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British Columbia general election, 1996

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Title: British Columbia general election, 1996  
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British Columbia general election, 1996

British Columbia general election, 1996

May 28, 1996

75 seats of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia
38 seats were needed for a majority
  First party Second party
Leader Glen Clark Gordon Campbell
Party New Democratic Liberal
Leader since 1996 1993
Leader's seat Vancouver Kingsway Vancouver-Point Grey
Last election 51 seats, 40.71% 17 seats, 33.25%
Seats won 39 33
Seat change -12 +16
Popular vote 624,395 661,929
Percentage 39.45 41.82
Swing -1.26 +8.58

  Third party Fourth party
Leader Jack Weisgerber Gordon Wilson
Party Reform Progressive Democrat
Leader since 1995 1993
Leader's seat Peace River South Powell River-Sunshine Coast
Last election 0 seats, 0.18% pre-creation
Seats won 2 1
Seat change +2 +1
Popular vote 146,734 90,797
Percentage 9.27 5.74
Swing +9.09 +5.74

Premier before election

Glen Clark
New Democratic


Glen Clark
New Democratic

The British Columbia general election of 1996 was the thirty sixth provincial election in the Province of British Columbia, Canada. It was held to elect members of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. The election was called on April 30, 1996, and held on May 28, 1996. Voter turnout was 59.1 per cent of all eligible voters.

New Democratic Party leader and provincial premier Mike Harcourt had resigned as the result of a fundraising scandal involving one of the members of his caucus. Glen Clark was chosen by the party to replace Harcourt. Clark led the party to a second majority government, defeating the Liberal Party of Gordon Campbell. Campbell had become leader of the Liberal Party after Gordon Wilson had been forced out of the position because of his relationship with another Liberal member of the legislature, Judi Tyabji.

After Wilson was defeated by Campbell in the convention to choose a new leader, he and Tyabji left the Liberal Party to establish the Progressive Democratic Alliance. Wilson was able to win re-election, but Tyabji was not, going down to defeat with all of the other candidates fielded by the new party.

The once-dominant Social Credit Party collapsed. Between 1991 and 1996, four of its members defected to Reform BC and two other seats were lost in by-elections. The remaining Socred MLA retired before the election, leaving the party with no incumbents. Party leader Larry Gillanders withdrew from the race while the campaign was in progress, saying that all right wing parties should unite to topple the ruling NDP. The Socreds won only 0.4 percent of the vote and were completely shut out of the legislature, never to return.

Reform BC won two seats.

Although the Liberals won a larger share of the popular vote, most of their votes were wasted in the outer regions of the province; they only won eight seats in the Vancouver area. This allowed the NDP to win reelection, eking out a six-seat majority government.


Party Party leader # of
Seats Popular vote
1991 Elected % Change # % % Change
  New Democrats Glen Clark 75 51 39 -23.53% 624,395 39.45% -1.26%
Liberal Gordon Campbell 75 17 33 +94.12% 661,929 41.82% +8.58%
Reform Jack Weisgerber 75 - 2   146,734 9.27% +9.09%
Progressive Democrat Gordon Wilson 66 * 1 * 90,797 5.74% *
Green Stuart Parker 71 - - - 31,511 1.99% +1.13%
  Independent/No affiliation 23 - - - 10,067 0.64% -0.07%
Social Credit Larry Gillanders 38 7 - -100% 6,276 0.40% -23.65%
Family Coalition   14 - - - 4,150 0.26% +0.17%
  Natural Law   38 * - * 2,919 0.18% *
  Libertarian   17 - - - 2,041 0.13% +0.07%
  Conservative Peter B. Macdonald 8 - - - 1,002 0.06% +0.03%
  Western Canada Concept Doug Christie 5 - - - 374 0.02% -0.02%
  Common Sense, Community, Family   5 * - * 291 0.02% *
  Communist   3 - - - 218 0.01% +0.01%
Total 513 75 75 - 1,582,704 100%  
Source: Elections BC


* Party did not nominate candidates in the previous election.

See also

External links

  • Elections BC 1996 Election
  • Losing the vote, winning the election, CBC video
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