ID 0512

Parliament of Western Australia, Legislative Assembly election

Election of 23 March 1968


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)
23 March 1968

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
Liberal and Country League
Legislative Assembly support for government at election
Coalition
If coalition, coalition partner(s)
Country Party

Government in office after election

Premier in office after election.
Premier's party affiliation
Liberal and Country League
Legislative Assembly support for government after election
Coalition
If coalition, coalition partner(s)
Country Party

Enrolment and voting

Total number of voters on the roll
449,122
Number of Assembly seats
51
Number of uncontested seats
14
If uncontested seats, number of voters on the roll in uncontested seats
89,332
Number of voters on the roll in contested seats
359,790
Total ballots cast (may differ from number of votes in multiple voting systems)
331,325
Turnout (rate of voting in contested seats)
92.09%
Total valid votes
321,070
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
3.1%
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system
Not applicable
Electoral system
Adult franchise at 21 years; single member districts; preferential voting (AV), compulsory preferences; compulsory voting


Western Australia, Legislative Assembly votes and seats won

Display Chart

Election held on 23 March 1968
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  145,605  45.35  +2.71  23  45.10 
Liberal & Country League  138,550  43.15  -4.87  19  37.25 
Country Party  16,277  5.07  +0.20  17.65 
Democratic Labor Party  10,456  3.26  +2.32     
Independents  2,808  0.87  -1.02     
Independent Liberal  2,721  0.85  -0.69     
Democratic Party  2,216  0.69     
Communist Party  1,694  0.53  +0.43     
Independent Country Party  743  0.23     
Votes for other than listed parties 0 0.00 0.00       
Totals 321,070  100.00    51  14  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 Brand Liberal Country League and Country Party coalition government was returned to office at this election (1968) with only a net loss of one seat even though the coalition's vote share had dropped by more than 4 percent.

Enlargement of the Legislative Assembly: The Electoral Districts Act Amendment Act, and the Constitution Acts Amendment Act, both of 1965, had increased the membership of the Legislative Assembly by one member to fifty-one.

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 see 'References', below. Note also Douglas Mitchell, 'Western Australia: The Struggle to Adapt', in Andrew Parkin and John Warhurst (editors), Machine Politics in the Australian Labor Party, pp 165-185, (Sydney: George Allen & Unwin, 1983).

Liberal and Country League: In 1949, a public meeting '... attended by several hundred people from various parts of the state approved the formation of the Liberal and Country League (LCL) .... The Liberal Party agreed to submerge its identity in the new party...' David Black, 'The Liberal Party and its Predecessors', in Ralph Pervan and Campbell Sharman (editors), Essays on Western Australian Politics, pp 191-232, at p.218 (Perth: University of Western Australia Press, 1979, ISBN 0855641495). Black argues that this change of name was part of a continuing struggle between the Liberal Party and the Country Party; see 'References', below.

Country Party: Facing unfavorable demographic trends and competition from the Liberals, the Country Party struggled to maintain its representation; 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 181-183,(Perth: University of Western Australia Press, 1979, ISBN 0855641495), and 'References', below.

Democratic Labor Party: The Australian Labor Party and the trade union movement suffered major internal divisions in the 1950s which came to a head in 1955 with a split in some state branches of the Party and the creation of what was to become the Democratic Labor Party; for an extensive study of this period, see Robert Murray, The Split: Australian Labor in the Fifties, (Melbourne: Cheshire, 1972, ISBN 0701516755). For the formation of the party in Western Australia and its continuing effect on Labor politics into the 1970s, 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, at pp 140-143 (Perth: University of Western Australia Press, 1979, ISBN 0855641495).

Democratic Party: This party fielded five candidates at this election. It was formed in 1968 and favoured a free enterprise system, opposition to government funding of non-government schools, and a range of other policies; see Dean Jaensch and David Mathieson, A Plague on Both Your Houses: Minor Parties in Australia, p.82 (St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin, 1998, ISBN 1864484217) [Jaensch and Mathieson refer to this party as 'Democratic Party (3)' to distinguish it from other parties with the same name].

References: For a brief survey of this election and its context, see E D Watt, 'Western Australia', Australian Journal of Politics and History, Australian Political Chronicle, 14 (2) August 1968: 267-269.

For the political context of this election (1968), see David Black, 'The Liberals Triumphant: The Politics of Development 1947-1980', in C T Stannage (editor), A New History of Western Australia, pp 441-470, at pp 445-447, (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 Harry Phillips, 'The Modern Parliament, 1965-1989', in David Black (editor), The House on the Hill: A History of the Parliament of Western Australia 1832-1990, pp 185-262, at pp 186-201,(Perth: Western Australian Parliamentary History Project, Parliament of Western Australia, 1991, ISBN 0730939839).

Sources

Colin A Hughes, A Handbook of Australian Government and Politics 1965-1974, (Canberra: Australian National University Press, 1977, ISBN 0708113400); Colin A Hughes, Voting for the Australian State Lower Houses 1965-1974, (Canberra: Department of Political Science, Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University, 1981, ISBN 909596735); 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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