ID 1294

Parliament of Western Australia Legislative Council election

Election of 6 September 2008

Show only vote and seat summary details

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Election for the Legislative Council
Western Australia
Date of election
6 September 2008
Type of Legislative Council election
Four yearly periodic elections for all seats
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
Not applicable
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
Not applicable
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
Adult franchise at 18 years; 6 multimember districts; proportional representation by the single transferable vote method (STV), compulsory preferences; above the line voting permitted, compulsory voting (see notes)

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

Display Chart

Elections held in 6 September 2008
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 %
Liberal Party  34  443,064  39.60  +2.48  16  44.44    16  44.44 
Australian Labor Party  34  404,389  36.14  -7.21  11  30.56    11  30.56 
Greens WA  14  123,942  11.08  +3.56  11.11    11.11 
National Party  17  59,505  5.32  +3.13  13.89    13.89 
Family First  11  28,149  2.52  +0.51         
Christian Democratic Party  12  25,962  2.32  +0.04         
Independents  23  16,480  1.47  +0.21         
One Nation  7,012  0.63  -0.96         
Daylight Saving Party  6,806  0.61         
Citizens Electoral Council  12  2,975  0.27  +0.21         
New Country Party  555  0.05  -0.26         
Totals 170  1,118,839  100.00    36  100.00    36  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.


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 and qualifications for candidates: The Constitution Acts Amendment Act (No. 2) of 1963 abolished the property franchise and plural voting for the Legislative Council, making the franchise identical to that of the Legislative Assembly. 'In addition, the qualifications for membership of the Upper House were brought into line with those for the Assembly with the lowering of the minimum age from thirty to twenty-one [eighteen from 1973] and the reduction of the residential period within the state from two years to one year', David Black, Legislative Council, p. 6 (see 'Sources', below). For details of the previous franchise and candidate qualifications, see the notes to Legislative Council elections before 1965.

Terms of members: The Acts Amendment (Electoral Reform) Act of 1987 made major changes to the way members of the Legislative Council were elected. Members retained fixed terms, but the terms were reduced from six to four years. Staggered terms were abandoned, all members retiring on the same date.

The Electoral Act Amendment Act of 1964 had previously ensured that Legislative Council elections would usually be held on the same date as general elections for the Legislative Assembly; see David Black, Legislative Council, p. 6 (see 'Sources', below). This provision did not affect the fixed terms of Legislative Council members; successful candidates at an early Legislative Council election would have to wait until the following May to take up their seats.

Increase in the number of members: From 1989, 34 members of the Legislative Council were elected from six multimember electoral districts. The Electoral Legislation Amendment Act of 2006 increased the membership of the Legislative Council '... from 34 to 36, with 18 representing Perth regions and 18 non-metropolitan regions. The number of members elected from each region was equalised at six, replacing the previous system of electing five or seven members per region', Antony Green, p.1 (see 'Sources', below).

The result of the equal division of Legislative Council seats between the Perth metropolitan area and country areas reduced the malapportionment that had characterised representation in the Legislative Council, but still gave country voters substantially more than twice the voting power of metropolitan voters; see the website of the Office of the Electoral Distribution Commissioners, at: [accessed 22 February 2010].

Electoral System: Another change introduced for the 1989 and subsequent elections was the use of proportional representation by the single transferable vote method (PR-STV) for the election of members of the Legislative Council. The Electoral (Procedures) Amendment Act of 1987 enabled party names to be printed on ballot papers, and provided for above the line voting at Legislative Council elections. For information on previous Legislative Council electoral systems, see the notes to Legislative Council elections before 1989.

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. With the abolition of staggered terms from 1989 (see notes above), the seats held by party will be the same as seats won by party.

Daylight Saving Party: The introduction of a trial period of daylight saving in Western Australia had become contentious. A subsequent referendum on the issue held on 16 May 2009 rejected daylight saving, more than 54 percent of voters voting against the proposal.

References: The Australian Journal of Politics and History has provided short surveys of Western Australian politics since 1955 (including parliamentary politics) in the 'Political Chronicle' section of the journal in issues of each annual volume. This publication can be viewed online through Wiley-Blackwell Journals at subscribing libraries.


Antony Green, Western Australian State Election 2008: Analysis of Results, Western Australian Parliamentary Library, Election Paper Series 1/2009 (Perth, Western Australian Parliamentary Library, March 2009, ISBN 9781921243844); also online at:

See also, Western Australian Electoral Commission website, '2008 State Election Details', at:
and 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).