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Manitoba general election, 1922

Manitoba’s general election of July 18, 1922 was held to elect Members of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Manitoba, Canada.
As in the previous election of 1920, the city of Winnipeg elected ten members by the single transferable ballot. All other constituencies elected one member by first-past-the-post balloting.
This election was a watershed moment in Manitoba’s political history. Since the formal introduction of partisan government in 1888, Manitoba had been governed alternately by the Liberal Party and the Conservative Party. Although the previous election of 1920 sustained the Liberals in power, it also saw the two-party dichotomy weakened by the rise of farmer and labour parliamentary blocs. In 1922, the old system was entirely swept away by the rise of the United Farmers of Manitoba (UFM).
The UFM had existed for several years as a farmer’s organization, but some of its members ran as “Independent-Farmers” in the 1920 election. In 1921, however, the UFM announced it would field candidates during the 1922 campaign. The UFM was opposed to partisanship, and its most prominent members insisted that it was not a “party” in the traditional sense. UFM candidates often highlighted their lack of experience in partisan politics, and promised to govern the province in a restrained and responsible manner if elected to office.
The UFM membership was also heterogeneous. Although many supporters were free-trade agrarian Liberals before 1920, a number were also Conservatives. Some prominent UFM figures were also notable members of Manitoba’s francophone community, which generally supported the Conservative Party before 1920.
The United Farmers fielded candidates in rural constituencies, and also endorsed candidates of the Progressive Association in Winnipeg. Even with these endorsements, the UFM operated on a shoestring budget, and was only able to field candidates in two-thirds of the ridings. However, in a major upset, the UFM and Progressives won 25 seats out of 52. Elections in three northern seats were deferred until later.
Not even the UFM had expected to win government. Indeed, its expectations were so low that it had not had a formal leader during the campaign. Thus, when the UFM caucus met for the first time after the election, its first task was to choose a leader who would become the province’s next premier. After Thomas Crerar and Robert Hoey declined the invitation to govern, the caucus selected medical doctor John Bracken, president of the