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February 13, 2017 Parliament of Canada, Political Leaders

List of Official Opposition Leaders of Canada




Known as Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, the Leader of the Opposition in Canada is usually the leader of the party with the second highest number of seats in the House of Commons. If the leader of the party with second-most seats is not a Member of Parliament, a sitting MP acts as the official opposition leader until the party leader is elected to a seat. If the official opposition party is in the middle of a leadership race to select a new leader, the interim party leader usually serves as the official opposition leader.

Term Official Opposition Leader Party Prime Minister Party
1873 Alexander Mackenzie  Liberal Macdonald Liberal-Conservative
1873-1878 John A. Macdonald Liberal-Conservative Mackenzie Liberal
1878-1880 Alexander Mackenzie  Liberal Macdonald Liberal-Conservative
1880 Vacant Liberal
1880-1887 Edward Blake Liberal
1887 Vacant Liberal
1887-1896 Wilfrid Laurier  Liberal
Abbott Liberal-Conservative
Thompson Liberal-Conservative
Bowell Conservative
Tupper Conservative
1896-1901 Charles Tupper Conservative Laurier Liberal
1901-1911 Robert Borden Conservative
1911-1919 Wilfrid Laurier  Liberal Borden Conservative (Unionist)
1919 Daniel Duncan McKenzie (acting) Liberal
1919-1921 William Lyon Mackenzie King Liberal
Meighen Conservative (Unionist)
1921-1926 Arthur Meighen Conservative King Liberal
1926 William Lyon Mackenzie King Liberal Meighen Conservative
1926 Vacant Conservative King Liberal
1926-1927 Hugh Guthrie Conservative
1927-1930 Richard Bedford Bennett  Conservative
1930-1935 William Lyon Mackenzie King Liberal Bennett Conservative
1935-1938 Richard Bedford Bennett  Conservative King Liberal
1938-1940 Robert Manion Conservative
1940-1943 Richard Hanson (acting) Conservative
1943-1945 Gordon Graydon (acting) Progressive Conservative
1945-1948 John Bracken Progressive Conservative
1948 Vacant Progressive Conservative
1948-1954 George A. Drew  Progressive Conservative
St. Laurent Liberal
1954-1955 William Earl Rowe (acting) Progressive Conservative
1955-1956 George A. Drew  Progressive Conservative
1956 William Earl Rowe (acting) Progressive Conservative
1956-1957 John George Diefenbaker  Progressive Conservative
1957-1958 Louis St. Laurent Liberal Diefenbaker Progressive Conservative
1958-1963 Lester B. Pearson Liberal
1963-1967 John George Diefenbaker  Progressive Conservative Pearson Liberal
1967 Michael Starr (acting) Progressive Conservative
1967-1976 Robert Stanfield Progressive Conservative
P. Trudeau Liberal
1976-1979 Joe Clark  Progressive Conservative
1979-1980 Pierre Elliott Trudeau Liberal Clark Progressive Conservative
1980-1983 Joe Clark  Progressive Conservative P. Trudeau Liberal
1983 Erik Nielsen (acting) Progressive Conservative
1983-1984 Brian Mulroney Progressive Conservative
Turner Liberal
1984-1990 John Turner Liberal Mulroney Progressive Conservative
1990 Herb Gray (acting) Liberal
1990-1993 Jean Chrétien Liberal
Campbell Progressive Conservative
1993-1996 Lucien Bouchard Bloc Québécois Chrétien Liberal
1996 Gilles Duceppe (acting) Bloc Québécois
1996-1997 Michel Gauthier Bloc Québécois
1997 Gilles Duceppe Bloc Québécois
1997-2000 Preston Manning Reform
2000 Deborah Grey (acting) Canadian Alliance
2000-2001 Stockwell Day Canadian Alliance
2001-2002 John Reynolds (acting) Canadian Alliance
2002-2004 Stephen Harper  Canadian Alliance
Martin Liberal
2004 Grant Hill (acting) Canadian Alliance
2004 Grant Hill Conservative
2004-2006 Stephen Harper  Conservative
2006 Bill Graham Liberal Harper Conservative
2006-2008 Stéphane Dion Liberal
2008-2011 Michael Ignatieff Liberal
2011 Jack Layton New Democratic
2011-2012 Nycole Turmel New Democratic
2012-2015 Thomas Mulcair New Democratic
2015- Rona Ambrose Conservative J. Trudeau Liberal




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