1960 Quebec general election

The 1960 Quebec general election was held on June 22, 1960 to elect members of the Legislative Assembly of Quebec, Canada. It was one of the most significant elections in Quebec history, rivalled perhaps only by the 1976 general election. The incumbent Union Nationale, led by Antonio Barrette, was defeated by the Quebec Liberal Party, led by Jean Lesage.

The 1960 election set the stage for the Quiet Revolution, a major social transformation of all aspects of Quebec society throughout the 1960s. Among many other changes, the influence and power of the Catholic church fell sharply as Quebec became a secular society.

This election put an end to 16 years of continuous Union Nationale rule, much of it under Maurice Duplessis. Duplessis had died in 1959, ending a period that was later derisively referred to as La Grande Noirceur (the Great Darkness).

Duplessis' successor, longtime minister Paul Sauvé, saw the need to modernize a government that had long been one of the most conservative provincial governments in Canada. He initiated a "hundred days of change" that began to transform Quebec society, but they were cut short when Sauvé died suddenly after only a few months in office. He was succeeded by another longtime minister, Antonio Barrette. However, with its second new leader in less than a year and its third in less than two years, the Union Nationale was thus in disarray when it went into the election.


Party Party leader # of
Seats Popular Vote
1956 Elected % Change # % % Change
Liberal Jean Lesage   20 51 +155%   51.38% +6.5%
Union Nationale Antonio Barrette   72 43 -40.3%   46.61% -5.2%
     Other   1 1 -   2.01% -1.3%
Total   93 95 +2.2%   100%  
Vote share
Union Nationale

See also

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