ID 0519

Parliament of Western Australia, Legislative Assembly election

Election of 4 February 1989


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)
4 February 1989

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'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
957,939
Number of Assembly seats
57
Number of uncontested seats
0
If uncontested seats, number of voters on the roll in uncontested seats
Number of voters on the roll in contested seats
957,939
Total ballots cast (may differ from number of votes in multiple voting systems)
869,100
Turnout (rate of voting in contested seats)
90.73%
Total valid votes
805,230
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
7.35%
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system
Not applicable
Electoral system
Adult franchise at 18 years; single member districts; preferential voting (AV), compulsory preferences; compulsory voting


Western Australia, Legislative Assembly votes and seats won

Display Chart

Election held on 4 February 1989
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 %
Liberal Party   344,524  42.79  +1.46  20  35.09 
Australian Labor Party  341,931  42.46  -10.54  31  54.39 
Greypower  41,525  5.16     
National Party   37,075  4.60  +0.90  10.53 
Independents  23,953  2.97  +1.89     
Australian Democrats  11,509  1.43  +0.77     
Greens WA  2,052  0.25     
Alternative Coalition  1,619  0.20     
Citizens Electoral Council  638  0.08     
Australian Family Movement  404  0.05     
Votes for other than listed parties 0 0.00 0.00       
Totals 805,230  100.00    57  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: There had been a change of Premier since the previous Legislative Assembly election in 1986. While the involvement of the Burke government in failed business activities in what was to become known as 'WA Inc' had yet to develop into a political scandal, Burke chose to resign from office and from the Legislative Assembly. 'On Wednesday, 30 December [1987], the ALP caucus unanimously accepted Dowding as Premier and Parker as Deputy'. Franz Oswald, 'Western Australia', Australian Journal of Politics and History, Political Chronicle, 34(2) August 1988: 229-233, at 231-232. Dowding was commissioned on 25 February 1988 as Premier of an Australian Labor Party majority government.

For the context and summary details of the change of Premier, see the entries for each Premier in the 'Periods in office' component of this website.

Electoral rules and length of parliamentary terms: The Acts Amendment (Electoral Reform) Act of 1987 made major changes to the structure of the Legislative Council, the upper house of the Western Australian Parliament (see the notes for the 1974 Legislative Council election). Changes were also made to the administration of elections, and to the maximum term of the Legislative Assembly which was increase from three to four years; see Phillips, pp 233-234, in 'References', below.

Australian Labor Party: For a study of the Labor Party during this period, see Anthony Sayers, 'Western Australia: Picking up the Pieces', in John Warhurst and Andrew Parkin (editors), The Machine: Labor Confronts the Future, (St. Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin, 2000, ISBN 1864487216).

Greypower: 'Formed in 1983 (?) as a federal party. Issues based around the rights of the elderly...', Dean Jaensch and David Mathieson, A Plague on Both Your Houses: Minor Parties in Australia, p.119 (St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin, 1998, ISBN 1864484217). The party fielded 36 candidates at this election (1989).

Greens WA: The Greens WA originated from groups concerned with environmental and anti-nuclear issues in the early 1980s; see Campbell Sharman and Jeremy Moon, 'Western Australia', in Jeremy Moon and Campbell Sharman (editors), Australian Politics and Government: The Commonwealth, the States and the Territories, pp 183-208, at pp 194-195 (Melbourne: Cambridge University Press, 2003, ISBN 0521532051). The party fielded two candidates at this election (1989).

Alternative Coalition: Formed in 1988 to '... oppose visits of nuclear warships to WA, foreign military bases in WA and uranium mining', in addition to Aboriginal and poverty issues; see Dean Jaensch and David Mathieson, A Plague on Both Your Houses: Minor Parties in Australia, p.34 (St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin, 1998, ISBN 1864484217). The party fielded two candidates at this election (1989).

Citizens Electoral Council: Right leaning party with alleged anti-Semitic views; for information and voting figures, see Dean Jaensch and David Mathieson, A Plague on Both Your Houses: Minor Parties in Australia, p.34 (St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin, 1998, ISBN 1864484217). The party fielded two candidates at this election (1989).

Australian Family Movement: 'Protects and strengthens the economic and legal foundations of the traditional monogamous marriage', Dean Jaensch and David Mathieson, A Plague on Both Your Houses: Minor Parties in Australia, p. 69, (St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin, 1998, ISBN 1864484217); this publication is the source of voting figures for this party which fielded one candidate at this election (1989).

References: For a brief survey of this election and its context, see Franz Oswald, 'Western Australia', Australian Journal of Politics and History, Australian Political Chronicle, 35 (3) December 1989: 465-470 at pp 465-466.

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 226-246, (Perth: Western Australian Parliamentary History Project, Parliament of Western Australia, 1991, ISBN 0730939839).

Sources

Colin A Hughes, A Handbook of Australian Government and Politics 1985-1999, (Sydney: Federation Press, 2002, ISBN 1862874344); 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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