ID 1259

Parliament of Western Australia Legislative Council election

Election of 11 May 1918


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Election for the Legislative Council
Western Australia
Date of election
11 May 1918
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
No
Government majority in new Legislative Council
No

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

Total number of seats in the Legislative Council
30
If the Legislative Council has staggered terms, the number of seats to be filled at this election
10
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
10

Enrolment and voting

Total number of voters on the roll
60,671
Number of uncontested seats
3
If uncontested seats, number of voters on the roll in uncontested seats
12,381
Number of voters on the roll in contested seats
48,290
Total number of candidates
20
Total ballots cast (may differ from number of votes in multiple voting systems)
17,996
Turnout (rate of voting in contested seats)
37.27%
Total valid votes
17,698
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
1.66%
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system
Not applicable
Electoral system
Property franchise; plural voting permitted; preferential voting (the alternative vote), compulsory preferences; 10 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 11 May 1918
Criteria for the inclusion of parties in this table are set out in the Glossary under 'listed party'

* to view table drag left or right.
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  4,489  25.36  -3.17      13.33 
Independents  3,741  21.14  +18.26  20.00  10.00 
Nationalist Party (Nationalists)  3,663  20.70  30.00  16.67 
National Labor Party  2,522  14.25  20.00    6.67 
Country Party  2,092  11.82  -20.54  10.00    16.67 
Independent Nationalists  1,191  6.73  10.00    3.33 
Liberal Party      -36.22  10.00  10  33.33 
Totals 20  17,698  100.00    10  100.00  30  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

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 had resided in Western Australia for at least twelve months. The Constitution Act Amendment Act of 1911 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).

The Electoral Act of 1907 had introduced preferential voting (the alternative vote) with optional preferences for Legislative Council elections but 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 parties: 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.

Nationalist parties: The split in the Australian Labor Party in 1916 prompted by disagreements over the introduction conscription to send Australian soldiers to Europe during the First World War, divided the Party in all states except Queensland with major consequences for both state and federal politics. In Western Australia, those Labor Party members who supported conscription formed the National Labor Party and became part of a National movement (the National Federation) which included those Liberals who had reconstituted themselves as the Nationalist Party and pro-conscription members of other anti-Labor parties; see David Black, 'The Liberal Party and its Predecessors', in Ralph Pervan and Campbell Sharman (editors), Essays on Western Australian Politics, pp 191-232, at pp 197-199 (Perth: University of Western Australia Press, 1979, ISBN 0855641495). In this database, candidates with the support of the National League are referred to as affiliated with the Nationalist Party even though some references -- and contemporary commentary -- referred to the party in Western Australia as the National Party; the use of the label 'Nationalist' is used to distinguish the party from the National Party which emerged in the 1970s.

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).

Sources

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.



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