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Canadian federal election, 1921

The 1921 Canadian federal election saw the defeat of the Union government that had governed Canada through the First World War and its replacement with a Liberal government under the young leader William Lyon Mackenzie King. It also saw the rise of a large third party in the Progressive Party of Canada, which won the second-most seats in the election.

Since the 1911 Canadian election the country had been governed by the Conservatives, first under Robert Borden and then under Arthur Meighen. During the war they had united with the pro-conscription Liberals and formed a Union government. A number of MPs, mostly Quebecers, stayed loyal to Sir Wilfrid Laurier, however, and maintained their independence. When Laurier died he was replaced as leader by the Ontarian Mackenzie King. After the 1919 budget a number of western unionist MPs, who were former Liberals, left the Union government in protest against the high tariff. Lead by Thomas Alexander Crerar this group became known as the Progressive Party. Also running were a number of Labour advocates, foremost amongst them J. S. Woodsworth of Winnipeg.

The election was the first one in which the majority of Canadian women were allowed to vote. Four women also ran for office, with Agnes Macphail of the Progressive Party being elected the first woman MP in Canada.

The election results saw Parliament split three ways. King's Liberals ended up one seat short of a majority government: they won almost all of Quebec as well as much of the Maritimes and a good portion of Ontario. The Progressive party won the second-most seats, dominating the west and winning almost a third of the seats in Ontario. The party won only one seat east of Ontario, however. Despite winning the second-most seats they declined forming the official opposition. The Conservatives won only a few fewer seats than the Progressives and formed the official opposition. They also won a good section of Ontario and had some support in the Maritimes and British Columbia. Two Labour MPs were elected: J. S. Woodsworth won his seat, and William Irvine was elected in Calgary.

Election Results
Popular VoteSeats

Preceded by:
1917 Canadian election
Canadian federal elections Followed by:
1925 Canadian election