Election held on 20 March 1920
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||252,371||43.08||+0.17||43||0||47.78|
|Nationalist Party (Nationalists)||175,280||29.92||-17.52||28||0||31.11|
|Democratic Party (Catholic Federation)||14,026||2.39||*||0|
|Votes for other than listed parties||10,055||1.72||+1.72|
* Party did not contest previous election or did not meet criteria for listing, or contested previous election under a different party name.
Electoral System: This was the first of three general elections in New South Wales to use the single transferable vote system of proportional representation (PR-STV). The 90 members were to be elected from 24 multimember districts; 'Eight electoral districts in metropolitan areas were represented by five Members each and 15 regional and rural districts were represented by three Members each. Voters were required to give preferences for at least five candidates and could give preferences for additional candidates if they chose', Anne Twomey, The Constitution of New South Wales, p. 343 (Sydney: Federation Press, 2004, ISBN 1862875162).
For the circumstances prompting the adoption of this system and its consequences for parties and voters at this election, see Michael Hogan, '1920', in Michael Hogan and David Clune (editors), The People's Choice: Electoral Politics in 20th Century New South Wales, vol. 1 (1901 to 1927), pp. 181-234, at pp. 183-189, (Sydney: Parliament of New South Wales and University of Sydney, 2001, ISBN 0909907390). Hogan observes that the change to a more complicated ballot structure is likely to have been a factor in the increase in the informal vote (number of spoiled ballots) and may have contributed to the decline in voter turnout.
Minority government: Storey was commissioned to form a Labor Party minority government; even though the Labor Party had won only 43 of the 90 seats in the assembly, Storey could rely on the support of the Socialist Party member, one of the independent members, and the casting vote of the Speaker who, although elected as a Nationalist, was willing to support Storey's ministry.
Defeat of premier: Premier Holman lost his seat at this election and George Fuller became leader of the Nationalist Party.
Progressive Party: This party broke away from the Nationalists and, while its primary focus concerned the protection of the interests of rural New South Wales, it included members who were suspicious of party politics and favoured increased citizen participation in the political process; see Hogan, '1920', pp. 199-204 (see 'Reference', below), and note Don Aitkin, The Country Party of New South Wales: A Study of Organisation and Survival, (Canberra: Australian National University Press, 1972, ISBN 0708100333).
Democratic Party (Catholic Federation): The Democratic Party was a Roman Catholic sectarian party; see Hogan, '1920', p. 223 (reference in following paragraph),
Reference: For a comprehensive survey of this election and the preceding period, see Michael Hogan, '1920', in Michael Hogan and David Clune (editors), The People's Choice: Electoral Politics in 20th Century New South Wales, vol. 1 (1901 to 1927), pp. 181-234, (Sydney: Parliament of New South Wales and University of Sydney, 2001, ISBN 0909907390).
Colin A Hughes and B D Graham, A Handbook of Australian Government and Politics 1890-1964, pp. 423-460, (Canberra: Australian National University Press, 1968, SBN 708102700); New South Wales, Parliament, The New South Wales Parliamentary Record: Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly, 1824-1999, vol. VI, pp. 7-15, (Sydney: Parliament of New South Wales, 1999).