1973 Balcatta state by-election

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A by-election for the seat of Balcatta in the Legislative Assembly of Western Australia was held on 28 July 1973. It was triggered by the resignation of Herb Graham, the deputy premier in the Labor government of John Tonkin, on 30 May 1973.

By-elections, also spelled bye-elections, are used to fill elected offices that have become vacant between general elections.

Electoral district of Balcatta state electoral district of Western Australia

Balcatta is an electoral district of the Legislative Assembly in the Australian state of Western Australia.

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

Like the earlier 1971 Ascot by-election, the Balcatta by-election was of great importance to the Labor Party, as a loss would have seen it reduced to minority government. The party retained the seat despite a 16.5-point negative swing, with Brian Burke (a future premier) outpolling the Liberal candidate, Neil Beck, by only 30 votes on the two-party-preferred count. Burke had been behind Beck on first preferences, but passed him after the preferences of the Australia Party candidate were distributed.

A by-election for the seat of Ascot in the Legislative Assembly of Western Australia was held on 13 November 1971. It was triggered by the death of Merv Toms, the serving Labor member and Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, on 8 October 1971.

A minority government, or minority cabinet or minority parliament, is a cabinet formed in a parliamentary system when a political party or coalition of parties does not have a majority of overall seats in the parliament. It is sworn into office, with or without the formal support of other parties, to enable a government to be formed. Under such a government, legislation can only be passed with the support of enough other members of the legislature to provide a majority, encouraging multi-partisanship. In bicameral parliaments, the term relates to the situation in chamber whose confidence is considered most crucial to the continuance in office of the government.

Brian Thomas Burke was Labor premier of Western Australia from 25 February 1983 until his resignation on 25 February 1988. He was imprisoned for seven months in 1994, after being convicted of "false pretence" regarding travel expenses.

Background

Herb Graham had held Balcatta for the Labor Party since the seat's re-creation at the 1962 state election, and had served in parliament since 1943. He was made deputy premier under John Tonkin following Labor's victory at the 1971 election, but the pair had frequent differences of opinion. Graham resigned from parliament on 30 May 1973 and was instead appointed chairman of the Licensing Court of Western Australia. [1] After his resignation, the writ for the by-election was issued on 1 June, with the close of nominations on 28 June. Polling day was on 28 July, with the writ returned on 17 August. [2]

Herbert Ernst Graham was an Australian politician.

1962 Western Australian state election

Elections were held in the state of Western Australia on 31 March 1962 to elect all 50 members to the Legislative Assembly. The Liberal-Country coalition government, led by Premier Sir David Brand, won a second term in office against the Labor Party, led by Opposition Leader Albert Hawke.

Deputy Premier of Western Australia

The Deputy Premier of Western Australia is a role in the Government of Western Australia assigned to a responsible Minister in the Australian state of Western Australia. It has second ranking behind the Premier of Western Australia in Cabinet, and its holder serves as Acting Premier during absence or incapacity of the Premier. The role was only formally established on 7 December 1955, but had existed in practice since the earliest days of responsible government.

Results

Balcatta state by-election, 1973
PartyCandidateVotes%±
Liberal Neil Beck9,17849.0+15.6
Labor Brian Burke 9,07548.5–18.0
Australia Wilfrid Campin4692.5+2.5
Total formal votes18,72297.5+2.9
Informal votes4782.5–2.9
Turnout 19,20080.7–19.3
Two-party-preferred result
Labor Brian Burke 9,37650.1–16.5
Liberal Neil Beck9,34649.9+16.5
Labor hold Swing –16.5

Aftermath

The Tonkin government was defeated at the 1974 state election, which also saw Balcatta abolished in a redistribution. Burke transferred to the seat of Balga, and remained in parliament until his retirement in 1988. He was elected leader of the Labor Party in 1981, and became premier at the 1983 state election. [3]

1974 Western Australian state election

Elections were held in the state of Western Australia on 30 March 1974 to elect all 51 members to the Legislative Assembly and 15 members to the 30-seat Legislative Council. The one-term Labor government, led by Premier John Tonkin, was defeated by the Liberal Party, led by Opposition Leader Charles Court.

Balga was an electoral district of the Legislative Assembly in the Australian state of Western Australia from 1974 to 1977 and again from 1983 to 1989.

Elections were held in the state of Western Australia on 19 February 1983 to elect all 57 members to the Legislative Assembly and 18 members to the 34-seat Legislative Council.

See also

A by-election for the seat of Roebourne in the Legislative Assembly of Western Australia was held on 6 February 1932. It was triggered by the death of Frederick Teesdale on 14 December 1931.

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References

  1. David, Black (2007). "Graham, Herbert Ernst (1911–1982". Australian Dictionary of Biography . 17. Canberra: Australian National University.
  2. Black, David; Prescott, Valerie (1997). Election statistics, Legislative Assembly of Western Australia, 1890-1996. Perth, Western Australia: Parliamentary History Project and Western Australian Electoral Commission. p. 22. ISBN   0-7309-8409-5.
  3. Brian Thomas Burke, Biographical Register of Members of the Parliament of Western Australia. Retrieved 24 January 2017.