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Canadian federal election, 1988

The 1988 Canadian federal election was an election fought upon almost only a single issue: the Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement.

Incumbent Prime Minister Brian Mulroney was a strong supporter of the agreement, as was his Progressive Conservative Party. The Liberals under John Napier Turner were opposed, as were the NDP under Ed Broadbent.

The Conservatives went into the election suffering from a number of scandals, and despite winning the largest majority in Canadian history only four years before looked vulnerable at the outset. In fighting among the Liberals and vote splitting between the NDP and Liberals among the opponents of free trade led to a second Conservative majority government, however.

The Liberals returned as the official opposition, but the lackluster campaign cost Turner his job as Liberal leader and he was replaced by Jean Chretien in 1990.

The 1988 election was the most successful for the New Democratic Party to date. The party dominated in British Columbia and Saskatchewan and also won significant support in Ontario.

The election was the last for Canada's Social Credit movement, and the party won no seats and insignificant portion of the popular vote.

The newly founded Reform Party of Canada also contested the election, but were considered little more than a fringe group, and did not win any seats.

The election was held November 21, 1988 and 76% of eligible voters cast a ballot.

Election Results
Popular VoteSeats

Preceded by:
1984 Canadian election
Canadian federal elections Followed by:
1993 Canadian election