CG Quotes David Frum
Truth be told, this is actually a fairly good article, I link to only because I did a frantic google search for the same sort of historical data a few weeks ago and came up empty, instead posting a much more modest analysis of the difficulties in governing during a recession.
Recessions are dangerous times for incumbent governments. If you happen to be near a computer, take a look at this Statscan chart: http://tiny.cc/JMcLe. It shows Canadian unemployment rates since 1921. Now look at the post-1945 numbers.
You'll see spikes in unemployment in the following years: 1958, 1962, 1972, 1982-84, 1992-1993.
There also happened to be federal elections in 1958, 1962, 1972, 1984 and 1993. In every one of those elections, the incumbent party suffered major losses. Two of the losses (1962 and 1972) reduced a former majority government to minority status. Three of the losses (1958, 1984, and 1993) were the most crushing landslides in the post-1945 period.