Electoral Bias in Quebec Since 1936

Alan Siaroff


In the period since 1936, Quebec has gone through two eras of party politics, the first between the Liberals and the Union Nationale, the second and ongoing era between the Liberals and the Parti Québécois. This study examines elections in Quebec in terms of all relevant types of electoral bias. In both eras the overall electoral bias has clearly been against the Liberal Party. The nature of this bias has changed however. Malapportionment was crucial through 1970, and of minimal importance since the 1972 redistribution. In contrast gerrymandering, ultimately involving an ‘equivalent to gerrymandering effect’ due to the geographic nature of Liberal core support, has been not only a permanent phenomenon but indeed since 1972 the dominant effect. The one election where both gerrymandering and the overall bias were pro-Liberal — 1989 — is shown to be the ‘exception that proves the rule’. Finally, the erratic extent of electoral bias in the past four decades is shown to arise from very uneven patterns of swing in Quebec.


Quebec, Elections

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@Canadian Political Science Review (CPSR). ISSN 1911-4125