Canadian federal election, 1963

Canadian federal election, 1963

Infobox Election
election_name = Canadian federal election, 1963
country = Canada
type = parliamentary
ongoing =no
party_colour =
previous_election = Canadian federal election, 1962
previous_year = 1962
next_election = Canadian federal election, 1965
next_year = 1965
seats_for_election = 265 seats in the 26th Canadian Parliament
election_date = April 8, 1963
next_mps = 27th Canadian Parliament
previous_mps = 25th Canadian Parliament



colour1 =
leader1 =Lester B. Pearson
leader_since1 =1958
party1 =Liberal Party of Canada
leaders_seat1 =Algoma East
last_election1 =99
seats1 =128
seat_change1 =+29
popular_vote1 =3,276,995
percentage1 =41.52%
swing1 =+4.55%



colour2 =
leader2 =John Diefenbaker
leader_since2 =1956
party2 =Progressive Conservative Party of Canada
leaders_seat2 =Prince Albert
last_election2 =116
seats2 =95
seat_change2 =-21
popular_vote2 =2,582,322
percentage2 =32.72%
swing2 =-4.50%



colour4 =
leader4 =Robert N. Thompson
leader_since4 =1961
party4 =Social Credit Party of Canada
leaders_seat4 =Red Deer
last_election4 =30
seats4 =24
seat_change4 =-6
popular_vote4 =940,703
percentage4 =11.92%
swing4 =+0.32%



colour5 =
leader5 =Tommy Douglas
leader_since5 =1961
party5 =New Democratic Party
leaders_seat5 =Burnaby—Coquitlam
last_election5 =19
seats5 =17
seat_change5 =-2
popular_vote5 =1,044,701
percentage5 =13.24%
swing5 =-0.33%

map_

map_size =
map_caption =

title = PM
before_election = John Diefenbaker
before_party = Progressive Conservative Party of Canada
after_election = Lester B. Pearson
after_party = Liberal Party of Canada

The Canadian federal election of 1963 was held on April 8 to elect members of the Canadian House of Commons of the 26th Parliament of Canada. It resulted in the defeat of the minority Progressive Conservative (Tory) government of Prime Minister John Diefenbaker.

During the Tories' last year in office, members of the Diefenbaker's Cabinet attempt to remove him from the leadership of the party, and therefore from the Prime Minister's office. In addition to concern within the party about Diefenbaker's mercurial style of leadership, there had been a serious split in party ranks over the issue of stationing American nuclear missiles (see Bomarc missile) on Canadian soil for protection from possible Soviet attack. Diefenbaker and his allies opposed this proposal, while many other Conservatives and the opposition Liberal Party were in favour. Minister of National Defence Douglas Harkness resigned from Cabinet on February 4, 1963, because of Diefenbaker's opposition to accepting the missiles. The next day, the government lost two non-confidence motions on the issue, prompting the election.

The Liberal Party of Lester Pearson ran on a platform promising that, if elected, they would begin their term with "60 Days of Decision" on questions such as introducing a new Canadian flag, reforming health care, and a public pension plan, along with other legislative reforms.

Despite winning 41% of the vote, which is usually sufficient for ensuring the election of a majority government, the Liberals fell seven seats short of their target. The Liberals formed a minority government that was dependent on the support of the social democratic New Democratic Party (NDP) in order to pass legislation.

The NDP had been formed in 1961 by another social democratic party, the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation, and by the Canadian Labour Congress. The 1963 election was the second vote contested by the NDP. The party won slightly fewer votes, and two fewer seats, than they had received in the 1962 election. They were again disappointed by the failure of their new partnership with the labour movement to produce an electoral breakthrough, particularly in the province of Ontario, which has the largest population and the largest number of seats in the House of Commons.

Social Credit was unable to increase its representation in western Canada, and lost four of its Quebec seats. The continuing lop-sided result led to a split in the party when Thompson refused to step aside so that Caouette could become party leader. Caouette and his followers left the Social Credit Party to sit as a separate social credit caucus, the "Ralliement des créditistes".

National results

Notes:

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

x - less than 0.005% of the popular vote

Results by province

*xx - less than 0.05% of the popular vote

ee also

*26th Canadian Parliament

External links

* [http://www.histori.ca/prodev/article.do?id=15381 A Sordid Affair, by Norman Hillmer]


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