1979 Canadian federal election

The 1979 Canadian federal election was held on May 22, 1979, to elect members of the House of Commons of Canada of the 31st Parliament of Canada. It resulted in the defeat of the Liberal Party of Canada after 11 years in power under Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. Joe Clark led the Progressive Conservative Party to power but with only a minority of seats in the House of Commons. The Liberals, however, beat the Progressive Conservatives in the overall popular vote by more than 400,000 votes (40.11% to 35.89%). At 39, Clark became the youngest Prime Minister in Canadian history.

1979 Canadian federal election

 1974 May 22, 1979 1980 

282 seats in the House of Commons
142 seats needed for a majority
Turnout75.7%[1] (4.7pp)
  First party Second party
Leader Joe Clark Pierre Trudeau
Party Progressive Conservative Liberal
Leader since February 22, 1976 April 6, 1968
Leader's seat Yellowhead Mount Royal
Last election 95 seats, 35.46% 141 seats, 43.15%
Seats before 98 133
Seats won 136 114
Seat change 38 19
Popular vote 4,111,606 4,595,319
Percentage 35.89% 40.11%
Swing 0.43pp 3.04pp

  Third party Fourth party
Leader Ed Broadbent Fabien Roy
Party New Democratic Social Credit
Leader since July 7, 1975 March 30, 1979
Leader's seat Oshawa Beauce
Last election 16 seats, 15.44% 11 seats, 5.06%
Seats before 17 9
Seats won 26 6
Seat change 9 3
Popular vote 2,048,988 527,604
Percentage 17.88% 4.61%
Swing 2.45pp 0.46pp

Popular vote by province, with graphs indicating the number of seats won. As this is an FPTP election, seat totals are not determined by popular vote by province but instead via results by each riding.

The Canadian parliament after the 1979 election

Prime Minister before election

Pierre Trudeau

Prime Minister after election

Joe Clark
Progressive Conservative