1966 Quebec general election

The 1966 Quebec general election was held on June 5, 1966, to elect members of the Legislative Assembly of Quebec, Canada. The Union Nationale (UN), led by Daniel Johnson, Sr, defeated the incumbent Quebec Liberal Party, led by Jean Lesage.

1966 Quebec general election

June 5, 1966

108 seats in the 28th Legislative Assembly of Quebec
55 seats were needed for a majority
  First party Second party
Leader Daniel Johnson Sr. Jean Lesage
Party Union Nationale Liberal
Leader since September 23, 1961 May 31, 1958
Leader's seat Bagot Louis-Hébert
Last election 31 seats, 42.15% 63 seats, 56.40%
Seats won 56 50
Seat change 25 13
Popular vote 948,928 1,099,435
Percentage 40.82% 47.29%
Swing 1.34% 9.11%

Premier before election

Jean Lesage
Quebec Liberal Party

Premier after election

Daniel Johnson Sr.
Union Nationale (Quebec)

In terms of the number of seats won, the election was one of the closest in recent history, with the UN winning 56 seats to the Liberals' 50. Generally, Quebec's first past the post electoral system tends to produce strong disparities in the number of seats won even if the popular vote is fairly close. The Liberals won 6.5% more votes, but were denied a third term because rural areas were slightly overrepresented in the legislature.

The victory of the UN over the popular Lesage government was a surprise to many observers. Johnson's campaign was likely helped by his position that Quebec should get a better deal within the Canadian confederation, or should separate if it is unable to do so. In this sense, the forces of Quebec nationalism unleashed by the Quiet Revolution begun by Lesage may have contributed to his defeat, as many rural voters felt chagrin at the rapid pace of reform under the Liberals.

The pro-independence Rassemblement pour l'indépendance nationale and Ralliement national obtained a combined total of just under 9% of the popular vote (but no seats).

This was the last election for the "Legislative Assembly of Quebec". Legislation was passed to replace the bicameral system of Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council of Quebec with a single National Assembly of Quebec, effective December 31, 1968.

Daniel Johnson died in office in 1968, and was succeeded by Jean-Jacques Bertrand. Johnson's sons, Pierre-Marc and Daniel Jr each later served as Premier of Quebec.


Party Party leader # of
Seats Popular vote
1962 Elected % Change # % % Change
Union Nationale Daniel Johnson, Sr 108 31 56 +80.6% 948,928 40.82% -1.3%
Liberal Jean Lesage 108 63 50 -20.6% 1,099,435 47.29% -9.1%
     Independent/Other 39 1 2 +100% 72,751 3.13% +1.7%
     RIN Pierre Bourgault 73 * - * 129,045 5.55% *
     Ralliement national Gilles Grégoire 90 * - * 74,670 3.21% *
Total 418 95 108 +13.7% 2,324,829 100%  


* Party did not nominate candidates in the previous election.

Vote share
Union Nationale
Ralliement national

See also

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