ID 0490

Parliament of Western Australia, Legislative Assembly election

Election of 24 April 1901

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)
24 April 1901

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
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
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
Male and female 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 24 April 1901
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 %
Opposition  15,114  40.49  +11.01  20  40.00 
Australian Labor Party  9,658  25.88  12.00 
Ministerialists  7,549  20.23  -28.69  19  38.00 
Independents  5,003  13.40  -6.22  10.00 
Votes for other than listed parties 0 0.00 0.00       
Totals 37,324  100.00    50  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.


Election dates: Elections for all electoral districts were held on 24 April 1901; for details of polling dates for this an other elections, see Black, Election Statistics, pp. xv-xvii, (see 'Sources', below).

Premier in office at election: There had been a change of Premier since the previous Legislative Assembly election in 1897. In October 1900, ' ... whilst introducing his last Budget, Forrest announced that he would be leaving Parliament at the end of the session', de Garis, p. 78 (see 'References', below). He resigned the premiership on 14 February 1901 to seek election to the new Commonwealth Parliament. Throssell was commissioned as Premier of a Ministerialist government on 14 February and '... led the 'Conservative' Ministerialists at the election ...', Hughes and Graham, Handbook, p. 568 (see 'Sources', below). For summary details of these changes of Premier and references on their careers, see the entries for each Premier in the 'Periods in office' component of this website.

Premier in office after election: 'The Throssell ministry lost its majority at the April 1901 election in which two Ministers were defeated. At the first meeting on 17 May of Government supporters only sixteen members attended, and Throssell resigned on the 21st. [Frederick] Illingworth, as Leader of the Opposition was sent for. Leake refused to join his ministry and insisted on receiving the Premiership; Illingworth then arranged the ministry in which he took the Treasury and Leake became Premier, with the support of Labor members', Hughes and Graham, Handbook, p. 224, (see 'Sources', below). Leake was commissioned as Premier of a Ministerialist government on 27 May 1901.

Enfranchisement of women: The Electoral Act Amendment Act of 1899 extended the franchise to women under the same property and residential conditions as men; voters were required to be natural born or naturalized subjects of the Crown, resident in Western Australia for at least six months, 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.

For discussion of the circumstances leading up to the enfranchisement of women in Western Australia, see de Garis, pp 70-72 (see 'References', below), and generally, P Biskup, 'The Westralian Feminist Movement', University Studies in Western Australian History, [University of Western Australia], 3 (3), October 1959: 71-84. Note also David Black and Harry Phillips, Making a difference: Women in the Western Australian Parliament 1921-1999 , (Perth : Parliament of Western Australia, 2000, ISBN 0730744647)

Electoral system and voting: The Constitution Act Amendment Act of 1899 further increased the number of members in the Legislative Assembly from forty-four to fifty members elected from single member electoral districts, and reduced the maximum term of parliaments from four to three years (see de Garis, p. 70, in 'References', below).

Voting '... was by striking out names of candidates not voted for on the ballot paper ... ', Hughes and Graham, Handbook, p. 562 (see 'Sources', below).

Ministerialists and the emergence of political parties: During the 1890s and early 1900s, 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 applied to groupings which, for a variety of reasons, supported a particular government.

At this election (1901), groupings of candidates supporting or opposing the Throssell government and its policies were becoming more clearly defined, leading to the categorizations of successful candidates as 'Ministerialist', 'Opposition', and 'Independent', in the table above, although '... many candidates had only the loosest connection with either the Ministerialist or the Opposition group', Hughes and Graham, Handbook, p. 569 (see 'Sources', below). The success of candidates affiliated with the labour movement (see note below) was to hasten the development of modern partisan politics; 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).

Labor candidates: This is the first election for the Legislative Assembly at which candidates were elected who had affiliation to the labour movement. The votes for these candidates are shown in this database as being votes for the Australian Labor Party even though such an organization had not yet been formed. Several bodies competed to represent the labour movement; see de Garis, p.82 (in 'References', below); and H J Gibney, 'Western Australia', in D J Murphy (editor), Labor in Politics: The State Labor Parties in Australia 1880-1920, pp 343-385, (St Lucia, Qld: University of Queensland Press, 1975, ISBN 0702209392).

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.


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).