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By-Elections 1998 – Official Voting Results


Overview: The 1998 By-elections


Preliminary Remarks

In accordance with paragraph 193(b) of the Canada Elections Act, the Chief Electoral Officer must publish, at the end of a year in which by-elections have been held, a full report giving the voting results, by polling division, together with any other information that he may deem fit to include.

This report, therefore, presents the results, first in the form of synoptic tables and then by polling station, of the by-elections held on Monday, March 30, 1998, in the electoral district of Port Moody–Coquitlam1, and on Monday, September 14, 1998, in the electoral district of Sherbrooke. It also lists the candidates' names and political affiliations, as well as the names of the returning officers.

To obtain more detailed information on the administration of the two by-elections of 1998, the reader may consult the statutory reports entitled Report of the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada Following the Port Moody–Coquitlam By-Election and Report of the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada Following the Sherbrooke By-Election, published in September and November 1998 respectively and available on the Elections Canada Web site (http://www.elections.ca).

1 On June 18, 1998, this electoral district was renamed Port Moody–Coquitlam–Port Coquitlam (S.C. 1998, c. 27).



Official Voting Results

Calling of the by-elections

On October 1, 1997, Sharon Hayes, Reform MP for Port Moody–Coquitlam, resigned her seat in the House of Commons.

Following this resignation, the seat distribution in the House of Commons was as follows: Liberal Party of Canada – 155 seats; Reform Party of Canada – 59 seats; Bloc Québécois – 44 seats; New Democratic Party – 21 seats; Progressive Conservative Party of Canada – 20 seats; Independent – 1 seat.

The writ ordering the holding of a by-election in the electoral district of Port Moody–Coquitlam was issued on February 22, 1998, and election day was set for Monday, March 30, 1998.

On May 1, 1998, the Honourable Jean Charest, Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada and MP for Sherbrooke, resigned his seat in the House of Commons.

With his departure, seats in the House of Commons were distributed as follows: Liberal Party of Canada – 156 seats; Reform Party of Canada – 59 seats; Bloc Québécois – 44 seats; New Democratic Party – 21 seats; Progressive Conservative Party of Canada – 19 seats; Independent – 1 seat.

The writ ordering the holding of a by-election in the electoral district of Sherbrooke was issued on August 9, 1998, and election day was set for Monday, September 14, 1998.

The two electoral districts involved

The boundaries of the two electoral districts in which the 1998 by-elections were held were the same as those in effect during the 1997 federal general election. They coincided with the boundaries defined in the 1996 Representation Order issued pursuant to the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act.



Sherbrooke (Quebec)
Population based on 1996 census: 97 084

Area Map of Sherbrooke (Quebec)
 
Port Moody–Coquitlam (British Columbia)
Population based on 1991 census: 102 041

Area Map of Port Moody?Coquitlam (British Columbia)



TABLE I.1
List of returning officers

Electoral district
Name
Occupation
Place of residence
Sherbrooke
Port Moody–Coquitlam
   Richard Dion
   Dianna M. Brown
   Merchant
   Homemaker
   Sherbrooke
   Port Moody



Participation of registered political parties and nomination of candidates

Of the 10 registered federal political parties, six chose to nominate candidates in the March 1998 by-election. They were the Canadian Action Party, the Liberal Party of Canada, the New Democratic Party, the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada, the Reform Party of Canada and The Green Party of Canada. There was also an independent candidate and another with no political affiliation.

In the by-election of September 1998, seven parties nominated candidates: the Bloc Québécois, the Liberal Party of Canada, the Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada, the New Democratic Party, the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada, the Reform Party of Canada, and The Green Party of Canada. One candidate ran as an independent.

From the date the returning officer published her proclamation, the candidates in the Port Moody–Coquitlam by-election had until 2:00 p.m. on March 9, 1998, to file their official nomination papers. For the Sherbrooke by-election in September, the deadline for filing was 2:00 p.m. on August 24, 1998. A total of eight candidates registered to run for office in each of the two electoral districts. None of the candidates withdrew during the period in which a withdrawal of candidacy was permitted.

Registration of electors

The preliminary lists of electors for the two by-elections were drawn up from the National Register of Electors. The revision period extended from February 25 to March 24, 1998, for the Port Moody–Coquitlam by-election, and from August 12 to September 8, 1998, for the Sherbrooke by-election.

The final lists of electors (that is, the lists prepared after election day) contained 80 586 names for Port Moody–Coquitlam and 76 101 names for Sherbrooke. These lists included the names of electors who registered on election day. A total of 818 electors registered on election day in Port Moody–Coquitlam and 2 350 did so in Sherbrooke.

Polling stations

Under the Canada Elections Act, voting takes place in one or more polling stations established in each polling division. The polls were open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the electoral district of Port Moody–Coquitlam and from 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. in the electoral district of Sherbrooke on election day. In Port Moody–Coquitlam, 222 ordinary polling stations, of which 219 were stationary, were set up. In Sherbrooke, there were 210 ordinary polling stations, of which 204 were stationary.

The Act also provides for the establishment of mobile polling stations to collect the votes of elderly, disabled or sick persons confined to health care facilities. These polling stations, set up in polling divisions with more than two health care institutions, travel from one institution to the next, and remain open at each place only as long as necessary to enable the electors present to vote. Nine such mobile polling stations collected the ballots of electors in the 1998 by-elections (three in Port Moody–Coquitlam and six in Sherbrooke).

The returning officers in each electoral district are also required to set up advance polling stations to collect the votes of electors who are unable to go to their ordinary polling stations on election day. In Port Moody–Coquitlam, 12 advance polling stations were open, from noon to 8:00 p.m., on March 20, 21 and 23, 1998. For the Sherbrooke by-election, 9 advance polling stations were open on September 4, 5 and 7, 1998.

Polling results

In the electoral district of Port Moody–Coquitlam, 28 756 electors cast their ballots, representing a participation rate of 35.68 percent. In Sherbrooke, the number was 37 028 and the participation rate 48.66 percent. Of these electors, 61 260 voted on election day at their ordinary polling stations.

Table I.2 shows the number of electors who voted, by voting method.



TABLE I.2
Number of electors who voted, by voting method

Voting Method
Electoral district
Sherbrooke
Port Moody–Coquitlam

Ordinary polling stations
Advance polling stations
Special Voting Rules – Group 1*
Special Voting Rules – Group 2**
Total

34 059
2 582
53
334
37 028
27 201
1 405
14
136
28 756
 
* Includes members of the Canadian Forces, inmates and Canadian citizens temporarily residing outside Canada whose last residential address was in this electoral district.
** Includes Canadian citizens residing in this electoral district who voted by special ballot in or outside this electoral district.



Candidates elected

In the Port Moody–Coquitlam by-election, the Liberal candidate, Lou Sekora, received the largest number of votes and was elected Member of Parliament. In Sherbrooke, the Bloc Québécois candidate, Serge Cardin, was elected.

Following the by-election of September 14, 1998, the distribution of seats in the House of Commons was as follows:

          Liberal Party of Canada
156
          Reform Party of Canada
59
          Bloc Québécois
45
          New Democratic Party
21
          Progressive Conservative Party of Canada
19
          No affiliation
1



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