Hughes had been the captain of the Prince Albert militia unit that was disbanded by the Federal Government prior to the start of the North-West Resistance. Many of his former unit, including his lieutenant, Gabriel Dumont, were among the Metis who the drove loyalist forces back at the Battle of Fish Creek.
On election day, despite increasing his popular share of the vote over the 1883 election even with lower turnout, Porter was defeated by Hughes. The race was very tight and hotly contested nearly ending in a tie vote. Hughes captured the electoral district by a margin of eight votes winning just over 51% of the popular vote.