ID 0502

Parliament of Western Australia, Legislative Assembly election

Election of 15 February 1936


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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)
15 February 1936

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
Australian Labor Party
Legislative Assembly support for government at election
Majority
If coalition, coalition partner(s)

Government in office after election

Premier in office after election.
Premier's party affiliation
Australian Labor Party
Legislative Assembly support for government after election
Majority
If coalition, coalition partner(s)

Enrolment and voting

Total number of voters on the roll
247,465
Number of Assembly seats
50
Number of uncontested seats
15
If uncontested seats, number of voters on the roll in uncontested seats
53,111
Number of voters on the roll in contested seats
194,354
Total ballots cast (may differ from number of votes in multiple voting systems)
136,309
Turnout (rate of voting in contested seats)
70.13%
Total valid votes
134,791
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
1.11%
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system
Not applicable
Electoral system
Adult franchise at 21 years; single member districts; preferential voting (AV), compulsory preferences


Western Australia, Legislative Assembly votes and seats won

Display Chart

Election held on 15 February 1936
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  55,779  41.38  -3.37  26  10  52.00 
Nationalist Party (Nationalists)  43,619  32.36  +1.83  16.00 
Country Party  19,685  14.60  -0.45  13  26.00 
Independents  6,403  4.75  +1.22  4.00 
Independent Country Party  3,028  2.25  -0.54     
Independent Nationalists  2,690  2.00  +0.79  2.00 
Social Credit  1,385  1.03  -0.08     
Independent Labor  1,356  1.01  +0.22     
Independent Liberal  728  0.54     
Communist Party  118  0.09  -0.16     
Votes for other than listed parties 0 0.00 0.00       
Totals 134,791  100.00    50  15  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.

Notes

Premier in office at election: The Collier Australian Labor Party majority government was returned at this election (1936) with a bare majority in the Legislative Assembly after a decrease in both its share of votes and seats.

Australian Labor Party: For a study of the Australian Labor Party in Western Australia which includes this period, see 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), and note R F Pervan, 'Cabinet and Caucus: Labor in Western Australia, 1933-1947', University Studies in History, [University of Western Australia], 5(1) 1967: 1-37, and 'References', below.

Nationalist Party (Nationalists): The defeat at this election (1936) continued the Nationalists' electoral and organizational problems; see David Black, 'The Liberal Party and its Predecessors', in Ralph Pervan and Campbell Sharman (editors), Essays on Western Australian Politics, pp 191-232, at pp 206-211, (Perth: University of Western Australia Press, 1979, ISBN 0855641495).

In 1931, the federal Parliamentary Labor Party in Canberra had split over Depression finance policies, and some members of Labor Party joined with the Nationalist Party to form the United Australia Party under the leadership of Joseph Lyons (see generally, Clem Lloyd, 'The Rise and Fall of the United Australia Party', in J R Nethercote (editor), Liberalism and the Australian Federation pp 113-133, (Sydney: Federation Press, 2001, ISBN 1862874026). The political context of Western Australian politics did not lead to the creation of a WA branch of the the United Australia Party; the Nationalist Party retained its name but cooperated with the federal party at federal elections. As elsewhere in this database, the name Nationalist Party (Nationalists) is used for the Western Australian party even though some references -- and contemporary commentary -- referred to the party in Western Australia as the National Party; the use of the label 'Nationalist' is used to distinguish the party from the National Party which emerged in the 1970s.

Country Party: Organizational changes to the Country Party as a consequence of its major split in 1923 (for details, see the notes for the 1924 Legislative Assembly elections) had strengthened the party even though defeat at this election (1936) had condemned it to another stint on the opposition benches; see Lenore Layman, 'The Country Party: Rise and Decline', in Ralph Pervan and Campbell Sharman (editors), Essays on Western Australian Politics, pp 159-190, at pp 164-167 (Perth: University of Western Australia Press, 1979, ISBN 0855641495).

Social Credit: Some voters '... were attracted to single tax theories and the social credit doctrines of Major Douglas', Black, 'The Era of Labor Ascendancy', p. 422 (see 'References', below), and note Baiba Berzins, 'Douglas Credit and the ALP', in Robert Cooksey (editor), The Great Depression in Australia, pp 148-160, (Canberra: Australian Society for the Study of Labour History, [1970], ISBN 0909944008). The votes shown for Social Credit at this election (1933) in the table above were cast for a single candidate, D Byers, who contested the seat of Fremantle South as a 'Social Credit' candidate; see Hughes and Graham, Voting, p. 340, in 'Sources', below.

References: For the political context of this election (1936), see David Black, 'The Era of Labor Ascendancy 1924-1947', in C T Stannage (editor), A New History of Western Australia, pp 406-440, (Perth: University of Western Australia Press, 1981, ISBN 0855641819).

For an overview of the context of Western Australian parliamentary and electoral politics in this period, see David Black, 'Factionalism and Stability, 1911-1947', in David Black (editor), The House on the Hill: A History of the Parliament of Western Australia 1832-1990, pp 97-151, (Perth: Western Australian Parliamentary History Project, Parliament of Western Australia, 1991, ISBN 0730939839).

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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