Elections held in 14 May 1906
Criteria for the inclusion of parties in this table are set out in the Glossary under 'listed party'
|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 %|
|Australian Labor Party||5||4,364||26.69||+9.32||1||10.00||1||3.33|
|National Political League||1||1,869||11.43||*||1||10.00||1||3.33|
* Party did not contest previous election or did not meet criteria for listing, or contested previous election under a different party name.
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 Electoral Act Amendment Act of 1899 had enfranchised women for the Legislative Council (and for the Legislative Assembly), but property requirements remained and women were not entitled to become members of the Legislative Council. The franchise for the Legislative Council was restricted to those of 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', David Black, Legislative Council, p. 4 (see 'Sources', below). After 1899, joint owners, occupiers, leaseholders or licensees not exceeding four persons for any one property of the required value, could register as voters; see David Black, Legislative Council, p. 5 (see 'Sources', below).
'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 province (electoral district) 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 Constitution Acts Amendment Act of 1899 had increased the size of the Legislative Council from 24 members to 30 by adding two more three member electoral districts (Metropolitan-Suburban Province and South Province). Members had staggered six year fixed terms, one of the three members from each province retiring every two years at periodic elections. The Act '... also provided that in future the date of retirement for each senior member [the member in the sixth year of his term] would be computed on a two yearly basis as from 21 May in the year of the previous biennial election', David Black, Legislative Council, p. 4 (see 'Sources', below).
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). The Electoral Act 1904 modified this procedure by requiring '... the marking of a cross in the square provided though the old method of voting was still allowed', David Black, Legislative Council, p. 5 (see 'Sources', below).
Missing information for these elections: Information on the number of informal (invalid) ballots is available for only three of the seven contested electoral districts; this is likely to cause the rate of informal (invalid) voting to be understated in the 'Enrolment and voting' table above.
Australian Labor Party: This election (1906) was the first at which candidates affiliated to political party organizations gained representation in the Legislative Council. The Australian Labor Party had greatly increased its representation at the Legislative Assembly election of 1904, forming a Labor Party minority government under Daglish from August 1904 until August 1905. By the time of these Legislative Council elections (1906), the Labor Party had established itself as a major component of the party system; for more information on the emergence of political parties in Western Australia, see 'References', below.
National Political League: This election (1906) was the first at which candidates affiliated to political party organizations gained representation in the Legislative Council. 'Although the [National Political Leagues] were not affiliated with any party and were designed to assist good candidates regardless of their affiliation, they were closely aligned with the chambers of commerce and represented business and manufacturing interests', Brian de Garis, 'Self-Government and the Evolution of Party Politics 1871-1911', in C T Stannage (editor), A New History of Western Australia, pp 326-351 at p.350, (Perth: University of Western Australia Press, 1981, ISBN 0855641819); for more information on the emergence of political parties in Western Australia, see 'References', below.
References: For a description of the context of electoral politics and the emergence of political parties in Western Australia, 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); Brian de Garis, 'Western Australia', in P Loveday, A W Martin and R S Parker (editors), The Emergence of the Australian Party System, pp 298-354, (Sydney: Hale & Iremonger, 1977, ISBN 0908094035); H J Gibney, 'Western Australia', in D J Murphy (editor), Labor in Politics: The State Labor Parties in Australia 1880-1920, pp 343-385, (St Lucia, Qld: University of Queensland Press, 1975, ISBN 0702209392).
Changes in the composition of the Western Australian Parliament and the rapid emergence of party politics are surveyed in C T Stannage, 'The Composition of the Western Australian Parliament: 1890-1911', University Studies in History, IV (4) 1966: 1-40.
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). David Black, An Index to Parliamentary Candidates in Western Australian Elections State and Federal 1890-2006, 2nd edition, (Perth: Western Australian History Project, 2006, ISBN 920830774) has been used to identify the party affiliation of some candidates.