1974 Western Australian state election

Last updated
1974 Western Australian state election
Flag of Western Australia.svg
  1971 30 March 1974 (1974-03-30) 1977  

All 51 seats in the Western Australian Legislative Assembly
and 15 (of the 30) seats to the Western Australian Legislative Council
26 Assembly seats were needed for a majority
 First partySecond party
  Charles Court 1953.jpg JohnTonkin1964crop.jpg
Leader Charles Court John Tonkin
Party Liberal/National coalition Labor
Leader since5 June 19721 January 1967
Leader's seat Nedlands Melville
Last election25 seats26 seats
Seats won29 seats22 seats
Seat changeIncrease2.svg4Decrease2.svg4
Popular vote262,621260,805
Percentage50.17%49.83%
SwingIncrease2.svg2.50Decrease2.svg2.50

Premier before election

John Tonkin
Labor

Elected Premier

Charles Court
Liberal/National coalition

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.

Contents

Overview

The Liberal Party won the election after a campaign focused mostly on inflation, industrial unrest, states' rights and education. [1] The outgoing Tonkin government had had a turbulent ride in its three years of office, having only a one-seat majority in the Assembly and being outnumbered two-to-one in the Council. [2]

The 15-month-old Whitlam Labor federal government had proven unpopular in Western Australia which saw it as taking a centralist view towards federal-state affairs, and Whitlam himself was hit by a soft drink can and a tomato whilst addressing voters at Forrest Place during the campaign. The Country Party had tentatively merged with the Democratic Labor Party in the period preceding the election, going to the voters as the National Alliance which put forward a centrist platform—however, they lost both votes and seats as compared to the 1971 election in doing so. Arthur Bickerton, the member for Pilbara, became the first Minister to be defeated at an election since 1939. [1]

To form a parliamentary majority, the National Country Party under its new leader, Ray McPharlin, agreed to form a coalition with the Liberals after the election, and negotiated three seats in the Ministry.

Results

Legislative Assembly

Western Australian state election, 30 March 1974
Legislative Assembly
<< 19711977 >>

Enrolled voters597,335 [1]
Votes cast538,365 Turnout 90.13%–1.18%
Informal votes21,966Informal4.08%+0.23%
Summary of votes by party
PartyPrimary votes %SwingSeatsChange
  Liberal 208,28840.33%+10.67%23+ 6
  Labor 248,39548.10%–0.81%22– 4
  Alliance (CP/DLP) [2] 55,74610.80%–5.55%6– 2
  Australia Party 2,0520.40%+0.36%0± 0
  Independent 1,9180.37%–2.91%0± 0
Total516,399  51 
Two-party-preferred
  Liberal/NA 262,62150.17%+2.50%
  Labor 260,80549.83%–2.50%

Notes:

1 604,222 electors were enrolled to vote at the election, but one seat, Mount Marshall, held by the National Alliance's Ray McPharlin and representing 6,887 electors, was uncontested.
2 The Western Australian Country Party agreed to a trial merger with the Democratic Labor Party prior to the election, known as the "National Alliance". They contested 44 seats including many in the metropolitan area. The Alliance ceased to exist shortly after the 1974 election, and the National Country Party adopted a more traditional strategy for subsequent elections.

Legislative Council

Western Australian state election, 30 March 1974
Legislative Council

Enrolled voters581,784 [1]
Votes cast523,182 Turnout 89.93%–1.28%
Informal votes25,072Informal4.79%–0.33%
Summary of votes by party
PartyPrimary votes %SwingSeats
won
Seats
held
  Labor 235,27147.23%+0.45%59
  Liberal 226,28845.43%+18.07%918
 Alliance (CP/DLP)36,5517.34%–13.66%13
  Independent –5.86%00
Total498,110  1530
Two-party-preferred
  Liberal/NA 267,67251.90%
  Labor 248,04048.10%

1 604,222 electors were enrolled to vote at the election, but one seat, Central Province, held by the National Alliance and representing 22,438 electors, was uncontested.

Post-election pendulum

LIBERAL/ALLIANCE SEATS (29)
Marginal
Bunbury John Sibson LIB0.3%
Scarborough Ray Young LIB0.5%
Pilbara Brian Sodeman LIB1.3%
Murray Richard Shalders LIB1.8%
Roe Geoff Grewar LIB1.8% v NA
Toodyay Mick Nanovich LIB2.1%
Albany Leon Watt LIB3.0%
Karrinyup Jim Clarko LIB4.0%
Fairly safe
Wellington June Craig LIB6.1%
Subiaco Tom Dadour LIB6.4%
Dale Cyril Rushton LIB6.5%
Murchison-Eyre Peter Coyne LIB7.0%
Merredin-Yilgarn Hendy Cowan NA7.9%
Cottesloe Ross Hutchinson LIB8.4%
South Perth Bill Grayden LIB8.6%
Kimberley Alan Ridge LIB8.7%
East Melville Des O'Neil LIB8.9%
Mount Lawley Ray O'Connor LIB8.9%
Safe
Kalamunda Ian Thompson LIB12.5%
Floreat Andrew Mensaros LIB14.8%
Gascoyne Ian Laurance LIB15.9%
Nedlands Charles Court LIB16.8%
Moore Ray McPharlin NA17.7% v LIB
Narrogin Peter Jones NA19.9%
Stirling Matt Stephens NA20.4%
Vasse Barry Blaikie LIB21.4%
Katanning Dick Old NA28.7%
Greenough David Brand LIB28.8%
Mount Marshall Ray McPharlin NAunopp.
LABOR SEATS (22)
Marginal
Rockingham Mike Barnett ALP0.9%
Clontarf Donald May ALP1.9%
Avon Ken McIver ALP4.1%
Warren David Evans ALP4.5%
Geraldton Jeff Carr ALP5.3%
Mount Hawthorn Ron Bertram ALP5.7%
Mundaring James Moiler ALP5.7%
Fairly safe
Canning Tom Bateman ALP6.2%
Morley Arthur Tonkin ALP7.4%
Collie Tom Jones ALP9.6%
Safe
Maylands John Harman ALP12.1%
Perth Terry Burke ALP12.2%
Welshpool Colin Jamieson ALP12.6%
Kalgoorlie Tom Evans ALP13.0%
Boulder-Dundas Tom Hartrey ALP13.2%
Balga Brian Burke ALP13.8%
Swan Jack Skidmore ALP14.1%
Victoria Park Ron Davies ALP14.4%
Fremantle Harry Fletcher ALP16.1%
Ascot Mal Bryce ALP17.2%
Melville John Tonkin ALP19.5%
Cockburn Don Taylor ALP21.1%

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References

  1. 1 2 Hamilton, Barbara (August 1974). "Australian Political Chronicle: January–April 1974". Australian Journal of Politics and History. 20 (2): 256–259. ISSN   0004-9522.
  2. Penrose, Sandra (December 1974). "Australian Political Chronicle: May–August 1974". Australian Journal of Politics and History. 20 (3): 414. ISSN   0004-9522.