South Australian state election, 1944

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South Australian state election, 1944
South Australia
← 1941 29 April 1944 (1944-04-29) 1947 →

All 39 seats in the South Australian House of Assembly
20 seats were needed for a majority
  First party Second party
  Playford portrait 38.jpg Robert Richards (Australia).gif
Leader Thomas Playford Robert Richards
Party Liberal and Country League Labor
Leader since 5 November 1938 1938
Leader's seat Gumeracha Wallaroo
Last election 20 seats 11 seats
Seats won 20 seats 16 seats
Seat change Steady0 Increase5
Percentage 46.7% 53.3%

Premier before election

Thomas Playford
Liberal and Country League

Elected Premier

Thomas Playford
Liberal and Country League

State elections were held in South Australia on 29 April 1944. All 39 seats in the South Australian House of Assembly were up for election. The incumbent Liberal and Country League government led by Premier of South Australia Thomas Playford IV defeated the opposition Australian Labor Party led by Leader of the Opposition Robert Richards.

Background[edit]

Labor won an additional five seats totaling 16 seats − the highest number of seats won by Labor from the 1933 election through to the 1959 election, an effort not even outdone at the 1953 election where Labor won 53 percent of the statewide two-party vote but the LCL retained government with the assistance of the Playmander − an electoral malapportionment that also saw a clear majority of the statewide two-party vote won by Labor while failing to form government in 1953, 1962 and 1968.

The election was the first where the two-party vote had been retrospectively calculated. Unusually a wartime opposition won a clear majority of the two-party vote.

Turnout crashed to 50 percent at the 1941 election, triggering the government to institute compulsory voting from this election.

Notably the Communist Party of Australia in South Australia recorded their highest vote at this election − 19.4 percent (2,500 votes) for candidate Alf Watt in the seat of Adelaide. The party contested one other seat at the election, Prospect, on 15.7 percent. The party only contested a select few seats at each election, the first at the 1930 election and the last at the 1977 election.

Results[edit]

South Australian state election, 29 April 1944[1]
House of Assembly
<< 19411947 >>

Enrolled voters 289,032
Votes cast 255,883 Turnout 88.53% +37.84%
Informal votes 8,229 Informal 3.22% +1.26%
Summary of votes by party
Party Primary votes  % Swing Seats Change
  Liberal and Country 113,536 45.84% +8.29% 20 ± 0
  Labor 105,298 42.52% +9.27% 16 + 5
  Communist 5,136 2.07% * 0 ± 0
  Independent 16,439 6.64% –17.97% 3 – 2
  Independent Labor 5,587 2.26% –0.76% 0 – 2
  Independent Liberal 1,658 0.67% –0.91% 0 – 1
Total 247,654     39  
Two-party-preferred
  Liberal and Country 46.70% *
  Labor 53.30% *
  • The primary vote figures were from contested seats, while the state-wide two-party-preferred vote figures were estimated from all seats.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Specific
  1. ^ "Summary of 1944 Election". University of Western Australia. Retrieved 7 July 2015.