Canadian federal election, 1984

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Template:Election canada

The Canadian federal election of 1984 was called on July 4, 1984, and held on September 4 of that year. It resulted in the Progressive Conservative Party winning the largest majority government in Canadian history.

Contents

Issues

Missing image
Can1984-2.PNG
Popular vote of the 1984 election with provincial bar graphs for seat results

The election was fought almost entirely on the record of the governing Liberal Party. The party's new leader John Napier Turner had at first managed to distance himself from the policies of his predecessor Pierre Trudeau, but as the campaign wore on, he became closely attached to these faults.

The Liberal Party had lost favour with Western Canadians, and policies such as the National Energy Policy only aggravated this sentiment. A change from earlier elections was the great disaffection in Quebec with the Liberal government. The Conservatives had not won significant support in that province in decades, but hope for success there was one of the main reasons Brian Mulroney had been chosen as party leader. Mulroney was a fluently bilingual Quebecer who promised a new deal for Quebec. The province, annoyed at being left out of the 1982 repatriation of constitution, shifted dramatically to support him.

The Liberal Party had entered the campaign with a lead in the polls following the selection of Turner as leader. That lead began to slip as Turner, who had been out of politics since he had resigned as Minister of Finance in 1975, made several mistakes that caused voters to see him as "yesterday's man". In particular, he spoke of "make work programs", a concept from the 1970s that had been replaced by the less patronizing "job creation programs". He also was caught on camera patting Liberal Party President Iona Campagnolo on her posterior. Turner defended this action as being a friendly gesture, not recognizing that it was seen by many women as being condescending.

Other voters turned against the Liberals due to their mounting legacy of patronage and corruption. An especially important issue was that of 79 patronage appointments Trudeau made in the days before leaving office. Turner, despite promising a new way of doing politics, refused to cancel these appointments. During the English-language televised debate between Mulroney, Turner and New Democratic Party leader Ed Broadbent, Turner defended the appointments by saying, "I had no option". Mulroney effectively attacked Turner saying, "You had an option, sir; you could have said 'no'". This was a key turning point of the campaign, and cemented the view of many voters that Turner did not represent change from the discredited Liberal Party of Pierre Trudeau.

National results

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Elec1984.PNG
The House of Commons after the 1984 election

The election was a landslide victory for the Progressive Conservative Party, which won half the popular vote and 211 out of 282 seats. The party won a majority of the ridings in every province. The New Democratic Party also did very well: voters in the manufacturing areas of Ontario and on the prairies gave it 30 seats. At the time, many pundits thought Canada was moving towards the British model of a Labour-Tory division.

All numerical results from Elections Canada's Official Report on the Thirty-Third Election.

Party Party Leader # of
candidates
Seats Popular Vote
1980 Dissolution Elected % Change # % Change

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

Progressive Conservative Brian Mulroney 282 103 100 211 +104.9% 6,278,818 50.03% +17.59%

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Liberal/row

Liberal John Turner 282 147 135 40 -72.8% 3,516,486 28.02% -16.32%

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/NDP/row

New Democratic Ed Broadbent 282 32 31 30 -6.3% 2,359,915 18.81% -0.97%

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Independents/row

No affiliation1 20 - - 1   39,298 0.31% +0.29%

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Rhino/row

Rhinoceros Cornelius the First 88 - - - - 99,178 0.79% -0.22%

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/BQ/row

Parti nationaliste du Québec2 Denis Monière 74 * * - * 85,865 0.68% *

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/CoR/row

Confederation of Regions Elmer Knutson 55 * * - * 65,655 0.52% *

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Green/row

Green Trevor Hancock 60 * * - * 26,921 0.21% *

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Libertarian/row

Libertarian Victor Levis 72 - - - - 23,514 0.19% +0.05%

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Independents/row

Independent 65 - 1 - - 22,067 0.18% +0.04%

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Social Credit/row

Social Credit Ken Sweigard 51 - - - - 16,659 0.13% -1.56%

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Communist/row

Communist William Kashtan 51 - - - - 7,479 0.06% +x

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/PCC/row

Commonwealth Gilles Gervais 66 * * - * 7,007 0.06% *
     Vacant 15  
Total 1,449 282 282 282 - 12,548,862 100%  
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:

"% change" refers to change from previous election

x - less than 0.05% of the popular vote

1 Tony Roman was elected in the Toronto-area riding of York North as a "coalition candidate", defeating incumbent PC MP John Gamble. Roman drew support from Progressive Conservatives were were upset by Gamble's extreme right-wing views, and Liberals who were upset when their candidate punched his campaign manager's wife.

2 Results of the Parti nationaliste du Québec are compared to those of the Union Populaire in the 1980 election.

Results by province

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

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

Progressive Conservative Seats: 19 21 9 9 67 58 9 9 3 4 2 1 211

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

Popular Vote: 46.6 68.8 41.7 43.2 47.6 50.2 53.6 50.7 52.0 57.6 41.3 56.8 50.0

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Liberal/row

Liberal Seats: 1 - - 1 14 17 1 2 1 3 - - 40

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Liberal/row

Vote: 16.4 12.7 18.2 21.8 29.8 35.4 31.9 33.6 41.0 36.4 26.9 21.7 28.0

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/NDP/row

New Democratic Seats: 8 - 5 4 13 - - - - - - - 30

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/NDP/row

Vote: 35.1 14.1 38.4 27.2 20.8 8.8 14.1 15.2 6.5 5.8 28.2 16.1 18.8

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Independents/row

No affiliation Seats: - -     1 -     -       1

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Independents/row

Vote: xx 0.2     0.8 xx     0.4       0.3
Total seats: 28 21 14 14 95 75 10 11 4 7 2 1 282
Parties that won no seats:

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Rhino/row

Rhinoceros Vote: 0.4 0.4 0.2 0.2 0.1 2.4   0.3       1.1 0.8

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/BQ/row

Nationaliste Vote:           2.5             0.7

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/CoR/row

Confederation of Regions Vote: 0.2 2.2 1.3 6.7                 0.5

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Green/row

Green Vote: 0.6 0.3 0.1   0.3 0.1     0.1       0.2

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Libertarian/row

Libertarian Vote: 0.3 0.1   0.4 0.3 0.1 0.1     0.1   4.4 0.2

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Independents/row

Independent Vote: 0.1 0.5 0.1 0.4 0.1 0.1 0.3 0.1 0.1 0.1 3.5   0.2

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Social Credit/row

Social Credit Vote: 0.2 0.6     0.1 0.2 0.1           0.1

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Communist/row

Communist Vote: 0.1 0.1   0.1 0.1 0.1             0.1

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/PCC/row

Commonwealth Vote:           0.2             0.0

Notes

Template:Sequence

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