Politics in Manitoba

Parties, Leaders, and Voters


Politics in Manitoba is the first comprehensive review of the Manitoba party system that combines history and contemporary public opinion data to reveal the political and voter trends that have shaped the province of Manitoba over the past 130 years. The book details the histories of the Progressive Conservatives, the Liberals, and the New Democratic Party from 1870 to 2007. Adams looks in particular at the enduring influence of political geography and political culture, as well as the impact of leadership, campaign strategies, organizational resources, and the media on voter preferences. Adams also presents here for the first time public opinion data based on more than 25,000 interviews with Manitobans, conducted between 1999 and 2007. He analyzes voter age, gender, income, education, and geographic location to determine how Manitobans vote. In the process Adams dispels some commonly held beliefs about party supporters and identifies recurring themes in voter behaviour.


“Adams combines his expertise in Manitoba’s political system with a thorough political history and rich quantitative data to create one of the most insightful and authoritative works on Manitoba’s party stem available…From scandals, to policy decisions, to humourous tales, Adams relies on both primary and secondary documents to tell a clear, detailed history of each party, explaining how internal decisions have affected both party and province…slic[ing] through nearly 150 years of history to build a complete and detailed examination that is beneficial to readers.”

Zachary Spicer, Political Science, University of Western Ontario, American Review of Canadian Studies

“In recent decades, provincial politics have garnered increased attention as the academic community has grown and specialized studies have proliferated…This book is a useful workmanlike contribution to the small but growing bookshelf devoted to Manitoba politics.”

Nelson Wiseman, University of Toronto Quarterly, Winter 2010

About the Author

Christopher Adams holds a PhD from Carleton University and was a pollster from 1995 to 2012. He is the author of Politics in Manitoba and a frequent media commentator on social and political issues. He currently serves as the Rector of St. Paul’s College at the University of Manitoba.

Table of Contents

Introduction - Chapter 1: Manitoba’s Party Systems - Chapter 2: The Progressive Conservative Party - Chapter 3: The Liberal Party - Chapter 4: The New Democratic Party - Conclusion: Understanding Manitoba Party Politics - Appendix A: Party Preferences and Survey Data - Appendix B: Provincial Election Results 1870 – 2007