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Predicting the federal election of 1965

The Story

The path to the polls is becoming all too worn for weary voters in 1965. They're facing the third election in as many years, and observers are calling it "the election nobody wants." Three days before the vote on Nov. 8, 1965, CBC News assembles a panel of reporters to assess each party's chances in five regions: the Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario, the Prairies, and B.C. Along with a professor whose past predictions have proven remarkably accurate, their consensus in this CBC-TV special is that the Liberals will wind up with a minority again.

Medium: Television
Program: CBC Television News Special
Broadcast Date: Nov. 5, 1965
Guest: Peter Regenstrief
Host: Norman DePoe, Knowlton Nash
Reporter: Kingsley Brown, James Minifie, Harry Nuttal, Peter Riley, Robert Mason
Duration: 8:30

Did You know?

• The forecasts in this clip were generally correct, and the Liberals under Lester Pearson did win another minority. But their margin of victory was slimmer than predicted. The final seat count was: Liberals, 131; Progressive Conservatives, 98; NDP, 21; Ralliement des Créditistes, nine; Social Credit, four; and others, two.

• During the campaign, the Progressive Conservatives hammered the Liberals about the "Rivard Affair." It involved an American drug smuggler, Lucien Rivard, who escaped from prison while awaiting extradition and was on the lam for four months. The case became a scandal for the Liberals with charges that a minister's assistant, under Mafia pressure, had offered a bribe to Rivard's lawyer if he ensured Rivard was not extradited. An inquiry into case concluded that the assistant had obstructed justice (he was later jailed for it) and that Justice Minister Guy Favreau had exercised extremely poor judgement in handling the matter. 

• Neither Lester Pearson nor John Diefenbaker was around for the next election. Diefenbaker was passed over for Robert Stanfield in a leadership race in 1967, and Pearson resigned as leader of his party the same year.



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