ID 0476

Parliament of Victoria, Assembly election

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General election for the Assembly Victoria 
Date of election (or first day of voting at elections held over more than one day) 29 April 1967

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) Henry Edward Bolte
Premier's party affiliation Liberal and Country Party 
Assembly support for government at election Majority 
If coalition, coalition partner(s)  

Government in office after election

Premier in office after election. Henry Edward Bolte
Premier's party affiliation Liberal 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 1,723,981 
Number of Assembly seats 73 
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 1,723,981 
Total ballots cast (may differ from number of votes in multiple voting systems) 1,625,239 
Turnout (rate of voting in contested seats) 94.27% 
Total valid votes 1,574,311 
Rate of informal (invalid) voting 3.13%
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system Not applicable
Electoral system Adult franchise at 21 years, single member districts, preferential voting (AV), compulsory preferences, compulsory voting 

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Victoria, Assembly votes and seats won

Election held on 29 April 1967
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 %
Australian Labor Party 596,510  37.89  +1.67     16  21.92 
Liberal Party 589,985  37.48  *     44  60.27 
Democratic Labor Party 224,989  14.29  -0.68        
Country Party 136,126  8.65  -0.11     12  16.44 
Independents 11,777  0.75  *        
Independent Labor 6,926  0.44  *     1.37 
Independent Liberal 4,305  0.27  +0.17        
Unendorsed Liberals 1,759  0.11  *        
Communist Party 1,443  0.09  -0.16        
Liberal Reform 491  0.03  *        
Votes for other than listed parties 0.00  0.00          
Totals 1,574,311  100.00    73  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

Electoral system and voting: To respond to the rapid growth of the metropolitan population around Melbourne without reducing the number of Country Party and rural Liberal Party seats, the Electoral Provinces and Districts Act 1965 increased the membership of the Victorian Legislative Assembly from 66 to 73. The redistribution created more seats in metropolitan areas but preserved a substantial degree of malapportionment in favour of rural seats. For context and details, see Carr's notes for the 1964 election (online here [accessed 14 January 2018]), and this election (1967) in 'Sources', below.

Government in office after election: The Bolte Liberal Party government was returned at this Assembly election in 1967. The Liberal Party, which had changed its name from 'Liberal and Country Party' in March 1965 (see below), saw its vote share drop by 2.4 percent but raised its seat share to 60 percent and won 6 more seats in the enlarged Legislative Assembly; see Carr in 'Sources', below.

Liberal Party change of name: The Liberal and Country Party's reversion to the name Liberal Party at this election (1967) marked another chapter in the long running, and often bitter rivalry between the Liberal Party and the Country Party to be the dominant party in non-Labor governments (see Aimer in 'References', below, especially ch. 10). In 1949, the then Liberal Party had changed its name to Liberal and Country Party to attract defectors from Country Party ranks to join the Liberals; see Aimer p.26 in 'References', below.

The 1955 split in the Australian Labor Party corresponded with the election of the first majority Liberal Party government in Victoria since 1914. Premier Bolte maintained majority support for the Liberals throughout his period in office and the reversion to the Liberal Party name can be seen as a recognition that the Country Party had lost its access to the government benches. This situation was to continue for another 25 years until the Country Party become the minor coalition partner in the 1992 Kennett Liberal Party and Country Party coalition government.

Australian Labor Party: For the first time, the Australian Labor Party contested all Legislative Assembly seats at this election (1967). The party's vote share increased by 1.7 percent but it lost two seats in the enlarged Assembly leaving the party with 16 seats in a chamber of 73.

Democratic Labor Party: The Democratic Labor Party (DLP) continued its practice of endorsing candidates for all seats in the Legislative Assembly at this election in 1967, a significant organizational feat for a party unlikely to win a seat in the Assembly. The DLP gained 14.3 percent of the first preference vote, a slight decline from the previous Assembly election and failed to win a seat. The DLP strategy at Assembly elections was to urge its supporters to use their second preferences under the Assembly's preferential voting system to keep the Australian Labor Party out of office in Victoria and to maintain voter support for federal elections where the DLP had a chance to elect senators under the Senate system of proportional representation; see generally P L Reynolds, The Democratic Labor Party, (Jacaranda Press, Milton, Queensland: 1974, ISBN 0701607033), and Michael Lyons, 'Defence, the Family and the Battler: The Democratic Labor Party and its Legacy', Australian Journal of Political Science, 43(3) September 2008: 425-442.

Country Party: In an attempt to increase the Country Party's representation in the Assembly, the party executive decided to exchange preferences with the Australian Labor Party in some seats rather than with Liberal candidates as had been past practice. This proposal generated widespread disagreement within the party organization and was resisted by individual Country Party candidates who provided their own how-to-vote cards; see Staley in 'References', below.

Independents: At the previous Assembly election in 1964, no candidate had run as an Independent without some claimed association with a party grouping, but at this election in 1967, 23 candidates ran as Independents without any associated party label (four ran in the seat of Gisborne); none was successful in winning a seat.

Independent Labor: Two Independent Labor candidates contested this election in 1967 with one, John P Mutton, winning the seat of Coburg and defeating the endorsed Australian Labor Party candidate who was the state president of the Labor Party (see Staley, p.264 in 'References', below). John Mutton's father, Charles Mutton, had retired from the seat in 1967 after holding the seat of Coburg as member of the Australian Labor Party and as an Independent member associated with the Labor Party over the period from 1940 to 1967.

Independent Liberal, Liberal Reform and Unendorsed Liberal: Three dissident Liberals ran at this election, one as an Independent Liberal, another as Liberal Reform and one as an Unendorsed Liberal; none of these candidates was elected.

Communist Party: The Communist Party endorsed 2 candidates for this Assembly election (1967) and its electoral support dropped to 0.1 percent of the first preference vote.

References: A survey of the 1967 Assembly election can be found in A Staley, 'Victoria', Political Chronicle, January-April 1967, Australian Journal of Politics and History, 13 (2) August 1967: 262-265.

Premier Bolte's long period in office is surveyed in David Dunstan, 'Henry Bolte: The Lucky Developer' in Brian Costar and Paul Strangio (editors), The Victorian Premiers 1856-2006, ch. 21 (Sydney: Federation Press, 2006, ISBN 9781862876019). For a study of Victorian parliamentary politics during this period of Liberal dominance, see Wright, ch. 10 (in 'Sources', below).

The organization and history of the Liberal Party in Victoria during this period is surveyed in Peter Aimer, Politics, Power and Persuasion: The Liberals in Victoria, (East Hawthorn, Vic.: James Bennett, 1974, ISBN 0909595011), and Katherine West, Power in the Liberal Party: A Study in Australian Politics, ch. 1 (Melbourne: Cheshire, 1965).

Sources

For this Assembly election (1967), there is agreement between the three sources below (Hughes 1977, Hughes 1981, and Carr) on the first preference votes for the larger parties (note that Carr makes a minor error in his notes on the number of seats won by the Australian Labor Party and the Country Party). The votes and partisan affiliation of minor party and Independent candidates are calculated from Hughes 1981.

Colin A Hughes , A Handbook of Australian Government and Politics 1965-1974, (Canberra: Australian National University Press, 1977, ISBN 0708113400); Colin A Hughes Voting for the Australian State Lower Houses 1965-1974, (Canberra: Department of Political Science, Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University, 1981, ISBN 909596735).

Adam Carr, 'Forty-fourth Parliament Elected 29 April 1967', in 'Legislative Assembly Elections', Victorian Elections Since 1843, Psephos: Adam Carr's Election Archive, online here [accessed 18 January 2018].

Raymond Wright, A People's Counsel: A History of the Parliament of Victoria 1856-1990, (Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1992, ISBN 0195533593)

Victoria, Office of the Chief Parliamentary Counsel, 'Victorian Historical Acts', online here [accessed 14 January 2018].



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