ID 1246

Parliament of Western Australia Legislative Council election

Election of 27 July 1896

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Election for the Legislative Council
Western Australia
Date of election
27 July 1896
Type of Legislative Council election
Biennial periodic elections; third of Council to be elected
Related or previous Assembly election

Government support in Legislative Council at and after election

Government majority in Legislative Council at date of election
Government majority in new Legislative Council

Composition of the Legislative Council and seats to be filled at this election

Total number of seats in the Legislative Council
If the Legislative Council has staggered terms, the number of seats to be filled at this election
Casual vacancies (by-elections) and additional seats to be filled at this election (see notes)
Not applicable
Total seats to be filled at this election

Enrolment and voting

Total number of voters on the roll
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
Total number of candidates
Total ballots cast (may differ from number of votes in multiple voting systems)
Turnout (rate of voting in contested seats)
Total valid votes
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system
Not applicable
Electoral system
Male property franchise; plural voting permitted; first past the post (plurality) voting; 8 multimember districts with staggered six year fixed terms (see notes)

Western Australia, Legislative Council votes and seats won, and seats held

Display Chart

Elections held in 27 July 1896
Criteria for the inclusion of parties in this table are set out in the Glossary under 'listed party'

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Party Name Candidates n First preference vote n First preference vote share % Change from previous election % Seats won by party n Seats won by party % Uncontested seats at this election n Seats held by party n Seats held by party %
Independents (no disciplined party groupings)  12  1,562  100.00  0.00  100.00  21  100.00 
Totals 12  1,562  100.00    100.00  21  100.00 

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History of the Legislative Council: For information and references on the origins and early history of the Legislative Council, see the notes for the 1894 Legislative Council elections.

Franchise: The franchise for the Legislative Council was conferred on men of at least twenty-one years of age who were British subjects '... and have resided in Western Australia for at least twelve months. Electors had to satisfy a property qualification, i.e., possess freehold property worth at least One Hundred Pounds, as a householder occupy a dwelling of clear annual value of Twenty-Five Pounds ...., hold a leasehold estate of similar annual value, or hold a mining or pastoral lease with an annual rental of at least Ten Pounds. Aboriginals were debarred from voting except in terms of the freehold qualification', David Black, Legislative Council, p. 4 (see 'Sources', below). Plural voting was permitted for those who had the qualifications for the franchise in more than one of the seven provinces (electoral districts) for the Legislative Council.

Qualifications for candidates: To be eligible for election to the Legislative Council, candidates had to be men who were electors '... of at least thirty years of age who had resided in the colony for two years and were natural born British subjects or had been naturalised for at least five years prior to the election', David Black, Legislative Council, p. 4 (see 'Sources', below)

Electoral system and voting: The Legislative Council had 21 members chosen from seven multimember electoral districts called provinces, each returning 3 members. The members had staggered six year fixed terms, one of the three members from each province retiring every two years.

First past the post (plurality) voting was used to count the votes '... with voters asked to strike out the names of those candidates for whom they did not wish to vote', David Black, Legislative Council, p. 4 (see 'Sources', below).

Missing information for these elections: No information on enrolment is available for any of the electoral districts at these elections; the enrolment figures in the 'Enrolment and voting' table above are taken from the 1894 elections for all provinces except Central and East provinces. In these two provinces, the figures for votes cast have been entered as notional enrolment figures; this is likely to have inflated the figure for turnout.

References: For a description of the context of electoral politics in Western Australia's first decades of self-government, see Brian de Garis, 'Self-Government and the Emergence of Political Parties, 1890-1911', in David Black (editor), The House on the Hill: A History of the Parliament of Western Australia 1832-1990, pp 63-95 , (Perth: Western Australian Parliamentary History Project, Parliament of Western Australia, 1991, ISBN 0730939839).


Information for this election was taken from David Black, Legislative Council of Western Australia: Membership Register, Electoral Law and Statistics 1890-1989, (Perth: Western Australian Parliamentary History Project, 1989, revised 1991, ISBN 0730936414).