1908 Victorian state election

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Victorian state election, 1908

← 1907 29 December 1908 (1908-12-29) 1911 →

the 65 seats in the Victorian Legislative Assembly
  First party Second party
  28Georgeprendergast.jpg 22Thomasbent.jpg
Leader George Prendergast Thomas Bent
Party Labor Reform
Leader since 1904
Leader's seat North Melbourne Brighton
Last election 14 seats 49 seats
Seats won 21 seats 22 seats
Seat change Increase 7 Decrease 27
Percentage 34.78 33.94
Swing Increase 1.85% Decrease 31.38%

Premier before election

Thomas Bent

Elected Premier

Thomas Bent

The 1908 Victorian state election was held in the Australian state of Victoria on 29 December 1908 to elect 40 of the 65 members of the state's Legislative Assembly.[1] The other 25 seats were uncontested.

The election was in one member districts, using first-past-the-post voting.


Ministerialists were a group of members of parliament who supported a government in office but were not bound by tight party discipline. Ministerialists represented loose pre-party groupings who held seats in state parliaments up to 1914. Such members ran for office as independents or under a variety of political labels but saw themselves as linked to other candidates by their support for a particular premier or government.

The Labor side of politics was controlled by the Political Labor Council. In 1904 Prendergast became the first leader of the Parliamentary Labor Party. The election saw the emergence of the Commonwealth Liberal Party in Victoria. In 1907, John Murray emerged as the leader of a country faction of Bent's Commonwealth Liberal Party, which opposed Bent's free-spending policies. During 1908, Bent's government began to disintegrate as a result of conflict between country and city interests. After the 1908 election, on 8 January 1909, Murray successfully moved a motion of no-confidence in Bent's government and succeeded him as Premier.


Legislative Assembly[edit]

Victorian state election, 29 December 1908[1]
Legislative Assembly
<< 19071911 >>

Enrolled voters 263,876
Votes cast 164,919 Turnout 53.64%
Informal votes Informal 0.53%
Summary of votes by party
Party Primary votes % Swing Seats Change
  Labor 30,605 34.78 +0.38 21 +7
  Liberal 29,866 33.94 New 19 +19
  Reform League 17,578 19.98 -31.38 22 -27
  Independent Liberal 5,455 6.20 New 3 +3
  Independent Ministerialists 539 0.61 -8.86 0 -1
  Independent 3,952 4.49 +2.13 0 -1
Total 87,995     65  

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Australian Politics and Elections Database: 29 December 1908". University of Western Australia. Retrieved 4 September 2016.