1890 Western Australian colonial election

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1890 Western Australian colonial election
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December 1890 (1890-12) 1894  
John Forrest was elected unopposed to the seat of Bunbury on 11 December 1890, and 18 days later was sworn in as Western Australia's first premier. John Forrest.jpg
John Forrest was elected unopposed to the seat of Bunbury on 11 December 1890, and 18 days later was sworn in as Western Australia's first premier.

Elections were held in the Colony of Western Australia in December 1890 to elect 30 members to the Legislative Assembly. They were the first elections to be held for the Legislative Assembly, which had been created earlier in the year by a new constitution that granted Western Australia responsible self-government.

Western Australian Legislative Assembly legislature of the State of Western Australia

The Western Australian Legislative Assembly, or lower house, is one of the two chambers of the Parliament of Western Australia, an Australian state. The Parliament sits in Parliament House in the Western Australian capital, Perth.

Contents

Background

Historian Brian De Garis describes the 1890 election as "a rather quiet affair". There were no organised political parties (or even factions), and no government to be voted in or out of office. [1] The Legislative Assembly had been established by Western Australia's new constitution, which was enacted by the Parliament of the United Kingdom on 21 August 1890 and proclaimed in Perth on 21 October 1890. Prior to that, the Legislative Council, an only partially elective body, had been the sole chamber of parliament. [2]

Brian De Garis is a Western Australian historian. He edited a number of important texts about Western Australia history. His Masters thesis was about Sir Hal Colebatch His doctoral thesis entitled British influence on the federation of the Australian colonies, 1880-1901 was completed at Oxford University. He taught and was involved in administration at University of Western Australia, and Murdoch University

Parliament of the United Kingdom supreme legislative body of the United Kingdom

The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known internationally as the UK Parliament, British Parliament, or Westminster Parliament, and domestically simply as Parliament, is the supreme legislative body of the United Kingdom, the Crown dependencies and the British Overseas Territories. It alone possesses legislative supremacy and thereby ultimate power over all other political bodies in the UK and the overseas territories. Parliament is bicameral but has three parts, consisting of the Sovereign, the House of Lords, and the House of Commons. The two houses meet in the Palace of Westminster in the City of Westminster, one of the inner boroughs of the capital city, London.

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Timeline

Close of nominations

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Polling day

Results

Only 11 out of the 30 seats were contested at the election, and only two were contested by more than two candidates. [3] Prior to the election, there had been some doubts expressed (notably by Septimus Burt) as to whether enough suitable candidates would come forward. [4] In several uncontested electorates, an informal election was held before the official polling day, in which members of local organisations determined their preferred representative. [1]

Septimus Burt Australian politician

The Hon Septimus Burt KC was a Western Australian lawyer, politician and grazier, the son of Sir Archibald Burt.

Aftermath

The Governor of Western Australia, Sir William Robinson, decided that he would not commission a government until the elections had been held. [1] It had initially been assumed that Stephen Henry Parker would be chosen as Western Australia's first premier, but John Forrest actively sought the position, arguing that he was the only candidate with prior governmental experience (as a former Surveyor-General). Governor Robinson asked Forrest to form a government on 22 December 1890, and he and the rest of his new ministry were sworn in on 29 December. [5]

Governor of Western Australia vice-regal representative of the Australian monarch in Western Australia

The Governor of Western Australia is the representative in Western Australia of the Queen of Australia, Elizabeth II. As with the other governors of the Australian states, the Governor of Western Australia performs important constitutional, ceremonial and community functions, including:

Stephen Henry Parker Chief Justice

Sir Stephen Henry Parker KCMG was a lawyer and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Western Australia from 1906 to 1914.

Premier of Western Australia head of government in the Australian state of Western Australia

The Premier of Western Australia is the head of the executive branch of government in the Australian state of Western Australia. The Premier has similar functions in Western Australia to those performed by the Prime Minister of Australia at the national level, subject to the different Constitutions.

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1894 Western Australian colonial election

Elections were held in the Colony of Western Australia in June and July 1894 to elect 33 members to the Legislative Assembly. Less than half of the seats were contested and virtually all campaigns were fought on local issues, although a few candidates were endorsed by extraparliamentary organisations. The election presented no threat to the government of Sir John Forrest, but its aftermath saw the establishment of a credible opposition for the first time, led by George Randell.

References

  1. 1 2 3 De Garis, Brian (1991). "Self-Government and Political Parties". In Black, David. The House on the Hill: A History of the Parliament of Western Australia 1832–1990. Perth, Western Australia: Parliament of Western Australia. p. 63. ISBN   0-7309-3983-9.
  2. De Garis, Brian (1991). "Constitutional and Political Development, 1870–1890". In Black, David. The House on the Hill: A History of the Parliament of Western Australia 1832–1990. Perth, Western Australia: Parliament of Western Australia. p. 55. ISBN   0-7309-3983-9.
  3. Black, David; Prescott, Valerie (1997). Election statistics : Legislative Assembly of Western Australia, 1890-1996. Perth, [W.A.]: Western Australian Parliamentary History Project and Western Australian Electoral Commission. ISBN   0730984095.
  4. De Garis, p. 65.
  5. De Garis, p. 64.