On Monday, the B.C. Green Party and the NDP announced they would partner to form the next government in British Columbia.
The pairing would be the first time in over half a century that the province is led by a minority government.
B.C. has only ever had two previous minority governments: one lasted from 1924-29, the other from 1952-53.
The two parties announced they would “create a stable minority government.” But history suggests that would be unlikely.
The earlier B.C. pairing managed to remain aligned for five years as the Liberal Party teamed with a pair of Independent Liberals to form the government.
In 1952, B.C. altered its voting system and a new ranked-ballot system allowed the Social Credit Party to come into power for the first time.
When they were elected, the party didn’t even have a leader, eventually choosing W..C. Bennett to lead the caucus, according to The Canadian Encyclopedia.
That government lasted all of 239 days.
Federally, minority governments have been much more common. There have been 13 in total that have lasted anywhere from 177 to 1,329 days.
They have lasted an average of 1 year, 7 months and 27 days, according to the Library of Parliament.
The first federal minority government dates back to 1921 when William Lyon Mackenzie King’s Liberals claimed 117 of 235 seats. The Liberals would need the support of 64 left-of-centre Progressive Party MPs to govern.
The most recent federal minority governments were led by former Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper from 2006 until 2008 and again from 2008 until 2011.
The 2008 election saw the Liberals try to form a government despite not holding the largest number of seats — similar to B.C.’s election.
The effort failed after Harper requested of the governor-general that Parliament be prorogued.