Manitoba general election, 1945

Manitoba's general election of October 15, 1945 was held to elect Members of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Manitoba, Canada.

The 1945 provincial election was extremely different from the previous election, which was held in 1941. In the 1941 election, the province's four legal political parties were united in a coalition government—and while coalition partners ran against one another in some constituencies, the final outcome was never in doubt.

By 1945, the coalition had been reduced to three parties. The dominant party was the Liberal-Progressive Party, whose leader was Premier Stuart Garson. The Progressive Conservative Party of Errick Willis (formerly called the Conservative Party) was the junior partner in government, while the small Social Credit League and some independents also supported the coalition.

The social-democratic Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) left the coalition in 1943, and experienced a surge in popularity over the next two years. This party was the primary opposition to the coalition government in 1945. When Tommy Douglas's CCF won a landslide election victory in 1944 in neighbouring Saskatchewan, many believed that the Manitoba party had a chance of forming government.

The communist Labour Progressive Party, which had been banned in 1941, also contested the election against the coalition. A revived Socialist Party of Canada also fielded one candidate in Winnipeg.

The CCF experienced numerous difficulties during the campaign. Two of its incumbent members, Dwight Johnson and Beresford Richards, were accused of holding communist sympathies, and broke from the party to seek re-election as "Independent CCF" candidates. Party members were divided on the positions held by Johnson and Richards, and the CCF entered the campaign in a divided state. The party also suffered a series of unexpected technical problems: some candidates were unable to campaign because of late nomination filing, insufficient signatures on their nomination forms, and related reasons.

The result of the election was a landslide majority government for the coalition. Twenty-five Liberal-Progressives and thirteen Progressive Conservatives were elected, along with two Social Crediters and three independent coalitionists. This gave the coalition forty-three of fifty-seven seats. Most of the coalition's members were from rural constituencies.

The Cooperative Commonwealth Federation won four of ten seats in Winnipeg, but could not duplicate this success in the rest of the province. The party won only nine seats in total, up from three in the previous election. Richards, who was re-elected as an Independent CCF candidate, later rejoined the caucus as a tenth member. The CCF actually received more votes than any other party, but this meant little in practical terms: the combined coalition vote was well above the CCF total, and some coalition seats were won by acclamation.

Labour Progressive Party leader William A. Kardash also won a Winnipeg seat, as did independent leftist Lewis St. George Stubbs.


Party Party leader # of
Seats Popular vote
1941 Elected % Change # % % Change
     Liberal-Progressive Stuart Garson   27 25     32.2%  
     Progressive Conservative Errick Willis   12 13     15.9%  
     Co-operative Commonwealth Seymour Farmer   3 9     33.8%  
Social Credit none   3 2     2.0%  
Labor–Progressive William Kardash     1     4.8%  
     Independent   7 5        
Total   57 57     100%  
Preceded by
1941 Manitoba election
List of Manitoba elections Succeeded by
1949 Manitoba election

See also

Riding results

Note: The 1945 election was determined by preferential balloting in all constituencies. The constituency of Winnipeg elected ten members; all other constituencies elected one member. The results listed below are taken from reports in the Winnipeg Free Press newspaper and the Canadian Parliamentary Guide, and may differ from the final official results in some minor particulars. (In some instances, the Winnipeg Free Press results were not listed in full.)



First Count:

Second Count:

Beautiful Plains:



First Count :

Second Count:



[Note: Parsons had previously defeated Christie for the coalition nomination, by one vote.]








Gilbert Plains:






First Count:

Second Count:

Kildonan and St. Andrews:

[Note: Frank Simmonds appears to have lost the coalition nomination by one vote.]


First Count:

Second Count:



La Verendrye:







Portage la Prairie:





St. Boniface:

First Count:

Second Count (Pinoo eliminated):

Third Count (McDonald eliminated, Hansford declared elected):

St. Clements:

[Note: Donelyko & Stryk’s numbers are from the second count.]

St. George:

Ste. Rose:


[Note: Olive and Mackay’s numbers appear to be from the third count.]

Swan River:

The Pas:

Turtle Mountain:


Winnipeg (ten members):

First Count (quota: 7222; Farmer, McDiarmid, Stubbs and Stinson declared elected):

Second Count (Farmer surplus) :

Third Count (McDiarmid surplus) :

Fourth Count (Stubbs surplus) :

Fifth Count (Stinson surplus):

Sixth Count (Sully, Taylor and Milne eliminated) :

Seventh Count (Walsh eliminated) :

Eighth Count (Robertson eliminated) :

Ninth Count (Zuken eliminated, Gray declared elected) :

Tenth Count (Gray surplus) :

Eleventh Count (Bardal eliminated, Smith declared elected) :

Twelfth Count (Smith surplus) :

Thirteenth Count (Stapleton eliminated, Swailes declared elected) :

Fourteenth Count (Swailes surplus):

Fifteenth Count (Long eliminated; Thorvaldson, Kardash and Scraba declared elected) :

Post-election changes

Beresford Richards (Ind CCF) was re-admitted to the CCF caucus in December 1945.

Special elections for members of the armed forces were held in January 1946, in light of the fact that many Manitoba citizens had served overseas in World War II and were unable to vote in the general election. Gordon Churchill was elected to represent the Canadian Army, Alex J. Stringer was elected for the Royal Canadian Navy and Ronald Turner was elected for the Royal Canadian Air Force. Stringer later became a Progressive Conservative, while Turner became a Liberal-Progressive. Churchill sat as an Independent.

Minnedosa (res. Earl Rutledge, July 13, 1948), November 2, 1948:

Fairford (res. Stuart Garson, November 13, 1948), December 23, 1948:

Beresford Richards and Wilbert Doneleyko were expelled from the CCF in July 1949, and sat as independent members.

Iberville (res. John McDowell, 1949)

Winnipeg (res. Gunnar Thorvaldson, 1949)

Gordon Churchill, Army Representative, resigns in 1949.

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