The Canadian federal election of 1972 was held on October 30, 1972 to elect members of the Canadian House of Commons of the 29th Parliament of Canada. It resulted in a slim victory for the governing Liberal Party, which won 109 seats, compared to 107 seats for the opposition Progressive Conservatives. A further 48 seats were won by other parties and independents. On election night, the results appeared to give 109 seats to the Tories, however once the counting had finished the next day, the final results gave the Liberals a minority government and left the New Democratic Party led by David Lewis holding the balance of power. See 29th Canadian parliament for a full list of MPs elected.
The election was the second fought by Liberal leader, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. The Liberals entered the election high in the polls, but the spirit of Trudeaumania had worn off, and a slumping economy hurt his party. The Tories were led by Robert Stanfield, the former premier of Nova Scotia, who had an honest but bumbling image. The Tories tried to capitalize on the public's perception that the Liberals were mismanaging the economy with the slogan, "A Progressive Conservative government will do better."
The Liberals campaigned on the slogan, "The Land is Strong", and television ads illustrating Canada's scenery. The slogan quickly became much derided, and the entire campaign is viewed as being one of the worst managed in recent decades. The party had developed few real issues to campaign on. One program that hurt the Liberals in many parts of the country was official bilingualism, which many English-Canadians viewed as an expensive waste of money.
One independent candidate was elected: Roch LaSalle was re-elected in his Quebec riding. LaSalle had left the PC caucus to protest the party's failure to recognize Quebec's right to self-determination, and was the only candidate to win the support of the separatist Parti Québécois.
One candidate with no affiliation was elected: Lucien Lamoureux, in the Ontario riding of Stomont-Dundas-Glengarry. Lamoureux, originally elected as a Liberal, had been serving as Speaker of the House of Commons. He ran without affiliation in order to preserve his impartiality as Speaker. He retired after this Parliament, and did not run in the 1974 election.
Voter turn-out: 76.7%
Progressive Conservative Party:
New Democratic Party:
Social Credit Party:
| || || || || |
|Party||Party leader||# of|
|1968||Dissolution||Elected||% Change||#||%||Change||Liberal|| ||263||155||147||109||-29.7%||3,717,804||38.42%||-6.95%||Progressive Conservative|| ||265||72||73||107||align="right"||3,388,980||35.02%||align="right"||New Democratic Party|| ||252||22||25||31||align="right"||1,725,719||17.83%||align="right"||Social Credit1|| ||164||14||15||15||align="right"||730,759||7.55%||align="right"||Independent2||53||1||2||1||-||56,685||0.59%||align="right"||No affiliation3||26||1||23,938||0.25%||Unknown||93||-||32,013||0.33%||Rhinoceros4|| ||1||-||-||-||-||1,565||0.02%||-0.06%|
|Sources: Elections Canada; History of Federal Ridings since 1867; Toronto Star, October 30, 1972|
"% change" refers to change from previous election
1 Indicates increase from total Social Credit + Ralliement creditiste seats/vote in 1968.
2 Roch LaSalle, who was elected in 1968 as a Progressive Conservative, won re-election as an independent.
3 Lucien Lamoureux who was elected as a Liberal but served as Speaker of the House, won re-election with no party affiliation.
4 The Rhinoceros Party ran a total of 12 candidates, but because it was not recognized by Elections Canada as a registered party, its candidates were listed as independents.
|Party name||BC||AB||SK||MB||ON||QC||NB||NS||PE||NL||NT||YK||Total||Liberal||Seats:||4||-||1||2||36||56||5||1||1||3||-||-||109||Popular Vote:||28.9||25.0||25.3||30.9||38.2||48.9||43.1||33.9||40.5||44.8||29.3||32.2||38.4||Progressive Conservative||Seats:||8||19||7||8||40||2||5||10||3||4||-||1||107||Vote:||33.0||57.6||36.9||41.6||39.1||17.4||46.8||53.4||51.9||49.0||30.9||53.0||35.0||New Democratic Party||Seats:||11||-||5||3||11||-||-||-||-||-||1||-||31||Vote:||35.0||12.6||35.9||26.3||21.5||6.8||6.3||12.3||7.5||4.7||39.8||11.6||17.8||Social Credit||Seats:||-||-||-||-||-||15||-||-||-||-||15||Vote:||2.6||4.5||1.8||0.7||0.4||24.3||3.2||0.3||0.1||0.2||7.6||Independent||Seats:||-||-||-||-||-||1||-||-||-||1||Vote:||0.2||xx||xx||0.1||0.2||1.7||0.3||0.4||3.1||0.6||No affiliation||Seats:||-||-||-||-||1||-||-||1||Vote:||xx||0.1||xx||xx||0.5||0.2||xx||0.2|
|Parties that won no seats:||Unknown||Vote:||0.1||0.2||0.1||0.3||0.1||0.7||0.4||0.1||0.9||0.3||Rhinoceros||Vote:||0.1||xx|
xx - less than 0.05% of the popular vote