1874 Canadian federal election

The 1874 Canadian federal election was held on January 22, 1874, to elect members of the House of Commons of Canada of the 3rd Parliament of Canada. Sir John A. Macdonald, who had recently been forced out of office as prime minister, and his Conservatives were defeated by the Liberal Party under their new leader Prime Minister Alexander Mackenzie.

1874 Canadian federal election

 1872 January 22, 1874 1878 

206 seats in the House of Commons
104 seats needed for a majority
Turnout69.6%[1] (0.7pp)
  First party Second party
 
Leader Alexander Mackenzie John A. Macdonald
Party Liberal Conservative
Leader since March 6, 1873 July 1, 1867
Leader's seat Lambton Kingston
Last election 95 seats, 34.7% 100 seats, 38.7%
Seats won 129 65
Seat change 34 35
Popular vote 128,455 97,925
Percentage 39.5% 30.1%
Swing 4.8% 8.6%

1874 Canadian electoral map

The Canadian parliament after the 1874 election

Prime Minister before election

Alexander Mackenzie
Liberal

Prime Minister after election

Alexander Mackenzie
Liberal

Macdonald's government had been forced to resign on November 5, 1873, because of allegations of corruption relating to the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway (see the Pacific Scandal). The Liberals under Mackenzie formed a government two days later with an election called for January. The Tories were unable to recover from the scandal and lost the election as a result.

The election was the first general election after Prince Edward Island's entry into Confederation, and the first to use secret ballots in Canada.