July 16, 1952 was election day in Quebec, and brought yet another convincing victory for Premier Maurice Duplessis and his Union nationale. It was Duplessis’s third win in a row, and his fourth up to that time. While not the landslide of 1948, the 1952 result still was not even close. The Union nationale won 68 seats, the Liberals 23, and one independent was elected, Frank Hanley.
“Voters trekked to the polls in hot humid weather with the temperature hovering in the 80s,” we reported the next day. “The victory came after a turbulent campaign and an election day marked by near riots, shootings and disturbances in various parts of the province.”
Liberal Leader Georges Lapalme was defeated in his own riding. Duplessis won handily in Trois-Rivières, of course, though at that time, we referred to it as Three Rivers. (We also called the Union nationale the National Union.)
As part of our coverage, we carried Canadian Press coverage of Duplessis’s remarks in Trois-Rivières after his win. “Mr. Duplessis said the farmers of Quebec manifested their confidence in a regime which applies the principle that agriculture is the basis of enduring progress,” the report said.
Duplessis was known for his conservative, pro-business positions, Quebec nationalism and his tacit alliance with the Roman Catholic church.
This photo from our archives shows Duplessis waving a Quebec flag at the 1952 victory celebration — a flag his government had introduced in 1948. Behind him, holding a microphone is Radio-Canada journalist René Lévesque, who later became a premier himself.
Duplessis went on to win re-election in 1956. He died in office in 1959.