ID 1268

Parliament of Western Australia Legislative Council election

Election of 9 May 1936


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Election for the Legislative Council
Western Australia
Date of election
9 May 1936
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
85,394
Number of uncontested seats
4
If uncontested seats, number of voters on the roll in uncontested seats
28,378
Number of voters on the roll in contested seats
57,016
Total number of candidates
18
Total ballots cast (may differ from number of votes in multiple voting systems)
24,873
Turnout (rate of voting in contested seats)
43.62%
Total valid votes
24,650
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
0.9%
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 9 May 1936
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 %
Nationalist Party (Nationalists)  11,625  47.16  +11.50  40.00  13  43.33 
Australian Labor Party  6,464  26.22  -0.15  30.00  26.67 
Country Party  3,303  13.40  -10.71  20.00  20.00 
Independent Country Party  1,372  5.57      3.33 
Independents  929  3.77  -10.09      3.33 
Liberal Party  651  2.64         
Independent Nationalists  306  1.24  10.00    3.33 
Totals 18  24,650  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. 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: The Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act of 1920 enabled women to be members of the Legislative Council, but age and and other restrictions remained. To be eligible for election to the Legislative Council, candidates had to be 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 Party (Nationalists): For a review of the political and organizational challenges faced by the Nationalist Party in this period, 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 204-211 (Perth: University of Western Australia Press, 1979, ISBN 0855641495). In this database, candidates with the support of the National League and successor organizations 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).

A survey of electoral and party politics in Western Australia during this period can be found in David Black, 'The Era of Labor Ascendancy 1924-1947', in C T Stannage (editor), A New History of Western Australia, pp 406-440 (Perth: University of Western Australia Press, 1981, ISBN 0855641819).

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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