ID 0215

State Government of Western Australia beginning 27 May 1901 - period in office of Premier Leake, George ending on 21 November 1901

Period in office of premier (see Glossary entry for 'period in office' and related terms)

Leake, George
Date of beginning of period in office
27 May 1901
Date of end of period in office
21 November 1901 
Reason for end of preceding period in office
Loss of general election 
Reason for end of this government
Defeat in parliament
Number of days in office

Parliamentary support during period

Party affiliation of premier at start of period
If coalition government
Coalition partner 1
Coalition partner 2
Coalition partner 3
Coalition partner 4
Party support in parliament at beginning of period
If change in parliamentary support during period
If further change during period

Number of ministers at beginning of period (this may vary during the period)

Total number of ministers
Number from party of premier
Number from coalition party 1
Number from coalition party 2
Number from upper house
Number who are women

Assembly elections contested as premier or after which became premier (see Glossary entry for 'after election')

* to view table drag left or right.
Election Premier at election Premier's party Premier after election Premier's party
WA 24 April 1901George ThrossellMinisterialistsGeorge LeakeMinisterialists

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Loss of general election (Throssell): Beginning of Leake's first period in office: 'The Throssell ministry lost its majority at the April 1901 election in which two Ministers were defeated. At the first meeting on 17 May of Government supporters only sixteen members attended, and Throssell resigned on the 21st. [Frederick] Illingworth, as Leader of the Opposition was sent for. Leake refused to join his ministry and insisted on receiving the Premiership; Illingworth then arranged the ministry in which he took the Treasury and Leake became Premier, with the support of Labor members', Hughes and Graham, p. 224, (see 'Sources', below).

Defeat in parliament: 'The fluid state of politics was graphically illustrated when Parliament met in June 1901, for only 8 Members on each side chose seats on the direct ministerial or Opposition benches, the remaining 34 crowding into the cross-benches', Brian de Garis, pp 82-83 (see 'References', below). The Leake minority government continued with difficulty for five months and, on 9 October 1901, was defeated on a vote of confidence moved by Henry Piesse, the Leader of the Opposition group.

Ministerialists: During the 1890s, 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 often applied to groupings which, for a variety of reasons, supported a particular government. Hughes and Graham (p. 224, see 'Sources', below) label the Leake ministry as 'Liberal', but the term reflects the predisposition of the Premier and his supporting group rather than a party organization.

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).

References: For a study of the style of parliamentary politics at the time, 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.

Summary information on Western Australian premiers from 1890 to 1982 and a short essay, 'The Premiers -- An Introductory Comment', can be found in Reid and Oliver (see 'Sources', below).

For a survey of Leake's career, see B K de Garis, 'Leake, George (1856 - 1902)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 10, pp 37-39, (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1986), on line at:


Colin A Hughes and B D Graham, A Handbook of Australian Government and Politics 1890-1964, (Canberra: Australian National University Press, 1968, SBN 708102700); John Mandy and David Black (editors),The Western Australian Parliamentary Handbook Centenary Edition, (Perth: Parliamentary History Project, Parliament of Western Australia, 1990, ISBN 0731697847); G S Reid and M R Oliver, The Premiers of Western Australia 1890-1982, (Perth: University of Western Australia Press, 1982, ISBN 0855642149).