Election held on 28 June 1904
Criteria for the inclusion of parties in this table are set out in the Glossary under 'listed party'
|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||28,122||42.57||+16.70||22||5||44.00|
|Votes for other than listed parties||0||0.00||0.00|
* 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 28 June 1904; 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 three changes of Premier since the previous Legislative Assembly election in April 1901. Leake had been commissioned as Premier after the 1901 election but his government was defeated on a vote of confidence in the Legislative Assembly on 9 October 1901. After some negotiation, Morgans became Premier on 21 November 1901 but, on losing three ministerial by-elections lost his majority support in the Assembly, and resigned as Premier on 23 December 1901. Leake was then recommissioned as Premier but died in office six months later in June 1902, and was replaced by James who was commissioned as Premier of a Ministerialist government on 1 July 1902.
For the context and 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: 'Following the June 1904 election, the Ministerialists found themselves in a minority. A motion moved by Daglish, Leader of the Opposition and of the Labor Party, amending the Address-in-reply [a confidence vote], was carried 27-19 on 9 August. Independent members voted with Labor. James then resigned and Daglish was commissioned', Hughes and Graham, Handbook, p. 226 (see 'Sources', below). Daglish became Premier of a minority Australian Labor Party government, the first Labor government in Western Australia.
Franchise and electoral system: The Electoral Act Amendment Act of 1899 had extended the franchise to women under the same property and resdiential 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).
The Electoral Act 1904 abolished plural voting for Legislative Assembly elections (it remained for Legislative Council elections until 1964).
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 (1904), politics began to be polarized between Ministerialist candidates, some of whom ran as 'Liberals', and those affiliated with the labour movement (see below); those candidates who ran as Liberals '... were supported by the National Political League formed in March 1904', Hughes and Graham, Handbook, p. 570 (see 'Sources', 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).
Australian Labor Party: Candidates affiliated with labour organizations contested 33 electoral districts at this election (1904) and won 22 seats, more than any other party grouping. The party was able to gain enough parliamentary support after the election to replace the James Ministerialist government with a minority Australian Labor Party government; see de Garis, 88 (see, 'References', below); for a study of the growth of the Labor Party in Western Australia, see 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), and note Ralph Pervan and Douglas Mitchell, 'The Changing Nature of the Australian Labor Party', in Ralph Pervan and Campbell Sharman (editors), Essays on Western Australian Politics, pp 129-158, (Perth: University of Western Australia Press, 1979, ISBN 0855641495).
Independents: 'During the term of the Leake ministry, the Government and Opposition drew closer together; by the 1904 election the old Forrest 'Conservative' group had become 'Independents' in name', Hughes and Graham, Handbook, p. 570 (see 'Sources', below).
Votes for Independents and Independent Labor Party: Voting figures at this election (1904) for these party groupings in the table above have been calculated from Hughes and Graham, Voting, (see 'Sources', below).
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).