The election was the second for the Ministerialist government of Digby Denham, who had been premier since 7 February 1911. The opposition Labor Party, led by T. J. Ryan, had two previous Premiers — Anderson Dawson in 1899 and William Kidston in 1906 — but the former did not command a majority of parliamentary support, while the latter maintained it by splitting the Labor Party. Labor had never before held majority government.
The election was the first in Australia to be conducted using compulsory voting due to Denham's concern that Trade Unions were effectively mobilising the ALP vote; he felt that compulsory voting would ensure a more level playing field. However, it turned out that the change to compulsory voting was not enough to save Denham's premiership.
The election resulted in the defeat of the government, and Queensland's first majority Labor government. All except two members of the Ministry up for election, including Denham himself, lost their seats.
1 335,195 electors were enrolled to vote at the election, but 8 seats (11.1% of the total) were uncontested—6 Labor seats representing 24,564 enrolled voters, one Ministerialist seat representing 3,999 voters, and one Farmers' Union seat representing 4,571 voters.