ID 1647

Parliament of Western Australia Legislative Council election

Election of 11 March 2017


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Election for the Legislative Council
Western Australia
Date of election
11 March 2017
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
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
36
If the Legislative Council has staggered terms, the number of seats to be filled at this election
36
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
36

Enrolment and voting

Total number of voters on the roll
1,593,222
Number of uncontested seats
0
If uncontested seats, number of voters on the roll in uncontested seats
Not applicable
Number of voters on the roll in contested seats
1,593,222
Total number of candidates
242
Total ballots cast (may differ from number of votes in multiple voting systems)
1,386,155
Turnout (rate of voting in contested seats)
87.00%
Total valid votes
1,348,675
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
2.7%
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system
Not applicable
Electoral system
Universal suffrage 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 11 March 2017
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  31  544,938  40.41  +7.90  14  38.89  14  38.89 
Liberal Party  33  360,235  26.71  -20.91  25.00  25.00 
Greens WA  15  116,041  8.60  +0.39  11.11  11.11 
Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party  17  110,480  8.19  8.33  8.33 
National Party  16  59,776  4.43  -0.45  11.11  11.11 
Shooters and Fishers Party  16  31,924  2.37  +0.59  2.78  2.78 
Australian Christians  12  26,209  1.94  -0.01       
Liberal Democratic Party  12  23,848  1.77  2.78  2.78 
Independents  15,516  1.15  -0.53       
Animal Justice Party  14,838  1.10       
Family First  12  11,279  0.84  -0.53       
Daylight Saving Party  12  9,209  0.68       
Micro Business Party  14  7,484  0.55       
Flux the System  12  5,934  0.44       
Julie Matheson for WA  12  5,270  0.39       
Fluoride Free WA  12  4,327  0.32       
Socialist Alliance  1,367  0.10       
Totals 242  1,348,675  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.

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 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. 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 'References', 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.

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.

Pauline Hanson’s One Australia Party: Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party ran candidates at this Assembly election under this party name for the first time since 2001. The party in Western Australia had been restructured several times since the One Australia Movement fielded candidates for the 1989 Western Australian Legislative Council election (see the 'Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party' entry under party name). Candidates were endorsed for the 2005 Western Australian Assembly election under the One Nation Party name.

Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party in its original and restructured form has been successful in contesting state and federal upper house elections in several states since 1989; see the ‘Parties’ component of this Database for details.

Shooters and Fishers Party: This Western Australian election was the first time the party has used the party name 'Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party'. The Shooters Party first contested the 1993 Senate election in New South Wales and had representation in the New South Wales Legislative Council for all but one election from 1995 to 2015. Related parties have since run candidates in Senate elections in all states and in some state elections including the Western Australian Legislative Council in 2013 where it won a seat under the name of the Shooters and Fishers Party. The listed name for the party at this Legislative Council election has been kept as the Shooters and Fishers Party for this Database to permit comparison of the party's vote share over time and between states.

Micro Business Party: This party '...laments small business's "insignificant representation in WA Parliament", promising to stand against the sale of assets, including Western Power, Fremantle Port and the TAB. The party also wants reform of payroll tax and stamp duty to be more beneficial to small businesses....' Kagi (see 'References', below).

Julie Matheson for Western Australia 'Ms Matheson cited community anger with Development Assessment Panels — planning adjudication bodies which critics argue take power away from local councils and citizens — as the catalyst for the formation of her own party.' Kagi (see 'References', below).

Animal Justice Party: The Animal Justice Party had run candidates in the Australian Capital Territory and some states for Senate and assembly elections since 2013.

Flux The System: 'Flux The System proposes allowing the public to vote on legislation before the Parliament, using a smartphone application. People could then "trade away" their vote on an issue they are unconcerned about, for a "credit" they could use on an issue of more importance to them. Any elected representatives would then cast their vote in Parliament on the basis of results of that public ballot.' Kagi (see 'References', below).

References: For details of the 1989 changes to elections for the Legislative Council, see 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); online: here [accessed 11 March 2017], and note, 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).

For details of minor parties, see Jacob Kagi, 'WA election: Who are the micro parties and what do they stand for?', ABC News website, online here, [accessed 5 March 2017]

Sources

Results taken from the Western Australian Electoral Commission website, '2017 State General Election', online here [accessed 11 April 2017], and ABC Elections, Antony Green's Election Blog, 'Final 2017 WA Election Results plus a New Electoral Pendulum', 30 March 2017, online here [accessed 13 April 2017].



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