ID 0306

Parliament of New South Wales, Assembly election

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General election for the Assembly New South Wales 
Date of election (or first day of voting at elections held over more than one day) 24 March 1917

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) William Arthur Holman
Premier's party affiliation Nationalist Party 
Assembly support for government at election Majority 
If coalition, coalition partner(s)  

Government in office after election

Premier in office after election. William Arthur Holman
Premier's party affiliation Nationalist Party
Assembly support for government after election Majority 
If coalition, coalition partner(s)  
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Enrolment and voting

Total number of voters on the roll 1,109,830 
Number of Assembly seats 90 
Number of uncontested seats
If uncontested seats, number of voters on the roll in uncontested seats 96,564 
Number of voters on the roll in contested seats 1,013,266 
Total ballots cast (may differ from number of votes in multiple voting systems) 622,478 
Turnout (rate of voting in contested seats) 61.43% 
Total valid votes 616,146 
Rate of informal (invalid) voting 1.02%
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system Not applicable
Electoral system Universal franchise at 21 years; single member districts; second ballot (run off) elections 

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New South Wales, Assembly votes and seats won

Election held on 24 March 1917
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 %
Nationalist Party (Nationalists) 292,306  47.44  *     52  57.78 
Australian Labor Party 264,401  42.91  -3.71     33  36.67 
Independents 25,605  4.16  +2.60     3.33 
Independent Labor 22,336  3.63  +2.25     1.11 
Independent Nationalist Party 11,213  1.82  *     1.11 
Socialist Party 285  0.05  *        
Votes for other than listed parties 0.00  -10.00          
Totals 616,146  100.00    90  100.00 


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* Party did not contest previous election or did not meet criteria for listing, or contested previous election under a different party name.

Notes

Government in office at election: The Holman Labor government elected in 1913 split in 1916 over the issue of conscription. Holman, who supported conscription, formed a government on 15 Novermber 1916 as leader of a new Nationalist Party with support from Liberals and members who defected from the Labor Party. For more detail on these events and references, search for 'Holman' in the 'Governments' section of this website.

Nationalist Party (Nationalists): The split in the Australian Labor Party prompted by disagreements over the introduction conscription to send Australian soldiers to Europe during the First World War, divided the Party in all states except Queensland with major consequences for both state and federal politics. In New South Wales, the new Nationalist Party (Nationalists) was initially a coalition of interests supporting conscription which brought together members of the former Liberal Party, members defecting from the Labor Party, and individuals who were to form the Progressive Party (see entry for the 1920 assembly election in NSW).

Reference: For a comprehensive survey of this election and the preceding period, see Michael Hogan, '1917', in Michael Hogan and David Clune (editors), The People's Choice: Electoral Politics in 20th Century New South Wales, vol. 1 (1901 to 1927), pp. 153-179, (Sydney: Parliament of New South Wales and University of Sydney, 2001, ISBN 0909907390).

Sources

Colin A Hughes and B D Graham, A Handbook of Australian Government and Politics 1890-1964, pp. 423-460, (Canberra: Australian National University Press, 1968, SBN 708102700); New South Wales, Parliament, The New South Wales Parliamentary Record: Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly, 1824-1999, vol. VI, pp. 7-15, (Sydney: Parliament of New South Wales, 1999).



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