ID 0499

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) 26 March 1927

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) Philip Collier
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. 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 210,949 
Number of Assembly seats 50 
Number of uncontested seats
If uncontested seats, number of voters on the roll in uncontested seats 16,862 
Number of voters on the roll in contested seats 194,087 
Total ballots cast (may differ from number of votes in multiple voting systems) 142,506 
Turnout (rate of voting in contested seats) 73.42% 
Total valid votes 140,506 
Rate of informal (invalid) voting 1.4%
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 26 March 1927
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 63,687  45.33  +4.94     27  54.00 
United Party 51,774  36.85  *     16  32.00 
Country Party 22,439  15.97  *     14.00 
Independent United Party 1,100  0.78  *        
Women's Electoral League 803  0.57  *        
Independent Labor 498  0.35  *        
Independents 205  0.15  -0.68        
Votes for other than listed parties 0.00  0.00          
Totals 140,506  100.00    50  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 26 March to 9 April 1927; for details of polling dates, see Black, Election Statistics, pp. xv-xvii, (see 'Sources', below).

Premier in office at election: The Collier Australian Labor Party majority government was returned at this election (1927) with an increase in its vote share but with no increase in the number of seats it held in the Legislative Assembly.

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.

United Party: The split in the Country Party in 1923 led to the existence of two Country parties, the Executive Country Party, and the Majority (or Ministerial) Country Party (see the notes for the 1924 Legislative Assembly elections). The Majority Country Party, '... after an unsuccessful attempt to form their own Independent Country Party, joined with the National League [Nationalist Party] and the remnants of the National Labor Party to form the United Party', David Black, 'The Liberal Party and its Predecessors', in Ralph Pervan and Campbell Sharman (editors), Essays on Western Australian Politics, pp 191-232, at p. 202 (Perth: University of Western Australia Press, 1979, ISBN 0855641495). At the election, individual candidates campaigning under the banner of the United Party maintained their links to Nationalist or Country Party organizations.

Country Party: The creation of the United Party (see note above) meant that there was only one group which claimed the name Country Party for this Legislative Assembly election (1927); on the Country Party during this period, 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).

Nationalist Party (Nationalists): The formation of the United Party meant that members of the Nationalist Party ran as United Party candidates; see the note on the United Party, above. In this database, then party 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.

Women's Electoral League: The votes for this party grouping were all cast for Edith Cowan who ran as a candidate for the League in the electoral district of East Perth. Edith Cowan was the first woman elected to any Australian parliament; she had won the seat of Perth West as a Nationalist Candidate for the Legislative Assembly in 1921, but was defeated (by a rival Nationalist Party candidate) at the 1924 election.

For information on the feminist movement in Western Australia, see P Biskup, 'The Westralian Feminist Movement', University Studies in Western Australian History, [University of Western Australia], 3 (3), October 1959: 71-84, and David Black and Harry Phillips, Making a difference: Women in the Western Australian Parliament 1921-1999 , (Perth : Parliament of Western Australia, 2000, ISBN 0730744647).

For information on Edith Cowan's life and career, see Margaret Brown, 'Cowan, Edith Dircksey (1861 - 1932)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 8, pp 123-124, (Melbourne University Press, 1981). online at:
http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A080137b.htm?hilite=edith%3Bcowan

References: For the political context of this election (1927), see David Black, 'The Era of Labor Ascendancy 1924-1947', in C T Stannage (editor), A New History of Western Australia, pp 406-440, (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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