Alberta general election, 1955

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Alberta general election, 1955

← 1952 June 29, 1955 (1955-06-29) 1959 →

61 seats in the Legislative Assembly of Alberta
31 seats were needed for a majority
  Majority party Minority party
  Ernest Manning.jpg
Leader Ernest Manning James H. Prowse
Party Social Credit Liberal
Leader since May 31, 1943 June 25, 1947
Leader's seat Edmonton Edmonton
Last election 53 seats, 56.2% 3 seats, 22.4%
Seats before 53 3
Seats won 37 15
Seat change Decrease16 Increase12
Popular vote 175,553 117,741
Percentage 46.4% 31.1%
Swing Decrease9.8% Increase8.7%

  Third party Fourth party
  J Percy Page.jpg Elmer E Roper.jpg
Leader John P. Page Elmer E. Roper
Party Conservative Co-operative Commonwealth
Leader since 1952 1942
Leader's seat Edmonton Edmonton (lost re-election)
Last election 2 seats, 3.7% 1 seats, 14.1%
Seats before 2 2
Seats won 3 2
Seat change Increase1 ±0
Popular vote 34,757 31,180
Percentage 9.2% 8.2%
Swing Increase5.5% Decrease5.9%

Premier before election

Ernest Manning
Social Credit


Ernest Manning
Social Credit

The Alberta general election of 1955 was the thirteenth general election for the Province of Alberta, Canada. It was held on June 29, 1955, to elect members of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta.

Despite losing almost 10% of the popular vote (compared to its 1952 proportion of the vote) and 30% of its seats in the legislature, the Social Credit Party, led by Ernest C. Manning, received a slightly higher number of votes than in 1952 and won a comfortable majority for its sixth term in government.

The Liberal Party emerged as the principal opposition to the Social Credit juggernaut, winning over 30% of the popular vote, and increasing its legislative caucus from 4 members to 15. The Cooperative Commonwealth Federation won two seats. However its leader, MLA Elmer Roper, was defeated, ending his thirteen-year career in the legislature. Three Conservative Party candidates and various independents also won seats.

Snap vote[edit]

The 1955 election was brought on after Liberal leader James Harper Prowse questioned the confidence of the government in question period regarding members of the Social Credit caucus who had had dealings with the Alberta Treasury Branch. Manning was angered by the question and had the Lieutenant Governor dissolve the assembly despite having two more years left in his term.


On the last day of the campaign Ernest Manning barred candidates Roy Lee and John Landeryou from running as official Social Credit candidates. However, due to the ballots having already been printed, the two men were still listed under the Social Credit name. Lee and Landeryou had violated the Legislative Assembly Act by renting a building to the provincial government.[1]

End of STV and AV[edit]

Following this election, the Social Credit government did away with the Alternative Vote Instant-runoff voting system, that had been in place in the rural constituencies, and the PR through Single Transferable Vote system in Edmonton and Calgary, both of which had been in place since 1924. The move was made to standardize and simplify voting results across the province. Under single transferable vote, results would take up to five days to count all the possible vote transfers, before anyone was declared elected. This was especially problematic, in Edmonton that elected seven members.

As well, the government in 1955 had lost five local elections in rural constituencies due to the IRV, when its candidate had received the largest portion of the vote in the first round but was not elected to the seat after re-distribution of the ballots in the second round. The cancellation of the IRV system was meant to prevent this in the future.

There were five constituencies where the SC had the largest number of first-choice votes but were not elected in the second round ballot count. One historian has stated that there were 20 constituencies like this in which the SC at the end won only five but that number is too high. There were 16 constituencies in which, in the first round, no candidate took the majority of the votes. In these constituencies, second round balloting (through re-distribution of some of the voters' second preferences) was held. Mostly the candidate leading in the first round won the seat in the second round, but there were five constituencies (Acadia-Coronation, Athabasca, Grouard, Lac Ste. Anne and Vermilion) in which the leading candidate in the first round did not win the second round (thus the seat), and the victim in all five cases was the SC candidate, indicating to the government that the supporters of the opposition parties were beginning to support each other in a joint effort to defeat the government.


Party Party Leader # of
Seats Popular vote
1952 Elected % Change # % % Change
  Social Credit Ernest C. Manning 62 53 37 -30.2% 175,553 46.42% -9.82%
Liberal James Harper Prowse 53 3 15 +400% 117,741 31.13% +8.76%
     Conservative John P. Page 26 2 3 +50.0% 34,757 9.19% +5.52%
  Cooperative Commonwealth Elmer Roper 38 2 2 0% 31,180 8.24% -5.81%
Coalition Frank Gainer 2 * 1 * 4,581 1.21% *
  Independent 7 - 1   4,225 1.12% +0.88%
Liberal Conservative Ross Ellis 2 * 1 * 4,001 1.06% *
Independent Social Credit 3 1 1 0.0% 2,721 0.72% -0.69%
Labor–Progressive 9 - - - 3,420 0.90% +0.52%
Total 202 60 61 +1.7% 378,179 100%  
Source: Elections Alberta


* Party did not nominate candidates in the previous election.

Members elected[edit]

For complete electoral history, see individual districts.

13th Alberta Legislative Assembly
  District Member Party
  Acadia-Coronation James Sims Liberal
  Alexandra Anders Aalborg Social Credit
  Athabasca Richard Hall Liberal
  Banff-Cochrane Frank Gainer Coalition
  Bonnyville Jake Josvanger Liberal
  Bow Valley-Empress Bryce Stringam Independent
  Bruce Earl Hardy Social Credit
     Calgary Arthur Ryan Smith Conservative
  Hugh John MacDonald Liberal
  Frederick C. Colborne Social Credit
  Rose Wilkinson Social Credit
  Grant MacEwan Liberal
  Arthur J. Dixon Social Credit
  Camrose Chester Sayers Social Credit
  Cardston Edgar Hinman Social Credit
  Clover Bar Floyd Baker Social Credit
  Cypress Harry Strom Social Credit
  Didsbury James Lawrence Owens Social Credit
  Drumheller Gordon Taylor Social Credit
  Edmonton Ernest Manning Social Credit
  James Harper Prowse Liberal
  Abe Miller Liberal
  Harold Tanner Liberal
  Joseph Donovan Ross Social Credit
     John Page Conservative
  Edgar Gerhart Social Credit
  Edson Norman Willmore Social Credit
  Gleichen George E. Bell Social Credit
  Grande Prairie Ira McLaughlin Social Credit
  Grouard Joseph Desfosses Liberal
  Hand Hills Wallace Warren Cross Social Credit
  Lac La Biche Michael Maccagno Liberal
  Lac Ste. Anne John Mills Liberal
  Lacombe Allen Patrick Social Credit
Leduc Ronald Ansley Independent Social Credit
  Lethbridge John Landeryou Social Credit
  Little Bow Peter Dawson Social Credit
  Macleod James Hartley Social Credit
  Medicine Hat Elizabeth Robinson Social Credit
  Okotoks-High River Ross Ellis Liberal and Conservative Coalition
  Olds Frederick Niddrie Social Credit
  Peace River William Gilliland Social Credit
  Pembina Robin Jorgenson Social Credit
  Pincher Creek-Crowsnest William Kovach Social Credit
  Ponoka Glen Johnston Social Credit
     Red Deer Cam Kirby Conservative
  Redwater Alfred Macyk Liberal
  Rocky Mountain House Alfred Hooke Social Credit
  Sedgewick Jack Hillman Social Credit
  Spirit River Adolph Fimrite Social Credit
  St. Albert Arthur Soetaert Liberal
  St. Paul Raymond Reierson Social Credit
  Stettler John Clark Social Credit
  Stony Plain John McLaughlin Liberal
  Taber Roy Lee Social Credit
  Vegreville Stanley Ruzycki Cooperative Commonwealth
  Vermilion Russell Whitson Liberal
  Wainwright Henry Ruste Liberal
  Warner Leonard Halmrast Social Credit
  Wetaskiwin John Wingblade Social Credit
  Willingdon Nick Dushenski Co-operative Commonwealth

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Manning Takes Belated Kick At Two Former S.C. Members". Calgary Herald. June 29, 1955. p. 1.