ID 0506

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) 25 March 1950

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) Duncan Ross McLarty
Premier's party affiliation Liberal Party 
Assembly support for government at election Coalition Minority 
If coalition, coalition partner(s) Country and Democratic League  

Government in office after election

Premier in office after election. Duncan Ross McLarty
Premier's party affiliation Liberal and Country League
Assembly support for government after election Coalition Minority 
If coalition, coalition partner(s) Country and Democratic League  
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Enrolment and voting

Total number of voters on the roll 310,291 
Number of Assembly seats 50 
Number of uncontested seats 12 
If uncontested seats, number of voters on the roll in uncontested seats 58,410 
Number of voters on the roll in contested seats 251,881 
Total ballots cast (may differ from number of votes in multiple voting systems) 229,296 
Turnout (rate of voting in contested seats) 91.03% 
Total valid votes 224,764 
Rate of informal (invalid) voting 1.98%
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 (see notes) 

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Western Australia, Assembly votes and seats won

Election held on 25 March 1950
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 94,055  41.85  +4.50     23  46.00 
Liberal & Country League 86,090  38.30  *     15  30.00 
Country and Democratic League 24,282  10.80  -5.35     18.00 
Independents 13,038  5.80  -0.60     4.00 
Independent Liberal 5,059  2.25  +0.83     2.00 
Communist Party 815  0.36  -0.64        
Independent Labor 786  0.35  -1.68        
Independent Country Party 639  0.28  *        
Votes for other than listed parties 0.00  0.00          
Totals 224,764  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

Premier in office at election: The McLarty Liberal and Country League (see below for change of party name), and Country and Democratic League coalition minority government failed to win a majority of Assembly seats at this election (1950) and continued as a minority coalition government with the support of the two Independents and the Independent Liberal.

Electoral Commission: The Electoral Districts Act of 1947 made a number of changes to the way seats were distributed in Western Australia and enabled the Electoral Commission's redistributions to take effect without reference to Parliament; see Jeremy Buxton, 'Electoral Politics Past and Present', in Ralph Pervan and Campbell Sharman (editors), Essays on Western Australian Politics, pp 35-63, at pp 43-45, (Perth: University of Western Australia Press, 1979, ISBN 0855641495) and note Hughes and Graham, Hanbook, pp 565-566 (see 'Sources', below) and Black, 'Liberals Triumphant', p. 441, in 'References', below.

Australian Labor Party: For a study of the Australian Labor Party in Western Australia which includes this period, 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), and see 'References', below.

Liberal Party and Liberal and Country League: In 1949, a public meeting '... attended by several hundred people from various parts of the state approved the formation of the Liberal and Country League (LCL) .... The Liberal Party agreed to submerge its identity in the new 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.218 (Perth: University of Western Australia Press, 1979, ISBN 0855641495). Black argues that this change of name was part of a continuing struggle between the Liberal Party and the Country Party; see 'References', below.

Country Party and Country and Democratic League: The Country Party had changed its name in 1944 to the Country and Democratic League as a sign of the party's intention to widen its electoral appeal (see the notes for the 1947 Legislative Assembly elections); the parliamentary party -- but not the organization -- reverted to the name Country Party in 1949. But the party faced strong competition from the Liberals and lost three seats at this election (1950); see Lenore Layman, 'The Country Party: Rise and Decline', in Ralph Pervan and Campbell Sharman (editors), Essays on Western Australian Politics, pp 159-190, (Perth: University of Western Australia Press, 1979, ISBN 0855641495).

References: For the political context of this election (1950), see David Black, 'The Liberals Triumphant: The Politics of Development 1947-1980', in C T Stannage (editor), A New History of Western Australia, pp 441-470, (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 Lenore Layman, 'Continuity and Change 1947-1965', in David Black (editor), The House on the Hill: A History of the Parliament of Western Australia 1832-1990, pp 153-183, (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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