ID 0488

Parliament of Western Australia, Legislative Assembly election

Election of 14 June 1894


Show only vote and seat summary details

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General election for the Legislative Assembly
Western Australia
Date of election (or first day of voting at elections held over more than one day)
14 June 1894

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
Support from parliamentary factions and independents
Legislative Assembly support for government at election
Minority
If coalition, coalition partner(s)

Government in office after election

Premier in office after election.
Premier's party affiliation
Ministerialists
Legislative Assembly support for government after election
Minority
If coalition, coalition partner(s)

Enrolment and voting

Total number of voters on the roll
12,884
Number of Assembly seats
33
Number of uncontested seats
18
If uncontested seats, number of voters on the roll in uncontested seats
3,855
Number of voters on the roll in contested seats
9,029
Total ballots cast (may differ from number of votes in multiple voting systems)
5,515
Turnout (rate of voting in contested seats)
61.08%
Total valid votes
5,105
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
7.43%
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system
Not applicable
Electoral system
Male property and residential franchise, plural voting; single member districts; first past the post (plurality) voting (see notes)


Western Australia, Legislative Assembly votes and seats won

Display Chart

Election held on 14 June 1894
Criteria for the inclusion of parties in this table are set out in the Glossary under 'listed party'

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Party Name First preference vote n First preference vote share % Change from previous election % Seats won n Uncontested seats held n Seat share %
Independents (No disciplined party groupings)  5,105  100.00  0.00  33  18  100.00 
Votes for other than listed parties 0 0.00 0.00       
Totals 5,105  100.00    33  18  100.00 


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Notes

Election dates: Elections were held over the period from 14 June to 3 July 1894; for details of polling dates, see Black, Election Statistics, pp. xv-xvii, (see 'Sources', below).

Premier in office at election: Forrest had become the first Premier of Western Australia after the 1890 election and had maintained parliamentary support for his ministry during the following four years, support that was to continue after the 1894 election; see de Garis (see 'References', below).

Membership of the Legislative Assembly: The Constitution Acts Amendment Act of 1893 increased the number of members in the Legislative Assembly from thirty to thirty-three members, each elected from a single member district for a maximum parliamentary term of four years.

Extension of the franchise, and voting: The franchise for the Legislative Assembly was considerably broadened in 1893 by reducing the property requirements and extending voting rights to those who had been resident in the electoral district for at least six months; for the context of these changes, see de Garis, p. 69 (see 'References', below). Voters were required to be male, natural born or naturalized subjects of the Crown, and to own or have an interest in property worth between £5 to £10, or be a resident on the electoral roll of a local council authority; for details, see Hughes and Graham, Handbook, p. 561 (see, 'Sources', below). Plural voting was permitted if an elector had the required property qualification in more than one electoral district. Candidates for the Legislative Assembly had longer naturalization and residency requirements.

Voting '... was by striking out names of candidates not voted for on the ballot paper ... ', Hughes and Graham, Handbook, p. 562 (see 'Sources', below). At this election (1894), a large number of electoral districts were uncontested (18 of 33 seats, or 55 percent); note Campbell Sharman, ‘Uncontested Seats and the Evolution of Party Competition: The Australian Case’, Party Politics, 9 (6) November 2003: 679-702.

Ministerialists and the emergence of political parties: During the 1890s, factional politics began to give way to political groupings and electoral organizations which foreshadowed the emergence of modern political parties. But these groupings were still fluid. The term ministerialists is often applied to groupings which, for a variety of reasons, supported a particular government. Hughes and Graham (Handbook, p. 223, see 'Sources', below) label the Forrest ministry as 'Protections or Conservative', but the terms reflect the predisposition of the Premier and his supporting group rather than a party organization.

At this election (1894), the existence of '... a reigning ministry gave [the election] a sharper focus than that of 1890, but it was still predominantly a matter of each candidate running his own campaign with the aid of a local committee. Although Forrest had occasionally called meetings of his supporters in Parliament over the previous four years, there is no evidence to suggest he had any say in the nomination of candidates', de Garis, p. 72 (see 'References', below).

For the emergence of political parties in Western Australia, see Brian de Garis, 'Western Australia', in P Loveday, A W Martin and R S Parker (editors), The Emergence of the Australian Party System, pp 298-354 (Sydney: Hale & Iremonger, 1977, ISBN 0908094035).

References: For a study of the context of parliamentary and electoral politics in Western Australia's first two decades of self-government, see Brian de Garis, 'Self-Government and the Emergence of Political Parties, 1890-1911', in David Black (editor), The House on the Hill: A History of the Parliament of Western Australia 1832-1990, pp 63-95, (Perth: Western Australian Parliamentary History Project, Parliament of Western Australia, 1991, ISBN 0730939839), and note C T Stannage, 'The Composition of the Western Australian Parliament 1890-1911', University Studies in History, 4 (3), 1965: 85-94.

Sources

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 South Australian, Western Australian and Tasmanian Lower Houses 1890-1964, (Canberra: Department of Political Science, Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University, 1976, ISBN 0708113346); David Black, Election Statistics Legislative Assembly of Western Australia 1890-1996, Listed Alphabetically by Constituency, (Perth: Parliament of Western Australia and Western Australian Electoral Commission, 1997); and David Black. An Index to Parliamentary Candidates in Western Australian Elections State and Federal 1890-2006, 2nd edition, (Perth: Parliament of Western Australia, 2006, ISBN 1920830774).



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