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Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (Ontario Section)

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The Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (Ontario Section) – The Farmer-Labor Party of Ontario, or more informally and commonly known as The Ontario CCF, was a democratic socialist political party that existed from 1932 to 1961. It was the provincial wing of the National CCF. The party officially had no leader in the beginning, being governed by a provincial council and executive. The party elected its first Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) in the 1934 Ontario general election. In the 1937 general election, it did not elect anyone to the Ontario Legislature. In 1942, the party elected Toronto lawyer Ted Jolliffe as its first leader. He led the party to within a few seats of forming the government in the 1943 Ontario general election; instead, it formed the Official Opposition. In that same election, it managed to elect the first two women to the Ontario Legislature, Agnes Macphail and Rae Luckock. The 1945 election was a setback, as the party lost most of its seats in the legislature, and Jolliffe even lost his own. The party once again became the Official Opposition after the 1948 Ontario general election, even defeating the Conservative premier George Drew in his own seat, when Bill Temple unexpectedly won in the High Park constituency. The middle and late 1940s were the peak years for the Ontario CCF. After that time, its electoral performances were dismal, as it was reduced to a rump of two seats in the 1951 election, three seats in the 1955 election, and five seats in the 1959 election. Jolliffe stepped down as leader in 1953, and was replaced by Donald C. MacDonald. The period between the 1951 defeat and the founding of the Ontario New Democratic Party was one of much internal strife, but MacDonald managed to keep the party together, despite the constant electoral defeats. In October 1961, the party formally dissolved, and became part of the New Democratic Party.