Electoral district of West Perth

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West Perth
Western AustraliaLegislative Assembly
State Western Australia
Dates current 1890–1962
Namesake North Perth
Demographic North Metropolitan

The Electoral district of West Perth was a Legislative Assembly electorate in the state of Western Australia. The district was named for its location immediately to the west of the central business district of Perth.

West Perth was created as one of the initial 30 single-member districts, and one of only six in the Perth-Fremantle area,[1] and its first member, elected in 1890, was Timothy Quinlan, a Perth city councillor and publican at the Shamrock Hotel. Quinlan became embroiled in a controversy regarding provision of state aid to private schools, which he and fellow Catholic MLAs Thomas Molloy and Alfred Canning supported. The Catholic Vicar General, Father Anselm Bourke, established the Education Defence League with their assistance. However, the issue became a major one in the 1894 election amongst the voting public, and all three MLAs lost their seats, Quinlan losing to former Fremantle mayor Barrington Wood.[2] Wood was defeated in the 1901 elections by George Leake, the former opposition leader who was able to form a ministry and become the third Premier of Western Australia. The seat had several other notable members—the first female member of Parliament in Western Australia, Edith Cowan; the Attorney-General in the second Mitchell Ministry, Thomas Davy, who was widely considered to be leadership material until his death while playing cards at the Savoy Hotel in 1933, and Robert Ross McDonald, the leader of the Nationalist Party from 1938 until 1946 and one of the key architects of the Western Australian division of the Liberal Party, established in 1945.

The seat was generally safe for non-Labor candidates and parties throughout its existence, although a redistribution following the abolition of the seat of Perth prior to the 1950 election, which extended the seat east to Barrack Street, enabled Labor to hold the seat for its final three terms. Its final member, Stanley Heal, successfully transferred to the recreated seat of Perth following West Perth's abolition in a redistribution in 1961 ahead of the 1962 election

Members for West Perth[edit]

Member Party Term
  Timothy Quinlan Non-aligned 1890–1894
  Barrington Wood Ministerialist 1894–1901
  George Leake Oppositionist 1901–1902
  Charles Moran Independent 1902–1905
  Frederick Illingworth Ministerialist 1905–1907
  Thomas Draper Ministerialist 1907–1911
  Eben Allen Liberal 1911–1917
  Thomas Draper Nationalist 1917–1921
  Edith Cowan Nationalist 1921–1924
  Thomas Davy Nationalist 1924–1933
  Robert Ross McDonald Nationalist 1933–1945
  Liberal 1945–1949
  Liberal Country League 1949–1950
  Joseph Totterdell Liberal Country League 1950–1953
  Stanley Heal Labor 1953–1962


  1. ^ de Garis, Brian (1981). "Self-government and the evolution of party politics". In Stannage, C.T. A New History of Western Australia. Nedlands: University of Western Australia Press. p. 336. ISBN 0-85564-170-3. 
  2. ^ de Garis (1981), p.342-343.