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1930 Canadian election

The July 26 1930 edition of the Toronto Daily Star appeared on newsstands two days before an upcoming federal election in Canada. So, naturally, there were a number of articles and advertisements about it.

Then, as now, the Star was staunchly pro-Liberal. The front page of the paper included a short article in which a speaker claimed that prosperity would result from the Liberal budget. This budget was called the King-Dunning budget, named after Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King and cabinet minister Charles Dunning.

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The front page also listed a number of Toronto-area Liberal candidates that Daily Star readers were encouraged to vote for:

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A handy map on a later page showed where these candidates were located in Toronto:

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And there was an ad from the Ontario Liberal Campaign Committee:

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And an ad from the Toronto Men’s Liberal Association:

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There was also a prediction from the National Liberal Bureau, which claimed that the Liberals would increase their seat total to 152:

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The Daily Star did run an advertisement for a radio speech from the Leader of the Opposition, R. B. Bennett:

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I’m a little confused by the “Liberal-Conservative Party” designation – I didn’t see the Conservative Party referred to as Liberal-Conservative elsewhere, and it must have been perplexing to some voters.

And, last but not least, here was a table showing the seat distribution of various parties at the time of the election:

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This table shows that the Toronto Liberals were working from a disadvantage – the Toronto area was a solid Conservative wall in the previous election.

As it turned out, the Liberals’ projection for the 1930 election was wildly optimistic. Instead of moving up to 152 seats, the Liberals dropped to 89 seats; the Conservatives under Bennett won a majority government with 135 seats. Of the Liberal candidates listed above, only two managed to win: Samuel Factor in Toronto West Centre, and W. H. Moore in the Ontario riding. W. P. Mulock, who lost in York North, won a byelection in September 1934 when the victorious Conservative candidate, Thomas Herbert Lennox, passed away.

But it’s quite possible that the Liberals’ election loss provided long-term benefit for them. Bennett wound up being Prime Minister during the worst of the Great Depression, and voters blamed him for it. King and the Liberals were returned to office in the next election in 1935, and remained in office until John Diefenbaker took over in 1957.

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