The 29 October 1925 federal election returned 101 Liberals (government), 116 Conservatives and 28 Progressives, Labour and Independents. The new Parliament supported the minority Liberal government until 25 June 1926, when it defeated a motion to remove censure from a motion of no confidence. Prime Minister Mackenzie KING
asked Governor General VISCOUNT BYNG
to dissolve Parliament, the motion of censure being still under debate. Byng refused. A request for dissolution while a motion of censure was under debate was unprecedented.
The previous election, only 8 months before, had been held at King's request; an alternative government in the existing Parliament seemed possible. King resigned, and Conservative leader Arthur MEIGHEN was asked to form a government and did. The new government won 4 critical votes, including one of censure of the King government, but was defeated on a fifth. The House had now censured both governments; no alternative in the existing House was now possible. Byng granted Meighen a dissolution, and King won the ensuing election.
Byng of Vimy, Viscount
Julian Hedworth George Byng, May 1917. Byng had acted honestly in the affair with King, but he departed from Canada under a shadow (courtesy Library and Archives Canada/PA-1356).
EUGENE A. FORSEY