PARLINFO

Parliament Section
Duration of Minority Governments 1867 to Date
The official record - the report of the Chief Electoral Officer - makes no mention of political affiliation before 1963. Electoral results from 1867 to 1984 are taken from a chart prepared by the Office of Chief Electoral Officer of Canada and those from 1988 to date from the reports of the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada.

The longest minority government lasted 1329 days (3 years, 7 months, and 21 days). It occurred during the 14th Parliament: the writs were returned on January 15, 1922 and Parliament was dissolved September 5, 1925. However, due to coalition-building, by-elections and Members crossing the floor, the government of William Lyon Mackenzie King fluctuated between minority and majority status during the 14th Parliament. The longest uninterrupted minority government, in which the government maintained a minority throughout, lasted 937 days (2 years, 6 months, and 24 days). It occurred during the 39th Parliament: the writs were returned on February 13, 2006 and Parliament was dissolved on September 7, 2008.


Average duration of minority government in Canada:
605 Days (1 year, 7 months, 27 days)
ParliamentKey DatesDuration between return of writs and dissolutionMinority
40th Writs Issued: 2008.09.07
General Election: 2008.10.14
Writs to be Returned: 2008.11.04
1st Sitting of Parliament: 2008.11.18
Dissolution: 2011.03.26
872 Days (2 years, 4 months, 21 days) Government: 143
Opposition: 165
Minority: 22
39th Writs Issued: 2005.11.29
General Election: 2006.01.23
Writs to be Returned: 2006.02.13
1st Sitting of Parliament: 2006.04.03
Dissolution: 2008.09.07
937 Days (2 years, 6 months, 24 days) Government: 124
Opposition: 184
Minority: 60
38th Writs Issued: 2004.05.23
General Election: 2004.06.28
Writs to be Returned: 2004.07.19
1st Sitting of Parliament: 2004.10.04
Dissolution: 2005.11.29
498 Days (1 year, 4 months, 12 days) Government: 135
Opposition: 173
Minority: 38
31st Writs Issued: 1979.03.26
General Election: 1979.05.22
Writs to be Returned: 1979.06.11
1st Sitting of Parliament: 1979.10.09
Dissolution: 1979.12.14
186 Days (6 months, 4 days) Government: 136
Opposition: 146
Minority: 10
29th Writs Issued: 1972.09.01
General Election: 1972.10.30
Writs to be Returned: 1972.11.20
1st Sitting of Parliament: 1973.01.04
Dissolution: 1974.05.09
535 Days (1 year, 5 months, 18 days) Government: 109
Opposition: 155
Minority: 46
27th Writs Issued: 1965.09.08
General Election: 1965.11.08
Writs to be Returned: 1965.12.09
1st Sitting of Parliament: 1966.01.18
Dissolution: 1968.04.23
866 Days (2 years, 4 months, 15 days) Government: 131
Opposition: 134
Minority: 3
26th Writs Issued: 1963.02.06
General Election: 1963.04.08
Writs to be Returned: 1963.05.08
1st Sitting of Parliament: 1963.05.16
Dissolution: 1965.09.08
854 Days (2 years, 4 months, 3 days) Government: 129
Opposition: 136
Minority: 7
25th Writs Issued: 1962.04.19
General Election: 1962.06.18
Writs to be Returned: 1962.07.18
1st Sitting of Parliament: 1962.09.27
Dissolution: 1963.02.06
203 Days (6 months, 21 days) Government: 116
Opposition: 149
Minority: 33
23rd Writs Issued: 1957.04.12
General Election: 1957.06.10
Writs to be Returned: 1957.08.08
1st Sitting of Parliament: 1957.10.14
Dissolution: 1958.02.01
177 Days (5 months, 25 days) Government: 112
Opposition: 153
Minority: 41
15th Writs Issued: 1925.09.05
General Election: 1925.10.29
Writs to be Returned: 1925.12.07
1st Sitting of Parliament: 1926.01.07
Dissolution: 1926.07.02
207 Days (6 months, 25 days) Government: 99 * "101 if two Independent Liberals are included"
Source: Scarrow, H.A.. Canada Votes. New Orleans, Hauser Press, 1962. p. 46.

Opposition: 146
Minority: 47
14th Writs Issued: 1921.10.08
General Election: 1921.12.06
Writs to be Returned: 1922.01.15
1st Sitting of Parliament: 1922.03.08
Dissolution: 1925.09.05
1329 Days (3 years, 7 months, 20 days) Government: 116
Opposition: 119
Minority: 3
^

Updated on: 2011.05.03

Revised on: 2011.05.03

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