Elections held in 14 May 1912
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||6||9,090||35.23||+17.19||3||30.00||6||20.00|
* 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.
Changes to the 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 had resided in Western Australia for at least twelve months. The Constitution Act Amendment Act of 1911 had relaxed the property requirements for the Legislative Council franchise; electors were required to own '... freehold worth at least Fifty Pounds [or] leasehold or householder qualifications or Seventeen Pounds annual value', David Black, Legislative Council, p. 5 (see 'Sources', below). For details of the Legislative Council franchise before 1911, see the notes to Legislative Council elections before 1912.
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 Legislative Council had ten provinces (electoral districts) each returning three members. Members had staggered six year fixed terms, one of the three members from each province retiring every two years at periodic elections; '... 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).
Changes to preferential voting: The Electoral Act of 1907 had introduced preferential voting (the alternative vote) with optional preferences for Legislative Council elections. A voter could vote for one candidate, or could rank candidates in order of the voter's preference. The Electoral Act Amendment Act of 1911 made it compulsory to indicate '... preferences for all but the least favoured candidate', David Black, Legislative Council, p. 5 (see 'Sources', below).
Seats held by party: The total number of members in the Legislative Council affiliated with each party after an election is shown in the seats held by party column of the 'Votes and seats' table, above.
Liberal Party: This was the first Legislative Council election at which there were candidates affiliated with the recently formed Liberal Party. After 1905, the rise of the Australian Labor Party had prompted the coalescence of a variety of anti-Labor groups. 'The direct ancestor of the present Liberal Party -- the Liberal League -- was formed with [former premier] Forrest as president and with the express intention of bringing about the absorption of all existing rival leagues. Most of the office-bearers of the new league represented pastoral and landed wealth and this, coupled with the considerable role of politicians in its creation, distinguished it from its predecessors ...', 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. 192 (Perth: University of Western Australia Press, 1979, ISBN 0855641495).
References: For a detailed survey of parliamentary politics in Western Australia from 1911 to 1947, including a study of the Legislative Council, 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).
Studies of electoral and party politics in Western Australia during this period can be found in David Black, 'Party Politics in Turmoil 1911-1924', in C T Stannage (editor), A New History of Western Australia, pp 381-405 (Perth: University of Western Australia Press, 1981, ISBN 0855641819), and 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).
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.