ID 0492

Parliament of Western Australia, Legislative Assembly election

Election of 27 October 1905

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)
27 October 1905

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'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; single member districts; first past the post (plurality) voting (see notes)

Western Australia, Legislative Assembly votes and seats won

Display Chart

Election held on 27 October 1905
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 %
Ministerialists  28,189  53.84  +17.15  33  66.00 
Australian Labor Party  18,364  35.07  -7.50  14  28.00 
Independent Labor  2,161  4.13  +2.78  2.00 
Independent Ministerialists  1,943  3.71  4.00 
Independents  1,704  3.25  -16.14     
Votes for other than listed parties 0 0.00 0.00       
Totals 52,361  100.00    50  11  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 were held over the period from 27 October to 13 November 1905; for details of polling dates, 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 1904. After a year in office, the Daglish Australian Labor Party minority government was defeated in the Legislative Assembly over its plan to acquire the Midland Railway. Rason was then commissioned on 25 August as Premier of a Ministerialist minority government. 'With the pitfalls of minority Government fresh in his mind, Rason successfully courted a snap dissolution soon afterwards ...' de Garis, p. 88 (see 'References', below). The election resulted in a substantial increase in the support for the Rason government with a secure parliamentary majority for the Ministerialists.

Franchise and electoral system: The Electoral Act Amendment Act of 1899 had 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).

The Electoral Act 1904 had abolished plural voting for Legislative Assembly elections (it remained for Legislative Council elections until 1964). The Act also changed the method of voting; voters were to mark their votes with an X in the square provided, but ballots marked in the old way by crossing out the name of candidates not voted for would be regarded as valid; see Hughes and Graham, Handbook, p. 563 (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.

This election (1905) '... completed the trend towards a two-party Assembly which James [the previous Ministerialist Premier] had encouraged the year before. The Independents all either lost their seats or were driven into the arms of the ministerialists, who won 35 of the 50 seats .... As was occurring elsewhere in Australia at about the same time, parliamentary politics became permanently established as a conflict between Labor and non-Labor, in preference to other possible patterns', de Garis, p. 88 (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).

Australian Labor Party: 'Labor was caught ill-prepared and its representation shrank to 15, but the establishment of a clear two-party system of which it was the most sharply defined member, was certainly to its long-term advantage', de Garis. p. 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).

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).