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Understanding electoral maps

History of Québec’s electoral map

Summary

Québec has been divided into electoral divisions since 1792. Several events have marked the evolution of Québec's electoral map.

In this section

Changes made to the electoral map

2022

Map delineation is from 2017. It includes the change in the name of the electoral division of Bourget to Camille-Laurin, in accordance with sections 178 and 179 of An Act respecting French, the official and common language of Québec. See also Gazette officielle, part 2, Number 25, June 22, 2022 (PDF).

2017

There are 125 electoral divisions on this map. It was used for the 2018 general election.

2011

This map, which includes 125 electoral divisions, was used for the 2012 and 2014 general elections.

2001

There are 125 electoral divisions on this map. It was used for the 2003, 2007 and 2008 general elections.

1992

There are 125 electoral divisions on this map. It was used for the 1994 and 1998 general elections and the 1995 referendum.

1991

Following a ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada, a new principle is used to guide the boundaries of electoral divisions: effective representation. The boundaries of electoral divisions are now redrawn once two general elections were held since the electoral map was last drawn.

1989

The Election Act (R.S.Q., c. E-3.3) replaces the Act respecting electoral representation.

1988

The new electoral map increases the number of electoral divisions from 122 to 125. It was used for the 1989 general election and the 1992 referendum.

1987

The Act respecting electoral representation establishes a minimum of 122 and a maximum of 125 electoral divisions. The number of electors per electoral division is no longer listed in the Act. It is now determined by dividing the total number of electors by the number of electoral divisions.

1985

This map, which has 122 electoral divisions, was used for the 1985 general election.

1983

As of January 1, 1983, the Commission de la représentation électorale (CRE) consists of the Chief Electoral Officer who is also the Chair, and two commissioners appointed by the Assemblée nationale. These officers are selected by the Premier and must be approved by two-thirds vote of the members of the Assemblée nationale. The Chief Electoral Officer must provide professional and technical support to the CRE.

1980

The new electoral map established by the CRE increases the number of electoral divisions from 110 to 122. It was used for the 1981 general election.

1979

The Commission de la représentation électorale (CRE) is founded. The CRE is tasked with delimiting electoral divisions based on new boundary criteria that take into account voting equality between electors. The CRE is also tasked with naming the electoral divisions following consultation with the Commission de toponymie. Mechanisms are implemented to ensure consultation between MNAs, citizens and organizations interested in the delineation of electoral divisions. The CRE is composed of the Director General for Representation and two commissioners, one of whom may be the Chief Electoral Officer.

1978

The Standing Commission on Reform of the Electoral Districts (SCRED) is entrusted with the responsibility of implementing certain legal provisions related to the delimitation of municipal electoral districts.

1972

The new electoral map proposed by the SCRED increases the number of electoral divisions from 108 to 110. It was used for the 1973 and 1976 general elections and the 1980 referendum.

1971

Establishment of the Standing Commission on Reform of the Electoral Districts (SCRED), an advisory body responsible for delimiting the electoral divisions according to certain criteria established by law. This body is composed of the Chief Electoral Officer and two other members appointed by the Assemblée nationale on the proposal of the Prime Minister.

1970

Section 80 of the British North America Act, which had permitted the existence of “protected counties” since 1867, is abolished.

1965

The new electoral map, drawn up for the first time by an independent commission of the Legislative Assembly, increases the number of electoral divisions from 95 to 108. It was used for the 1966 and 1970 general elections.

1962

On January 15, 1962, a committee of non-parliamentary experts, chaired by Fernand Grenier, was mandated by the government to carry out a preliminary study for the revision of the electoral map. The committee’s report contains several measures to improve the revision of the electoral map. It proposed the adoption of set criteria for the delimitation of electoral divisions and recommended that this responsibility be entrusted to an independent body.

1960

This map, which includes 95 electoral divisions, was used for the 1960 and 1962 general elections.

1954

There are 93 electoral divisions on this map. It was used for the 1956 general election.

1945

This map, which includes 92 electoral divisions, was used for the 1948 and 1952 general elections.

1944

There are 92 electoral divisions on this map. It was used for the 1944 general election.

1939

This map, with 87 electoral divisions, was used for the 1939 general election.

1930

There are 91 electoral divisions on this map. It was used for the 1931, 1935 and 1936 general elections.

1922

This map, which includes 86 electoral divisions, was used for the 1923 and 1927 general elections.

1912

There are 82 electoral divisions on this map. It was used for the 1912, 1916 and 1919 general elections.

1895

There are 75 electoral divisions on this map. It was used for the general elections of 1897, 1900, 1904 and 1908.

1890

This map, which includes 74 electoral divisions, was used for the 1890 and 1892 general elections.

1867

With the proclamation of the British North America Act (BNA Act), Québec regained its own parliamentary institutions. The Assembly may now proceed with the delimitation of electoral divisions in the province. However, under section 80 of the BNA Act, 12 electoral divisions are protected: they may only be changed with the agreement of an absolute majority of the Members who represent them.

There are 68 divisions on this map. It was used for the general elections of 1867, 1871, 1875, 1878, 1881 and 1886.

1860

This map, which includes 68 electoral divisions, was used for the 1861 and 1863 general elections.

1855

There are 64 electoral divisions on this map. It was used for the 1857 general election.

1853

This map, with 62 electoral divisions, was used for the 1854 general election.

1840

The Act of Union introduced significant changes to electoral representation in Lower Canada. Upper and Lower Canada each elect 42 members of Parliament under a single legislature. Each electoral division is represented by one Member, except for the cities of Montreal and Québec, which retained two representatives each. This approach was not applied methodically and opened the door to arbitrary changes. Under Governor Lord Sydenham for example, section 21 was used to establish the boundaries of Montreal and Québec, as well as Trois-Rivières and Sherbrooke, for electoral purposes.

There are now 40 electoral divisions on the map. It was used for the general elections of 1841, 1844, 1847 and 1851.

1829

The delimitation of electoral divisions is carried out by the legislative branch rather than the executive branch. Particular standards of representation guide the division of this map: each electoral division is represented by one member of the provincial parliament if it has a population of “one thousand souls”, and by two members if it has a population of “four thousand souls”. If it has less than “one thousand souls”, it was to be merged with a neighbouring division with the “smallest number of souls”.

This map, which includes 46 electoral divisions, was used for the 1830 and 1834 general elections.

1792

In accordance with Article 14 of the Constitutional Act of 1791, Lieutenant-Governor Alured Clarke draws up the first electoral map without any standardization. The map has 27 electoral divisions and 50 Members of Parliament are elected. This map was used for the general elections of 1792, 1796, 1800, 1804, 1808, 1809, 1810, 1814, 1816, 1820 (twice), 1824 and 1827.

The use of electoral maps in general elections

Year the electoral map was drawn Number of electoral divisions Electoral events
2022 125 2022 general elections
2017 125 2018 general elections
2011 125 2012 and 2014 general elections
2001 125 2003, 2007 and 2008 general elections
1992 125 General elections of 1994 and 1998
1995 referendum
1988 125 1989 general election
1992 referendum
1985 122 1985 general election
1980 122 1981 general election
1972 110 General elections of 1973 and 1976
1980 referendum
1965 108 General elections of 1966 and 1970
1960 95 General elections of 1960 and 1962
1954 93 1956 general election
1945 92 General elections of 1948 and 1952

  • COMMISSION PERMANENTE DE LA RÉFORME DES DISTRICTS ÉLECTORAUX. Rapport de la Commission permanente de la réforme des districts électoraux, Québec, mars 1972, 226 p.
  • DIRECTEUR GÉNÉRAL DES ÉLECTIONS DU QUÉBEC. Cinquante ans au cœur de la démocratie : Le Directeur général des élections et l’évolution de la législation électorale de 1945 à 1995, Sainte-Foy, Études électorales, juin 1996, 53 p.
  • DIRECTEUR GÉNÉRAL DES ÉLECTIONS DU QUÉBEC. La toponymie électorale au fil de l’histoire de la carte électorale du Québec, Sainte-Foy, Études électorales, 1985, 157 p.

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