ID 0470

Parliament of Victoria, Legislative Assembly election

Election of 13 May 1950

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General election for the Legislative Assembly
Date of election (or first day of voting at elections held over more than one day)
13 May 1950

Government in office and parliamentary support before and after the election

Government in office at election

Premier in office at date of election. (check notes to see if change of Premier since previous election)
Premier's party affiliation
Liberal Party
Legislative Assembly support for government at election
If coalition, coalition partner(s)

Government in office after election

Premier in office after election.
Premier's party affiliation
Liberal and Country Party
Legislative Assembly support for government after election
If coalition, coalition partner(s)

Enrolment and voting

Total number of voters on the roll
Number of Assembly seats
Number of uncontested seats
If uncontested seats, number of voters on the roll in uncontested seats
Number of voters on the roll in contested seats
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 21 years, single member districts, preferential voting (AV), compulsory preferences, compulsory voting

Victoria, Legislative Assembly votes and seats won

Display Chart

Election held on 13 May 1950
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 First preference vote n First preference vote share % Change from previous election % Seats won n Uncontested seats held n Seat share %
Australian Labor Party  546,978  45.29  +4.42  24  36.92 
Liberal and Country Party  491,448  40.69  27  41.54 
Country Party  128,537  10.64  -4.28  13  20.00 
Independent Labor  13,940  1.15  -0.19  1.54 
Independents  8,599  0.71  -2.57     
Independent Liberal  6,952  0.58  -2.25     
Communist Party  6,308  0.52  +0.39     
Independent Country Party  5,071  0.42  -0.19     
Votes for other than listed parties 0 0.00 0.00       
Totals 1,207,833  100.00    65  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.


Government in office at election: At the previous general election for the Assembly held in November 1947, the Labor government was defeated, with the Liberal Party (led by Hollway) and the Country Party (led by McDonald) together winning 47 of the 65 Assembly seats. Hollway was commissioned as Premier of a Liberal Party and Country Party coalition government on 20 November 1947; former Premier Dunstan was included as a Country Party minister as a condition for the creation of the coalition.

There was a change in the partisan support for Premier Hollway in December 1948, marking the second period in office for Hollway. 'At the end of November 1948 a rift appeared in the coalition over settlement of the essential services industrial dispute. Hollway sought [former Premier] Dunstan's resignation [from the ministry] but was rebuffed by the Country Party.' Hughes and Graham 1968, p.132 (see 'Sources', below). 'The premier then effectively issued an ultimatum to the Country Party to declare its loyalty to him and to drop Dunstan, whom he described in a letter to McDonald as "a disruptive force and an embarrassment ever since the Government was formed", from the ministry [reference omitted]. The parliamentary Country Party divided 14 votes all on Hollway's demands and McDonald used his casting vote to reject them, thus ending the coalition government. Hollway then convinced the governor to swear in a ministry consisting only of Liberals.' Costar, pp 232-233 (see 'References', below).

Hollway was commissioned as Premier of a Liberal Party minority government on 3 December 1948. 'It was predicted that this government would be short-lived but it survived until the 1950 election because two rebel Country Party members left the chamber when supply and confidence votes were put.' Costar, p.233 (see 'References', below), and note Wright, p.184 (see 'Sources', below).

Government in office after election: The Governor agreed to a request by Premier Hollway for parliament to be dissolved and a general election for the Assembly was held on 13 May 1950 (this election). Earlier that year, the Liberal Party had changed its name to the Liberal and Country Party (see 'Liberal and Country Party', below) as part of the continuing rivalry between Liberals and the Country Party (see Costar, pp 233-234 in 'References', below). At the election, the Liberal and Country Party maintained its 27 seats, while the Australian Labor Party gained 7 to hold 24 at the expense of the Country Party that declined from 20 to 13 seats. Hollway continued in office as Premier of a Liberal and Country Party minority government and reconstructed his ministry on 19 June (see Hughes and Graham 1968, p.133 in 'Sources', below); Parliament convened on 20 June 1950.

Liberal and Country Party: After Premier Hollway reconstructed his ministry in December 1948 to exclude former Premier Dunstan (see note above), '... the Country Party withdrew their support and assumed the role of Opposition. ... Not all Country Party politicians concurred with this move, however, especially at a time of heightened anti-Labor feeling, and, early in 1949 six of them, favouring instead a closing of the anti-Labor ranks, rebelled. They and their local supporters were eagerly welcomed into the Liberal Party which, in order to accommodate them and, hopefully, to engineer a more complete amalgamation of the non-Labor forces, reconstituted itself as the Liberal and Country Party.' Aimer, p.26, (see 'References', below).

Independent Labor: Three Independent Labor candidates contested this Assembly election in 1947 with one, Charles Mutton, being re-elected to the seat of Coburg (for the circumstances leading to Mutton's running as an Independent Labor member, see Strangio, p.231 in 'References', below).

Independents: Only 3 candidates ran without any party label as Independents at this Assembly election in 1950, gaining less than 1 percent of the first preference, a marked change from previous Victorian Assembly elections; no candidate secured election.

Communist Party: The onset of the Cold War undermined the electoral support for the Communist Party with their miniscule support dropping from the previous Assembly election in spite of the party endorsing five candidates. For information on the increasingly divisive role of the Communist Party in Labor Party politics, see the references to the Communist Party in the index of Strangio (see 'References'. below).

Independent Liberal and Independent Country Party: Five candidates dissatisfied with the two anti-Labor parties ran as Independent Country Party (three) and Independent Liberal candidates (two); none was elected.

References: The Hollway governments are surveyed in Brian Costar, 'Tom Hollway: The Bohemian', in Paul Strangio and Brian Costar, (editors), The Victorian Premiers 1856-2006, ch. 18, (Sydney: Federation Press, 2006, ISBN 9781862876019); for a study of Victorian politics during this period, see Wright, ch. 9 (in 'Sources', below).

The history of the Liberal Party in Victoria is surveyed in Peter Aimer, Politics, Power and Persuasion: The Liberals in Victoria, (East Hawthorn, Vic.: James Bennett, 1974, ISBN 0909595011) and a national perspective of the early years of the Liberal Party is provided in Ian Hancock, National and Permanent? The Federal Organisation of the Liberal Party of Australia 1944-1965 (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 2000, ISBN 0522848737); note also Graeme Starr, The Liberal Party of Australia: A Documentary History (Richmond, Vic.: Heinemann, 1980, ISBN 0858592231).


For this Assembly election (1950), there is general agreement between the three sources below (Hughes and Graham 1968, Hughes and Graham 1975, and Carr) on the total number of votes cast and the first preference votes of the three largest parties. The votes and partisan affiliation of minor party and Independent candidates are all calculated from Hughes and Graham 1975, supplemented by Carr's online Election Archive (for more information, see the notes, above).

Colin A Hughes and B D Graham, A Handbook of Australian Government and Politics 1890-1964, (Canberra: Australian National University Press, 1968, SBN 708102700); Colin A Hughes and B D Graham,Voting for the Victoria[n] Legislative Assembly 1890-1964, (Canberra: Department of Political Science, Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University, 1975, ISBN 070811332X).

Adam Carr, 'Thirty-eighth Parliament Elected 13 May 1950', in 'Legislative Assembly Elections', Victorian Elections Since 1843, Psephos: Adam Carr's Election Archive, online here [accessed 18 August 2017].

Raymond Wright, A People's Counsel: A History of the Parliament of Victoria 1856-1990, (Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1992, ISBN 0195533593)