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British Columbia general election, 1979

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Title: British Columbia general election, 1979  
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Subject: List of political parties in British Columbia, Okanagan South, Oak Bay-Gordon Head, Peace River North, Kootenay East (provincial electoral district)
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British Columbia general election, 1979

British Columbia general election, 1979

May 10, 1979

55 seats of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia
28 seats were needed for a majority
  First party Second party Third party
Leader Bill Bennett Dave Barrett Victor Stephens
Party Social Credit New Democratic Progressive Conservative
Leader since 1973 1969 1977
Leader's seat South Okanagan Vancouver East Oak Bay-Gordon Head (lost re-election)
Last election 35 18 1
Seats won 31 26 0
Seat change -4 +8 -1
Popular vote 677,607 646,188 71,078
Percentage 48.23 45.99 5.06
Swing -1.02 +6.83 +1.20

Premier before election

Bill Bennett
Social Credit


Bill Bennett
Social Credit

The British Columbia general election of 1979 was the 32nd general 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 3, 1979. The election was held on May 10, 1979, and the new legislature met for the first time on June 6, 1979.

The governing Social Credit Party of British Columbia of Bill Bennett was re-elected with a majority government, and won almost half of the popular vote. The electorate was polarized between the conservative Socreds and the social democratic New Democratic Party of former premier Dave Barrett, which won just under 46% of the popular vote and all of the remaining seats in the legislature.

Of the other parties only the Progressive Conservatives won over 1% of the popular vote, but their 5% of the vote did not enable them to hold on to their single seat in the legislature. Party leader Victor Stephens complained during the campaign that the federal PC Party was providing no assistance to the provincial party, favouring Social Credit instead. The caused embarrassment for federal party leader Joe Clark, who was leading his own election campaign for the May 22, 1979 federal election.


Party Party leader # of
Seats Popular vote
1975 Elected % Change # % % Change
Social Credit Bill Bennett 57 35 31 -11.4% 677,607 48.23% -1.02%
     New Democrats Dave Barrett 57 18 26 44.4% 646,188 45.99% +6.83%
     Progressive Conservative Victor Stephens 37 1 - -100% 71,078 5.06% +1.20%
Liberal Jev Tothill 5 1 - -100% 6,662 0.47% -6.77%
Communist   7 - - - 1,159 0.08% -0.03%
     Independent 5 - - - 1,098 0.08% -0.28%
     Western Independence   2 * - * 555 0.04% *
North American Labour   4 - - - 297 0.02% +0.01%
Marxist–Leninist   2 * - * 235 0.02% *
     Gay Alliance Toward Equality   1 * - * 126 0.01% *
     Independent New Hope   1 * - * 72 0.01% *
Total 178 55 57 +3.6% 1,405,077 100%  
Source: Elections BC


* Party did not nominate candidates in the previous election.

See also


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