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).

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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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