ID 0498

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) 22 March 1924

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) James Mitchell
Premier's party affiliation Nationalist Coalition (see notes) 
Assembly support for government at election Coalition  
If coalition, coalition partner(s)  

Government in office after election

Premier in office after election. Philip Collier
Premier's party affiliation Australian Labor 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 189,869 
Number of Assembly seats 50 
Number of uncontested seats 12 
If uncontested seats, number of voters on the roll in uncontested seats 30,513 
Number of voters on the roll in contested seats 159,356 
Total ballots cast (may differ from number of votes in multiple voting systems) 99,391 
Turnout (rate of voting in contested seats) 62.37% 
Total valid votes 98,240 
Rate of informal (invalid) voting 1.16%
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system Not applicable
Electoral system Adult franchise at 21 years; single member districts; preferential voting (AV), compulsory preferences 

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Western Australia, Assembly votes and seats won

Election held on 22 March 1924
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 39,679  40.39  +3.58     27  11  54.00 
Nationalist Party (Nationalists) 25,282  25.73  -2.00     18.00 
Majority Country Party 12,600  12.83  *     14.00 
Executive Country Party 11,872  12.08  *     12.00 
National Labor Party (Nationalist Coalition) 3,846  3.91  -6.16     2.00 
Independent Nationalists 3,611  3.68  +2.37        
Independents 815  0.83  -3.77        
Land Value League 535  0.54  *        
Votes for other than listed parties 0.00  0.00          
Totals 98,240  100.00    50  12  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

Election dates: Elections were held over the period from 22 March to 23 April 1924; for details of polling dates, see Black, Election Statistics, pp. xv-xvii, (see 'Sources', below).

Premier in office at election: The Mitchell Nationalist Coalition government had suffered from a split within its largest party component, the Country Party (see note, below). Even so, the combined Nationalist Coalition vote share at this election (1924) was larger than that gained by the Australian Labor Party, but the Labor Party won a majority of Legislative Assembly seats, and Mitchell resigned as Premier on 15 April 1924.

Premier in office after election: Collier was commissioned as Premier of an Australian Labor Party majority government on 15 April 1924.

Nationalist Party and Nationalist Coalition: The Nationalist Party and the Nationalist Coalition government had been formed as part of the realignment political support that had been prompted by the conscription crisis and the First World War; see the notes to the Legislative Assembly elections of 1917, and 1921. With the defeat of the Nationalist Coalition government at this election (1924), the coalition disbanded, and its constituent parties operated as independent entities.

The Nationalist Party (Nationalists) was the successor to the Liberal Party which had existed before the First World War, but its support was heavily concentrated in the electoral districts of metropolitan Perth; see David Black, 'The Liberal Party and its Predecessors', in Ralph Pervan and Campbell Sharman (editors), Essays on Western Australian Politics, pp 191-232, at pp 201-204 (Perth: University of Western Australia Press, 1979, ISBN 0855641495), and see 'References', below .

In this database, the name Nationalist Party (Nationalists) is used even though some references -- and contemporary commentary -- referred to the party in Western Australia as the National Party; the use of the label 'Nationalist' is used to distinguish the party from the National Party which emerged in the 1970s.

Australian Labor Party: For a study of the Australian Labor Party in Western Australia, see Ralph Pervan and Douglas Mitchell, 'The Changing Nature of the Australian Labor Party', in Ralph Pervan and Campbell Sharman (editors), Essays on Western Australian Politics, pp 129-158, (Perth: University of Western Australia Press, 1979, ISBN 0855641495); for a study of Collier's first period in office, see David Black, 'The Collier Government 1924-1930', University Studies in Western Australian History, [University of Western Australia], 3 (3), October 1959: 58-70, and see 'References', below.

Majority Country Party and Executive Country Party: Tensions within the Country Party over its role in the National Coalition government of Premier Mitchell led to strains between the Primary Producers Association (PPA) and Country Party members of parliament. In 1923, these disagreements came to a head with the executive of the PPA refusing to endorse several sitting Country Party members. As a consequence, the Party split between those who supported continued close cooperation between Country Party members and the National Coalition (the Majority (or Ministerial) Country Party), and those who wished Country Party members to follow a more independent line (the Executive Country Party). Both these groups fielded candidates at this Legislative Assembly election (1924).

For details of this Country Party split, see Lenore Layman, 'The Country Party: Rise and Decline', in Ralph Pervan and Campbell Sharman (editors), Essays on Western Australian Politics, pp 159-190, at pp 163-164 (Perth: University of Western Australia Press, 1979, ISBN 0855641495), and David Black, p. 105, (see 'References', below).

References: For the political context of this election (1924), see David Black, 'Party Politics in Turmoil, 1911-1924', in C T Stannage (editor), A New History of Western Australia, pp 381-405, (Perth: University of Western Australia Press, 1981, ISBN 0855641819).

For an overview of the context of Western Australian parliamentary and electoral politics in this period, see David Black, 'Factionalism and Stability, 1911-1947', in David Black (editor), The House on the Hill: A History of the Parliament of Western Australia 1832-1990, pp 97-151, (Perth: Western Australian Parliamentary History Project, Parliament of Western Australia, 1991, ISBN 0730939839).

Sources

Colin A Hughes and B D Graham, A Handbook of Australian Government and Politics 1890-1964, (Canberra: Australian National University Press, 1968, SBN 708102700); Colin A Hughes and B D Graham, Voting for the South Australian, Western Australian and Tasmanian Lower Houses 1890-1964, (Canberra: Department of Political Science, Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University, 1976, ISBN 0708113346); David Black, Election Statistics Legislative Assembly of Western Australia 1890-1996, Listed Alphabetically by Constituency, (Perth: Parliament of Western Australia and Western Australian Electoral Commission, 1997); and David Black. An Index to Parliamentary Candidates in Western Australian Elections State and Federal 1890-2006, 2nd edition, (Perth: Parliament of Western Australia, 2006, ISBN 1920830774).



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