ID 0518

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) 8 February 1986

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) Brian Thomas Burke
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. Brian Thomas Burke
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 883,239 
Number of Assembly seats 57 
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 883,239 
Total ballots cast (may differ from number of votes in multiple voting systems) 807,634 
Turnout (rate of voting in contested seats) 91.44% 
Total valid votes 786,394 
Rate of informal (invalid) voting 2.63%
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system Not applicable
Electoral system Adult franchise at 18 years; single member districts; preferential voting (AV), compulsory preferences; compulsory voting 

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Western Australia, Assembly votes and seats won

Election held on 8 February 1986
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 416,805  53.00  -0.16     32  56.14 
Liberal Party 324,961  41.32  +1.46     19  33.33 
National Party 29,156  3.71  +2.04     10.53 
Independents 8,505  1.08  +0.44        
Australian Democrats 5,192  0.66  -0.34        
Socialist Workers Party 777  0.10  *        
League of Experimental Psychiatry 510  0.06  *        
Tax Cuts Party 488  0.06  *        
Votes for other than listed parties 0.00  0.00          
Totals 786,394  100.00    57  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 Burke Australian Labor Party government was returned at this election (1986) with its vote share and its majority in the Legislative Assembly unchanged.

Australian Labor Party: For a study of the Labor Party during this period, see Anthony Sayers, 'Western Australia: Picking up the Pieces', in John Warhurst and Andrew Parkin (editors), The Machine: Labor Confronts the Future, (St. Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin, 2000, ISBN 1864487216).

National Party and National Country Party: A split within the then National Country Party in 1978 had led to the existence of two rival country parties, the National Country Party and the National Party. As foreshadowed by Geoff Gallop and Lenore Layman, 'Western Australia', in Brian Costar and Dennis Woodward (editors), Country to National: Australian Rural Politics and Beyond, pp 109-118, at pp 116-118 (North Sydney: George Allen & Unwin, 1985, ISBN 0868617084) the parties started a process of reunification in 1984 which was completed by 1986 under the name of the National Party of Australia (in this database the name National Party is used for the reunited party to simplify comparisons with other states and to conform to common usage). Not all parliamentary members of the National Country Party accepted the terms for reunion; for brief a comment on the consequences of reuniting the party, see Harry Phillips, p. 232 (see 'References', below).

Socialist Workers Party: Voting figures for this party are taken from Dean Jaensch and David Mathieson, A Plague on Both Your Houses: Minor Parties in Australia, p. 137, (St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin, 1998, ISBN 1864484217); the party endorsed one candidate at this election (1986).

League of Experimental Psychiatry: Dean Jeanch and David Mathieson categorize this as a frivolous party; details and voting figures are taken from Jaensch and Mathieson, A Plague on Both Your Houses: Minor Parties in Australia, p. 91, (St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin, 1998, ISBN 1864484217); the party endorsed one candidate at this election (1986). Note that the party is labelled as the League of Experimental Psychology in Hughes (see 'Sources', below).

Tax Cuts Party: The voting figures for this party are taken from Dean Jaensch and David Mathieson, A Plague on Both Your Houses: Minor Parties in Australia, p. 57, (St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin, 1998, ISBN 1864484217); the party endorsed one candidate at this election (1986).

References: For a brief survey of this election and its context, see David Black, 'Western Australia', Australian Journal of Politics and History, Australian Political Chronicle, 32 (3) January 1986: 484-494 at pp 484-486.

For an overview of the context of Western Australian parliamentary and electoral politics in this period, see Harry Phillips, 'The Modern Parliament, 1965-1989', in David Black (editor), The House on the Hill: A History of the Parliament of Western Australia 1832-1990, pp 185-262, at pp 226-246, (Perth: Western Australian Parliamentary History Project, Parliament of Western Australia, 1991, ISBN 0730939839).

Sources

Colin A Hughes, A Handbook of Australian Government and Politics 1985-1999, (Sydney: Federation Press, 2002, ISBN 1862874344); 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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