Canadian_federal_election,_1930

Canadian federal election, 1930

The Canadian federal election of 1930 was held on July 28, 1930 to elect members of the Canadian House of Commons of the 17th Parliament of Canada. Richard Bennett's Conservative Party won a majority government, defeating the Liberal Party led by Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King.

The first signs of the Great Depression were clearly evident by the 1930 election, and Conservative party leader Richard Bennett campaigned on a platform of aggressive measures in order to combat it.

"I propose that any government of which I am the head will at the first session of parliament initiate whatever action is necessary to that end, or perish in the attempt." - Richard Bennett, June 9, 1930.

Part of the reason for Bennett's success lay in the Liberals' own handling of the rising unemployment of 1930. Touting the Liberal formula as the reason for the economic prosperity of the 1920s, for example, left the Liberals carrying much of the responsibility, whether deserved or not, for the consequences of the crash of the American stock market.

King was apparently oblivious to the rising unemployment that greeted the 1930s, and continued to laud his government's hand in Canada's prosperity. Demands for aid were met with accusations of being the part of a great "Tory conspiracy," which led King to make his famous "five-cent piece" outburst, alienating a growing number of voters. In retrospect, one can try and understand King's reasoning. Both the Western mayors and provincial Premiers who had visited King with requests of relief were overwhelmingly Conservative - in the Premiers' case, seven out of nine. King concluded in Parliamentary debates that though aid was a provincial jurisdiction, the fact that he believed there to be no unemployment problem meant that the requests from the provinces appeared to be nothing more than political grandstanding. The Federal Conservatives had certainly exaggerated the Depression in its early stages solely to attack King's government.

Several other factors entered into King's defeat. Though obtaining funds from sometimes dubious sources was not a problem, the Liberal election machine was not as efficient as it once was, primarily due to the cause of the age and poor health of many chief strategists. King's campaign was the epitome of Murphy's Law - every campaign stop appeared to meet the Prime Minister with some kind of mishap.

By contrast, Bennett's Conservatives were electric. The self-made man who led them had practically rebuilt his party (a significant part of it with his own funds) and developed an election machine which could rival the Liberals'. Aside from superior party organization, the Tories used it. They bought out newspapers in key areas (notably the Liberal strongholds of the West, and Quebec) and ensured that pro-Tory slants were kept. In the first election where radio played an important role, Bennett's vibrant, zealous voice was extremely preferable to King's. (The Tory machine, of course, ensured that only the best radio spots were available to Bennett.) And Bennett's tariff policy - epitomized by his infamous promise to "blast" Canada's way into world markets - was extremely well-received in the key Liberal strongholds of the West and Quebec. In the former, agricultural production had been hurt by worldwide overproduction, and certain agricultural groups in Quebec firmly endorsed Bennett's tariff policy. (Given the devastation experienced by farmers during this time, what else could be done?) Bennett's Conservatives won much of the former Progressive and Farmers' vote in the West, and they were elected with 44% of the popular vote in Quebec as a kind of "protest vote".

All these factors led to Bennett's eventual election.

Canadian voters agreed with Bennett and the Conservatives were elected with a majority of 134 seats in the House Of Commons. The incumbent Liberals under William Lyon Mackenzie King became the official opposition after being reduced to 90, with the Progressives taking only 3.

"Richard Bennett leads the Tories to a smashing federal victory, defeating Mackenzie King's Liberals as voters vent their anger over the depression." - Newspaper headline from July 28, 1930

Unfortunately for Bennett and the Conservatives, the Depression brought complex problems to politicians and extreme hardship for most Canadians. Bennett and the Conservatives lost the 1935 election to the Liberals under the previous Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King.

Voter turn-out: 73.5%




National results

Party Party leader # of
candidates
Seats Popular vote
1926 Elected % Change # % % Change Conservative Richard Bennett 229 91 134 align="right"
69.6%
1,863,115 47.79% align="right"
3.07%
Liberal Mackenzie King 226 116 90 -21.1% 1,716,798 45.5% align="right"
1.29%
United Farmers of Alberta   10 11 9 -18.2% 56,968 1.46% -0.55% Progressive   15 11 3 -72.7% 70,822 1.82% -2.41% Liberal-Progressive   8 8 3 -62.5% 44,822 1.15% -0.94% Labour J.S. Woodsworth 8 4 2 -50.0% 26,548 0.68% -0.95% Independent 11 2 2 - 21,608 0.55% -0.30% Progressive-Conservative   2 - 1   15,996 0.41% align="right"
0.18%
Independent Labour 2 * 1 * 15,988 0.41% * Independent Liberal 8 1 - -100% 14,426 0.37% -0.25% Farmer   5 * - * 11,999 0.31% * Independent Conservative 6 - - - 10,360 0.27% -0.07% Unknown 2 - - - 7,441 0.19% align="right"
0.08%
Liberal-Labour   1 - - - 7,195 0.18% align="right"
0.05%
Communist Tim Buck 6 * - * 4,557 0.12% * Labour-Farmer   2 - - - 3,276 0.08% align="right"
0.04%
Liberal-Protectionist   1 * - * 2,723 0.07% * Farmer-Labour   1 * - * 2,091 0.05% * Independent Progressive 1 * - * 1,294 0.03% * Franc Lib   1 * - * 429 0.01% * Prohibitionist   1 * - * 266 0.01% *
Total 546 245 245 - 3,898,722 100%  
Sources: http://www.elections.ca -- History of Federal Ridings since 1867

Note:

* The party did not nominate candidates in the previous election.

Results by province

Party name BC AB SK MB ON QC NB NS PE YK Total Conservative Seats: 7 4 6 10 59 24 10 10 3 1 134 Popular vote (%): 49.3% 35.0% 33.6% 44.1% 53.9% 43.7% 59.3% 52.5% 50.0% 60.3% 47.8% Liberal Seats: 5 3 13 1 22 40 1 4 1 - 90 Vote: 40.9% 30.0% 48.4% 19.6% 42.4% 53.2% 40.7% 47.5% 50.0% 39.7% 44.0% UF Alberta Seats:   9                 9 Vote:   28.4%                 1.5% Progressive Seats:   - 2 - 1           3 Vote:   1.9% 8.1% 6.4% 1.8%           1.8% Liberal-Progressive Seats:     - 3             3 Vote:     2.1% 16.2%             1.2% Labour Seats:   -   2 -             Vote:   3.0   8.4 0.1           0.7 Independent Seats: 1   -   - 1         2 Vote: 2.6   3.5   0.1 0.3         0.6 Progressive-Conservative Seats:       1   -         1 Vote:     2.7   1.0         0.4 Independent Labour Seats: 1     -             1 Vote: 6.5     0.1             0.4
Total Seats 14 16 21 17 82 65 11 14 4 1 245
Parties that won no seats: Independent Liberal Vote:       0.4   1.3         0.4 Farmer Vote:     3.6               0.3 Independent Conservative Vote:       1.2 0.5 0.1           Unknown Vote:       0.5           0.2 Liberal-Labour Vote:         0.5           0.2 Communist Vote: 0.4     0.9 0.1           0.1 Labour-Farmer Vote :   0.6                 0.1 Liberal-Protectionist Vote:           0.3         0.1 Farmer-Labour Vote:     0.6               0.1 Independent Progressive Vote:           0.1         xx Franc Lib Vote: 0.2                   xx Prohibitionist Vote: 0.1                   xx

  • xx - less than 0.05% of the popular vote

See also

Search another word or see Canadian_federal_election,_1930on Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature