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British Columbia general election, 1886

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Title: British Columbia general election, 1886  
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Subject: British Columbia general election, 1882, British Columbia general election, 1878
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British Columbia general election, 1886

This was the fourth election held after British Columbia became a province of Canada on July 20, 1871. The number of members was increased for this election from 25 to 27, and the number of ridings increased to 13.

Political context

Issues and debates

Non-party system

There were to be no political parties in the new province. The designations "Government" and "Opposition" and "Independent" (and variations on these) functioned in place of parties, but they were very loose and do not represent formal coalitions, more alignments of support during the campaign. "Government" meant in support of the current Premier; "Opposition" meant campaigning against him, and often enough the Opposition would win and immediately become the Government.

The Smithe, A.E.B. Davie, Robson and T. Davie governments

The election mandated the government of William Smithe who had assumed power from the failure of Robert Beaven's government in January 1883. In May 1887 Smithe died in office and Alexander Edmund Batson Davie assumed power, although due to his own illness he was unable to attend the opening of the Legislature. When Davie died in 1889 a further change of government saw newspaperman John Robson became Premier that year, receiving a mandate in the 1890 election only to die himself in 1892 of blood poisoning from a cut suffered from the door of a carriage. He was succeed by Theodore Davie, who was Premier going into the 1894 election

Byelections not shown

Any changes due to byelections are shown below the main table showing the theoretical composition of the House after the election. A final table showing the composition of the House at the dissolution of the Legislature at the end of this Parliament can be found below the byelections. The main table represents the immediate results of the election only, not changes in governing coalitions or eventual changes due to byelections.

List of ridings

The original ridings were thirteen in number, and Cowichan was restored to a two-member seat while New Westminster was increased to three, with the new total being 27 members. There were no political parties were not acceptable in the House by convention, though some members were openly partisan at the federal level (usually Conservative, although both Liberal and Labour allegiance were on display by some candidates).

These ridings were:

Polling conditions

Natives (First Nations) and Chinese were disallowed from voting, although naturalized Kanakas (Hawaiian colonists) and American and West Indian blacks and certain others participated. The requirement that knowledge of English be spoken for balloting was discussed but not applied.

Results by riding

Results of British Columbia general election, 1886
Government Opposition
Member Riding
& party
& party
     Robert McLeese Cariboo
George Cowan     
     Joseph Mason           Cassiar
John Grant     
     Henry Croft Cowichan
Anthony Maitland Stenhouse     
     William Smithe 1           New Westminster
William Henry Ladner     
     David Williams Higgins Esquimalt
          James Orr     
     Charles Edward Pooley           New Westminster City
William Norman Bole     
     James Baker Kootenay
          Victoria City
Robert Beaven     
     Edward Allen Lillooet
Charles Augustus Semlin     
     Alexander Edmund Batson Davie     
     Robert Dunsmuir Nanaimo
     William Raybould     
     John Robson New Westminster
     George William Anderson Victoria
     Robert Franklin John     
     Theodore Davie Victoria City
     Edward Gawler Prior     
     John Herbert Turner     
     George Bohun Martin Yale
     Forbes George Vernon     
1 Premier-Elect and Incumbent Premier
Source: Elections BC

See also

Further reading & references

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