1926 Canadian federal election

The 1926 Canadian federal election was held on September 14, 1926 to elect members of the House of Commons of Canada of the 16th Parliament of Canada. The election was called after an event known as the King–Byng affair.

1926 Canadian federal election

 1925 September 14, 1926 1930 

245 seats in the House of Commons
123 seats needed for a majority
Turnout67.7%[1] (1.3pp)
  First party Second party
 
Leader W. L. Mackenzie King Arthur Meighen
Party Liberal Conservative
Leader since 1919 1920
Leader's seat Prince Albert Portage la Prairie (lost re-election)
Last election 100 115
Seats won 116 91
Seat change 16 24
Popular vote 1,397,031 1,476,834
Percentage 42.90% 45.35%
Swing 3.06pp 0.78pp

  Third party Fourth party
 
Party Progressive United Farmers of Alberta
Last election 22 2
Seats won 11 11
Seat change 11 9
Popular vote 128,060 60,740
Percentage 3.93% 1.87%
Swing 4.52pp 1.61pp


The Canadian parliament after the 1926 election

Prime Minister before election

Arthur Meighen
Conservative

Prime Minister after election

William Lyon Mackenzie King
Liberal

In the 1925 federal election, Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King's Liberal Party of Canada had won fewer seats in the House of Commons of Canada than the Conservatives of Arthur Meighen. King, however, was determined to continue to govern with the support of the Progressive Party. The combined Liberal and Progressive caucuses gave Mackenzie King a plurality of seats in the House of Commons, and the ability to form a minority government. The agreement collapsed, however, after a scandal, and King approached the governor-general of Canada, Baron Byng of Vimy, to seek dissolution of the Parliament. Byng refused on the basis that the Conservatives had won the most seats in the prior election and so he called upon Meighen to form a government.

Prime Minister Meighen's government was soon defeated in a vote of non-confidence, and Byng agreed to Meighen's request to dissolve Parliament and call new elections. King effectively campaigned against Byng, instead of against Meighen, in the election and won the most seats in the House of Commons although his party won a smaller proportion of the popular vote than the Conservatives. The Liberals did not run candidates in all ridings and had an informal electoral pact with the Progressives and Liberal-Progressives. In particular, the election results in Manitoba had Meighen's party capture almost 40 percent of the vote, twice the vote share of any other party, but no seats. Thus, King's Liberals were able to govern with the support of Liberal-Progressive Members of Parliament.

Byng returned to Britain at the end of the year and was raised to the rank of viscount as an expression of confidence in him.

After his party's defeat and the loss of his own seat, Meighen resigned as Conservative leader.