The Labor government was seeking its sixth continuous term in office since the 1915 election; it would be Premier William McCormack's second election. His main opponent was the Country and Progressive National Party (CPNP), led by Arthur Edward Moore. The term had not gone well for McCormack's government, including a railway lock-out in 1927 which pitted the Labor Party against the union movement, restrictive financial policies and attempts to sell off state-owned enterprises, as well as suggestions of corruption which later came to be known as the Mungana affair.
The election resulted in the defeat of the McCormack government, and the first non-Labor ministry since 1915.
1 517,466 electors were enrolled to vote at the election, but 4 seats (5.6% of the total) were uncontested—2 Labor seats (3 less than 1926) representing 9,041 enrolled voters and two CPNP seats (one more than 1926) representing 16,536 enrolled voters.