ID 1078

Parliament of Western Australia, Assembly election

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General election for the Assembly Western Australia 
Date of election (or first day of voting at elections held over more than one day) 6 September 2008

Government in office and parliamentary support before and after the election

Government in office at election

Premier in office at date of election. (check notes to see if change of Premier since previous election) Alan John Carpenter
Premier's party affiliation Australian Labor Party 
Assembly support for government at election Majority 
If coalition, coalition partner(s)  

Government in office after election

Premier in office after election. Colin James Barnett
Premier's party affiliation Liberal Party
Assembly support for government after election Coalition Minority (see notes) 
If coalition, coalition partner(s) National Party  
Independents
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Enrolment and voting

Total number of voters on the roll 1,330,399 
Number of Assembly seats 59 
Number of uncontested seats
If uncontested seats, number of voters on the roll in uncontested seats  
Number of voters on the roll in contested seats 1,330,399 
Total ballots cast (may differ from number of votes in multiple voting systems) 1,150,497 
Turnout (rate of voting in contested seats) 86.48% 
Total valid votes 1,089,257 
Rate of informal (invalid) voting 5.32%
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system Not applicable
Electoral system Adult franchise at 18 years; single member districts; preferential voting (AV), compulsory preferences; compulsory voting 

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Western Australia, Assembly votes and seats won

Election held on 6 September 2008
Criteria for the inclusion of parties in this table are set out in the Glossary under 'listed party'

Party Name First preference vote n First preference vote share % Change from previous election % Seats won n Uncontested seats held n Seat share %
Liberal Party 418,208  38.39  +2.76     24  40.68 
Australian Labor Party 390,339  35.84  -6.05     28  47.46 
Greens WA 129,827  11.92  +4.35        
National Party 53,086  4.87  +1.18     6.78 
Independents 47,353  4.35  +0.19     5.08 
Christian Democratic Party 28,079  2.58  -0.36        
Family First 21,204  1.95  -0.08        
Citizens Electoral Council 1,161  0.11  +0.02        
Votes for other than listed parties 0.00  0.00          
Totals 1,089,257  100.00    59  100.00 


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Notes

Premier in office at election: There had been a change of Premier since the previous election; after five years in office, Gallop announced his resignation on 16 January 2006 for health reasons. As the only candidate, Carpenter was chosen by the Labor caucus to be the leader of the party and was commissioned on 25 January 2006 as Premier of an Australian Labor Party majority government. For a summary of these events, see Harry H C Phillips and Liz Kerr, 'Western Australia', Australian Journal of Politics and History, Political Chronicle, 52 (4) December 2006: 661-666, at 662.

Government in office after election: No party gained a majority of seats in the Legislative Assembly at this election. After a period of negotiation, Barnett became premier on 23 September 2008 of a Liberal Party, National Party and Independent coalition minority government made up of 17 ministers, 13 from the Liberal Party, 3 from the National Party and 1 Independent (Elizabeth Constable). The coalition had the support of 29 members of the Legislative Assembly, and relied on at least one of the remaining two Independents to give the government majority support in the chamber; see Phillips and Kerr in 'References', below.

Increase in membership of Legislative Assembly: The Electoral Amendment and Repeal Act, and the Constitution and Electoral Amendment Act, both passed in 2005, had the effect of increasing the membership of the Legislative Assembly from 57 to 59 members, and altering the process under which electoral redistributions were to be made; see Harry H C Phillips and Liz Kerr, 'Western Australia', Australian Journal of Politics and History, Political Chronicle, 51 (4) December 2005: 600-606, at 602. This election (2008) was the first to be held under the new rules; for details, see Green in 'Sources', below.

Independents: The vote shown for independents at this election is the sum of votes cast for all candidates registered as Independents (24) and one candidates who ran for office without any registered party name.

The three independent candidates who were elected at this election were: John Bowler (electoral district of Kalgoorlie), who had former links with the Australian Labor Party; and Elizabeth (Liz) Constable (electoral district of Churchlands) and Janet Woollard (electoral district of Alfred Cove) both of whom sat as Independent Liberals in the previous Legislative Assembly.

Christian Democratic Party: This party, associated with the Reverend Fred Nile from NSW, was committed to Christian principles and pro-family and pro-life policies; the party fielded candidates in 46 electoral districts at this election (2008).

Family First: This party grouping was committed to family values and endorsed 34 candidates at this election (2008).

Citizens Electoral Council: This party grouping endorsed 9 candidates at this election (2008).

References: For a short survey of the election and its outcome, see Harry H C Phillips and Liz Kerr, 'Western Australia', Australian Journal of Politics and History, Political Chronicle, 55 (2) June 2009: 286-291, at 286-289.

Sources

Antony Green, Western Australian State Election 2008: Analysis of Results, Western Australian Parliamentary Library, Election Paper Series 1/2009 (Perth, Western Australian Parliamentary Library, March 2009, ISBN 9781921243844); also online at: http://www.parliament.wa.gov.au/web/newwebparl.nsf/iframewebpages/Library+Publications [accessed 8 August 2010]



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