Manitoba general election, 1988


Manitoba general election, 1988

The Manitoba general election of April 26, 1988 was held to elect Members of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Manitoba, Canada. It resulted in a minority government. The Progressive Conservative Party won 25 seats, against 20 for the Liberal Party and 12 for the New Democratic Party.

Map of Election Results

Contents

Background

The election was called unexpectedly in early 1988, after disgruntled NDP backbencher Jim Walding voted against his government's budget on March 9, 1988. Walding's defection in an almost evenly-divided house resulted in Howard Pawley's NDP government being defeated, 28 votes to 27. As the budget vote was a confidence measure, the Pawley ministry was forced to resign and call new elections two years ahead of schedule.

Popular support for the NDP was at an historically low level when the election was called, due to soaring Autopac rates and a taxpayer-funded bailout of the Manitoba Telephone System. The Pawley government's support for the Meech Lake Accord was also unpopular in some circles. One internal poll had the party at only 6% support, and there were concerns that they could be reduced to only two or three seats in the 57-seat legislature. Pawley resigned as party leader, and Gary Doer narrowly defeated Leonard Harapiak to replace him at a party convention held during the campaign.[1][2]

Doer's selection did not improve the NDP's chances of forming government, though they managed to stabilize at around 20% in the polls. Many traditional NDP voters, especially in the city of Winnipeg, abandoned the party to support the Liberals in this cycle.

Issues

The Progressive Conservatives, led by Gary Filmon, ran on a platform of saving revenue by selling public corporations, including ManOil and Manfor. Filmon also promised to scrap the province's Public Investment Corporation entirely. The Liberals also promised more prudent fiscal management, but did not propose to sell these crown corporations. Liberal leader Sharon Carstairs was also known as a prominent opponent of the Meech Lake Accord.

The NDP, which retained a support base in the north of the province, promised to create northern training centres in Thompson and The Pas.

The national abortion debate also surfaced in this campaign, although none of the major parties put forward a clear position on the issue. Although Filmon was personally pro-life, the Progressive Conservatives were unwilling to propose specific action on the subject, and withdrew from an early promise to close Henry Morgentaler's private clinic. The Liberals favoured counselling, including a focus on adoption. The NDP emphasized prevention and support services for poorer women who choose to continue their pregnancies.

The small Progressive Party promised balanced budgets, opposed affirmative action, and was against government interference in negotiations between trade unions and management.

The Campaign

The Progressive Conservatives entered the election with a significant lead in the polls, but saw their support undercut by the Liberals in the campaign's final weeks. Before the party leaders' debate, a Winnipeg Free Press poll indicated that 40% of voters considered Liberal leader Sharon Carstairs as the best choice for Premier, with 24% favouring Progressive Conservative Gary Filmon and 19% favouring NDP leader Gary Doer. 17% were undecided.

Carstairs performed well in the leaders' debate, and did much to improve her party's popularity as the campaign reached its end.

Results

The Liberal Party performed well in Winnipeg, winning 19 out of 29 seats in that city and picking up ridings from both the NDP and Tories. The party won only one seat outside Winnipeg, however, in the urban community of Selkirk.

The Progressive Conservatives dominated the rural south of the province, and made some inroads into NDP territory immediately north of Winnipeg. The party also won six seats in Winnipeg, and took the northern seat of Swan River from the NDP.

The New Democrats managed to retain four seats in Winnipeg, five in the north, the mid-northern ridings of Dauphin and Interlake, and Brandon East in the south of the province.

Exit polls later revealed that "new voters" (ie. immigrants and first-time voters) had polled strongly for the Liberals in Winnipeg.

Gary Filmon was named Premier, and the Progressive Conservatives were able to form government through an unofficial arrangement with the NDP. It may be noted that both parties were concerned about a Liberal victory in the next election.

Party Party Leader # of
candidates
Seats Popular Vote
Before1 Elected % Change # % Change
     Progressive Conservative Gary Filmon 57 26 25 -3.85% 206,180 38.37% -2.19
     Liberal Sharon Carstairs 57 1 20 +1900% 190,913 35.52% +21.60
     New Democratic Gary Doer 57 30 12 -60.0% 126,954 23.62% -17.88
     Confederation of Regions Dennis Heeney 14 - - - 7,100 1.32% -1.12
Western Independence Fred Cameron 16 - - - 2,442 0.45% +0.45
     Progressive Sidney Green 6 - - - 975 0.18% -0.33
     Libertarian Clancy Smith 6 - - - 501 0.09% +0.09
     Communist Lorne Robson 5 - - - 261 0.05% -0.03
     Independent 11 2 - -100% 2,084 0.39% -0.46
Total 229 57 57 - 537,410 100%  

1 "Before" refers to standings in the Legislature at dissolution, and not to the results of the previous election. These numbers therefore reflect changes in party standings as a result of by-elections and members crossing the floor.

Preceded by
1986 Manitoba election
List of Manitoba elections Succeeded by
1990 Manitoba election

See also

Riding results

Party key:

(x) denotes incumbent.

Arthur:

  • (x)Jim Downey (PC) 4359
  • Douglas Mosset (L) 2171
  • Ross Meggison (CoR) 863
  • Goldwyn Jones (NDP) 575

Assiniboia:

Brandon East:

  • (x)Leonard Evans (NDP) 3512
  • Jim Armstrong (PC) 2859
  • Lois Fjeldsted (L) 2260
  • Garth Shurvell (Ind) 208

Brandon West:

  • (x)James McCrae (PC) 5039
  • John Worley (L) 3618
  • Ishbel Solvason (NDP) 2313
1988 Manitoba provincial election : Burrows edit
Party Candidate Votes % +/-
     Liberal William Chornopyski 3,114 42.27
     New Democratic Party Doug Martindale 3,005 40.79
     Progressive Conservative Allan Yap 1,040 14.12
     Independent Michael Kibzey 129 1.75
     Communist Lorne Robson 79 1.07
Total valid votes 7,367 100.00
Rejected ballots 45
Turnout 7,412 66.05
Electors on lists 11,222

Charleswood:

Churchill:

  • (x)Jay Cowan (NDP) 2396
  • Wayne Wittmeier (PC) 1019
  • George Kernaghan (L) 714
1988 Manitoba provincial election : Concordia edit
Party Candidate Votes % +/-
     New Democratic Party (x)Gary Doer 3,702 37.71 -16.66
     Liberal Barbara Blomeley 2,948 30.03 +19.11
     Progressive Conservative Vic Rubiletz 2,634 26.83 -5.42
     Independent Bill Seman 358 3.65
Western Independence Fred Cameron 114 1.16 -1.29
     Progressive Charles Henry 61 0.62
Total valid votes 9,817 100.00
Rejected votes 10
Turnout 9,827 76.43 -10.21
Electors on the lists 12,857

Dauphin:

  • (x)John Plohman (NDP) 3983
  • Russell Secord (PC) 3435
  • Peter Rampton (L) 2475

Ellice:

Elmwood:

  • (x)Jim Maloway (NDP) 3012
  • Ed Price (L) 2839
  • Frank Syms (PC) 1920
  • Russ Letkeman (Lbt) 113

Emerson:

  • (x)Albert Driedger (PC) 5027
  • Martin Stadler (L) 2615
  • Kurt Penner (NDP) 1407
  • Jake Wall (CoR) 366

Flin Flon:

Fort Garry:

Fort Rouge:

Gimli:

Gladstone:

Inkster:

Interlake:

  • (x)Bill Uruski (NDP) 3057
  • Ed Dandeneau (PC) 2810
  • Clyde Sigurdson (L) 1777

Kildonan:

  • Gulzar Cheema (L) 5653
  • John Baluta (PC) 5068
  • (x)Marty Dolin (NDP) 4542
  • Sidney Green (P) 445
  • Tracy Fuhr (WIP) 133

Kirkfield Park:

  • (x)Gerrie Hammond (PC) 5269
  • Irene Friesen (L) 5014
  • Hamish Gavin (NDP) 868

Lac du Bonnet:

Lakeside:

  • (x)Harry Enns (PC) 4475
  • Delmer Nott (L) 2828
  • Eduard Hiebert (NDP) 972
  • Cam Baldwin (CoR) 864

La Verendrye:

  • (x)Helmut Pankratz (PC) 4377
  • C.E. Goertzen (L) 2948
  • Walter McDowell (NDP) 708

Logan:

  • (x)Maureen Hemphill (NDP) 2646
  • John Dobbin (L) 1660
  • Linda Thomson (PC) 1085
  • Barry Marchand (Ind) 81
  • Frank Goldspink (Comm) 46

Minnedosa:

Morris:

  • (x)Clayton Manness (PC) 4578
  • Barbara Plas (L) 1832
  • Raymond Switzer (CoR) 597
  • Clifford Hodgins (NDP) 449
  • Jeffrey Plas (Ind) 57

Niakwa:

Osborne
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
     Liberal Reg Alcock 4,334 44.90
     New Democratic Party (x)Muriel Smith 2,753 28.52
     Progressive Conservative Rosemary Vodrey 2,421 25.08
     Libertarian Clancy Smith 145 1.50
Total valid votes 9,653 100.00
Rejected ballots 38
Turnout 9,691 78.85

Pembina:

  • (x)Don Orchard (PC) 6043
  • Marilyn Skubovius (L) 2171
  • Abe Giesbrecht (CoR) 499
  • Hans Wittich (NDP) 382

Portage La Prairie:

  • (x)Ed Connery (PC) 4020
  • Darlene Hamm (L) 2812
  • Bill Zettler (NDP) 722
  • Irene Armishaw (CoR) 603

Radisson:

Rhineland:

  • Jack Penner (PC) 5166
  • Walter Hebert (L) 1059
  • Reg Loeppky (NDP) 341

Riel:

  • (x)Gerry Ducharme (PC) 4289
  • Chris Sigurdson (L) 3965
  • Bob Ages (NDP) 1834
  • John Hiebert (CoR) 121
  • Neil Knight (WIP) 75

River East:

  • (x)Bonnie Mitchelson (PC) 7563
  • Morley Golden (L) 3805
  • Michael Dyck (NDP) 3019
  • Niel Friesen (WIP) 233
River Heights
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
     Liberal (x)Sharon Carstairs 6,620 59.69
     Progressive Conservative Bob Vandewater 3,373 30.41
     New Democratic Party Harry Daniels 1,036 9.34
     Libertarian Jim Weidman 62 0.55
Total valid votes 11,091 100.00
Rejected ballots 17
Turnout 11,108 87.07

Roblin-Russell:

  • (x)Len Derkach (PC) 4030
  • Neil Stewart (L) 2513
  • Dennis Trinder (NDP) 1973

Rossmere:

Rupertsland:

  • (x)Elijah Harper (NDP) 2206
  • Joe Guy Wood (PC) 1419
  • Maurice Berens (L) 638

St. Boniface:

St. James:

St. Johns:

  • (x)Judy Wasylycia-Leis (NDP) 3092
  • Ruth Oberman (L) 2480
  • Lynn Filbert (PC) 1222
  • Cyril Fogel (P) 171
  • Roy Price (Ind) 68
  • Gerald Zucawich (Ind) 35

St. Norbert:

St. Vital:

  • Bob Rose (L) 4431
  • Paul Herriot (PC) 3614
  • Gerri Unwin (NDP) 2282
  • Katharina Cameron (WIP) 123
  • Trevor Wiebe (Lbt) 46

Ste. Rose:

  • (x)Glen Cummings (PC) 3723
  • Brent Johnson (L) 2631
  • Gerald Follows (NDP) 1464
  • David Mutch (CoR) 249

Selkirk:

Seven Oaks:

Springfield:

Sturgeon Creek:

  • Iva Yeo (L) 4833
  • (x)Frank Johnston (PC) 4174
  • Len Sawatsky (NDP) 903
  • Hugh Buskell (CoR) 158
  • Nigel Hanrahan (Comm) 27

Swan River:

  • Parker Burrell (PC) 4115
  • (x)Leonard Harapiak (NDP) 3446
  • Don Dennis (L) 653

The Pas:

Thompson:

  • (x)Steve Ashton (NDP) 2992
  • Ken Collin (PC) 1989
  • Janice Pronteau (L) 1240

Transcona:

Turtle Mountain:

  • (x)Denis Rocan (PC) 3208
  • Ross McMillan (L) 2610
  • Rod Stephenson (Ind) 767
  • Harold Parsonage (CoR) 476
  • John Miller (NDP) 446
  • Bill Harrison (Ind) 102
  • William Comer (WIP) 87

Tuxedo:

  • (x)Gary Filmon (PC) 6427
  • Jasper McKee (L) 6303
  • Catherine Hofman (NDP) 714
  • R. EisBrenner (WIP) 149

Virden:

  • (x)Glen Findlay (PC) 4459
  • Bill Davison (politician) (L) 2043
  • Louise Leask (NDP) 967
  • Alex Gabrielle (CoR) 588
  • Terry Drul (WIP) 160

Wolseley:

  • Harold Taylor (L) 3618
  • (x)Myrna Phillips (NDP) 3112
  • Kirk Stanley (PC) 1579
  • Derek Shettler (P) 149

Post-election changes

Gilles Roch (PC) becomes (L) on September 8, 1988.

References

  1. ^ Rastin, Sandra; Reshef, Yonatan (2003). Unions in the time of revolution: government restructuring in Alberta and Ontario. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. pp. 254–5. ISBN 0-8020-8753-1. http://books.google.ca/books?id=kPuTjMvKYxcC&pg=PA254. 
  2. ^ Adams, Christopher P. (2008). Politics in Manitoba: parties, leaders, and voters. [Winnipeg]: University of Manitoba Press. ISBN 0-88755-704-X. http://books.google.ca/books?id=mLQ3Nhdnv5sC&pg=PA126. 

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