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2000 By-Elections – Official Voting Results


THE THREE 2000 BY-ELECTIONS

Introduction

The first section of the Chief Electoral Officer’s report on the federal by-elections held in 2000 describes the circumstances leading to the calls for by-election, the electoral districts involved, the candidates of the registered political parties and independent candidates taking part, the numbers of registered electors and polling stations, and the results.

The following section presents further information and summary data on the official voting results, in the form of tables. The concluding section gives the poll-by-poll results of each by-election.

Information on the administration of the 2000 by-elections appears in two reports:

Calling of the by-elections

On January 31, 2000, Charlie Power, the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada Member for St. John’s West, resigned his seat in the House of Commons. Following his resignation, the seat distribution in the House of Commons was: Liberal Party of Canada – 157 seats; Reform Party of Canada – 58 seats; Bloc Québécois – 44 seats; New Democratic Party – 20 seats; Progressive Conservative Party of Canada – 18 seats; Independent – 3 seats; and vacant – 1 seat. The writ ordering the holding of a by-election in the electoral district of St. John’s West was issued on April 9, 2000, and election day was set for Monday, May 15, 2000.

On July 19, 2000, Jim Hart, the Canadian Reform Conservative Alliance Member for Okanagan–Coquihalla, resigned his seat in the House of Commons.

On July 24, 2000, Scott Brison, the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada Member for Kings–Hants, resigned his seat in the House of Commons.

The writs ordering by-elections to be held in the two electoral districts were issued on August 5, 2000, and election day was set for Monday, September 11, 2000. At the time the writs were issued, the seat distribution in the House of Commons was: Liberal Party of Canada – 157 seats; Canadian Reform Conservative Alliance – 56 seats; Bloc Québécois – 44 seats; New Democratic Party – 20 seats; Progressive Conservative Party of Canada – 17 seats; Independent – 5 seats; and vacant – 2 seats.

The three electoral districts

The boundaries of the three electoral districts in which the 2000 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.

Kings–Hants, Nova Scotia
Population based on the 1996 census: 98 676

Okanagan–Coquihalla, British Columbia
Population based on the 1996 census: 102 463

St. John’s West, Newfoundland
Population based on the 1996 census: 100 573

 

TABLE 1 – List of returning officers

Electoral district Name Occupation Place of residence
Kings–Hants Alfred McPherson Real estate salesperson Kentville
Okanagan–Coquihalla William Arthur Genereux Professional engineer Summerland
St. John’s West Larry V. Edison Consultant Mount Pearl

Registered political parties and nomination of candidates

In Kings–Hants, three registered parties nominated candidates: the Canadian Reform Conservative Alliance, the New Democratic Party, and the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada. There was one independent candidate and one with no affiliation.

In Okanagan–Coquihalla, four registered parties nominated candidates: the Canadian Action Party, the Canadian Reform Conservative Alliance, the New Democratic Party, and The Green Party of Canada. There were also four independent candidates.

In the St. John’s West by-election, four registered parties nominated candidates: the Canadian Reform Conservative Alliance, the Liberal Party of Canada, the New Democratic Party, and the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada. One candidate had no affiliation.

From the date the returning officer published his proclamation, the candidates in the St. John’s West by-election had until 2:00 p.m. on April 24 to file their official nomination papers. For the Kings–Hants and Okanagan–Coquihalla by-elections, the deadline for filing was 2:00 p.m. on August 21.

Five candidates registered to run for office in St. John’s West, and five in Kings–Hants; there were eight candidates in Okanagan–Coquihalla. None of the candidates withdrew during the period in which a withdrawal of candidacy was permitted.

Registration of electors

The preliminary voters lists for the three by-elections were produced from information in the National Register of Electors. For St. John’s West, the revision period extended from April 12 to May 9, 2000, and for the other two by-elections, from August 9 to September 5.

The names recorded on the final voters lists (that is, the lists prepared after election day) numbered as follows for each of the three electoral districts:

Kings–Hants 69 319
Okanagan–Coquihalla 68 902
St. John’s West 72 697

These lists included the names of electors who registered on election day. The number of electors who registered on election day was:

Kings–Hants 1 505
Okanagan–Coquihalla 1 764
St. John’s West 2 508

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 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., local time, on election day in Kings–Hants and St. John’s West, and from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., local time, in Okanagan–Coquihalla.

The returning officers set up 214 ordinary polling stations (including 212 stationary) in Kings–Hants; in Okanagan–Coquihalla, 212 ordinary polling stations (including 207 stationary), and 214 ordinary polling stations in St. John’s West, of which 213 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 institutions. These polling stations, set up in polling divisions with more than two such institutions, travel from one to the next, and remain open at each place only as long as necessary to enable the electors present to vote. In the 2000 by-elections, eight mobile polling stations collected the ballots of voters: two in Kings–Hants, five in Okanagan–Coquihalla and one in St. John’s West.

The returning officer in each electoral district is 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. Kings–Hants and Okanagan–Coquihalla each had 13 advance polling stations, and all were open from noon to 8:00 p.m., on September 1, 2 and 4, 2000. In St. John’s West, 13 advance polling stations were open, from noon to 8:00 p.m., on May 5, 6 and 8, 2000.

Polling results

For the three electoral districts, the number of electors casting their ballots and the participation rates were:

Kings–Hants 27 408 (39.5%)
Okanagan–Coquihalla 27 743 (40.3%)
St. John’s West 32 210 (44.3%)

Of these 87 361 electors, 80 992 voted on election day at their ordinary polling stations.

TABLE 2 – Number of electors who voted, by voting method

Voting
method
Electoral district
Kings–Hants Okanagan–Coquihalla St. John’s West
Ordinary polling stations 25 683 24 680 30 629
Advance polling stations 1 352 2 710 1 061
Special Voting Rules – Group 1* 90 21 51
Special Voting Rules – Group 2** 283 332 469
Total 27 408 27 743 32 210

*
Includes Canadian citizens temporarily residing outside Canada, members of the Canadian Forces and incarcerated electors serving sentences of less than two years.
** Includes Canadian citizens residing in Canada who voted by special ballot in or outside their electoral districts.

Candidates elected

In the St. John’s West by-election on May 15, the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada candidate, Loyola Hearn, received the largest number of votes and was elected Member of Parliament.

Following the by-election of May 15, 2000, the distribution of seats in the House of Commons was:

Liberal Party of Canada (majority: 13)
157
Canadian Reform Conservative Alliance 57
Bloc Québécois 44
New Democratic Party 20
Progressive Conservative Party of Canada 18
Independent 5
   
Total 301


In the September 11 by-elections, the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada candidate, Joe Clark, was elected in Kings–Hants, and the Canadian Reform Conservative Alliance candidate, Stockwell Day, was elected in Okanagan–Coquihalla.

Following the by-elections of September 11, 2000, the distribution of seats in the House of Commons was:

 

Liberal Party of Canada (majority: 13)
157
Canadian Reform Conservative Alliance 57
Bloc Québécois 44
New Democratic Party 20
Progressive Conservative Party of Canada 18
Independent 5
   
Total 301

 

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