The smallest mandates


Last night, Jason Kenney wondered via Twitter what the lowest share of the popular vote had ever resulted in a party forming government.

BC Iconoclast has gone through the returns and finds that last night’s win for the PQ—with 31.9% of the vote—is the second smallest mandate in Canadian history, undercut only by the BC Liberals’ win in 1924 with 31.3% of the vote.

A total of 35 mandates have been won with less than 40% of the popular vote. Nine of those were in federal elections, including 2004 (which ranks as the 12th smallest), 2006 (10th), 2008 (19th) and 2011 (32nd).


The smallest mandates

  1. Then according to lefty logic, she has no democratic mandate to govern at all, I’m sure.

    • Neither does Harper

    • And how are you, of all people, qualified to comment on behalf of “lefties”?

      • Years of keen observation, naturally.

        • Rick Omen: lefty sock puppet

    • Well, she has first opportunity to form a government. If she fails to win the confidence of the National Assembly, then the other two (three?) parties can take a crack at it.

      But you knew that right?

      • There’s nowhere that it states that any other party gets to “take a crack at it” if there’s a vote of no-confidence. The LG determine’s what happens after that, and I don’t imagine that the LG would be inclined to present that opportunity to Charest after the province just demonstrated their dislike for him and his party.

        • Demonstrated by getting 30% of the vote. At worst following a non confidence the opposition would get a crack at another election.[ assuming NA is fairly close to HoC procedure]. Harper claims its the party with the most seats that always gets first crack even after rejection of the throne speech or an election in the event of a non confidence – which is nonesense.

          • oops…31.2% then.

        • The province gave the Liberals 31.2% of the vote to the PQ’s 31.9%, and 50 of the seats to Marois’ 54. She has slightly more support, so she gets first shot, but the results don’t support the idea that the province demonstrated a much stronger dislike for the PQ than the Liberals.

          With such a close result, if Marois can’t manage to form a stable government, the reasonable action would be to ask the Liberals if they can do so.

        • Interesting opinion, but that’s not how a Westminster parliament works. I’m sure 63 of the 125 members could come up with a solution.

    • I’m confused. Did you just accuse Jason Kenney of using “lefty logic” to undercut the legitimacy of the PQ government???

  2. How many mandates have gone over 50%, in our whole history. That is the better question.

    • Federally, it’s happened 15 times. (Last in 1984.)

  3. Mandate has a specific meaning. Mulroney had a mandate on the FTA. Harper didn’t get a mandate because he didn’t campaign on a specific decision…..and Marois has no mandate at all.

    1.a command or authorization to act in a particular way on a public issue given by the electorate to its representative: ‘The president had a clear mandate to end the war.’

    • i think % of the vote also plays a role in mandate, but i agree, you need to run on it.

      • Yup, run on it and get a huge majority….THEN it’s a mandate.

        Otherwise it’s just an ordinary election.

  4. BC, 1952. Socreds form government with 30.5% of the vote.

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