1944 Queensland state election

Elections were held in the Australian state of Queensland on 15 April 1944 to elect the 62 members of the state's Legislative Assembly.

1944 Queensland state election

← 1941 15 April 1944 (1944-04-15) 1947 →

All 62 seats in the Legislative Assembly of Queensland
32 Assembly seats were needed for a majority
Registered585,727 Decrease0.07
Turnout512,767 (87.54%)
(Decrease2.75 pp)
  First party Second party Third party
  FAC, 1938 (cropped).jpg Frank Nicklin.jpg John Beals Chandler, 1945 (cropped).jpg
Leader Frank Arthur Cooper Frank Nicklin J. B. Chandler
Party Labor Country People's Party
Leader since 16 September 1942 (1942-09-16) 21 May 1941 27 October 1943
Leader's seat Bremer Murrumba Hamilton
Last election 41 seats 14 seats New party
Seats won 37 seats 12 seats 7 seats
Seat change Decrease4 Decrease2 Increase7
Popular vote 224,888 88,608[b] 124,437
Percentage 44.67% 17.60% 24.72%
Swing Decrease6.74 Decrease3.29 Increase24.72[a]

  Fourth party Fifth party
Leader Jack Henry N/A
Party Communist Hermit Park Labor
Leader since 1937 N/A
Leader's seat N/A N/A
Last election 0 seats New party
Seats won 1 seat 1 seat
Seat change Increase1 Increase1
Popular vote 12,467 5,521
Percentage 2.48% 1.10%
Swing Decrease0.61 Increase1.10

Queensland Legislative Assembly 1944.svg
Legislative Assembly after the election

Premier before election

Frank Cooper

Elected Premier

Frank Cooper

The election was the first that Labor had contested under Premier Frank Cooper, who had been in office for 19 months by the time of the poll.

From this election, the voting method was changed from contingency voting to First past the post voting. Queensland retained this method for state elections until Preferential Voting was restored by the Country/Liberal Coalition at the 1963 state election.

The election resulted in Labor receiving a fifth term in office, albeit with a reduced majority.

Key datesEdit

Date Event
23 February 1944 The Parliament was dissolved.[1]
24 February 1944 Writs were issued by the Governor to proceed with an election.[2]
3 March 1944 Close of nominations.
15 April 1944 Polling day, between the hours of 8am and 6pm.
27 April 1944 The Cooper Ministry was reconstituted.[3]
29 May 1944 The writ was returned and the results formally declared.
1 August 1944 Parliament resumed for business.[4]

Parties and independentsEdit

Some ructions had developed between some sections of the Labor Party and the party's AWU-dominated executive, resulting in tiny splinter movements which were, however, locally effective. The Hermit Park branch in Townsville, which had dominated the Townsville City Council since 1939, was expelled from the ALP for alleged disloyalty in 1942,[5] possibly due to association with Communists. Tom Aikens won the seat of Mundingburra at the election. Similar forces saw sitting left-wing members George Taylor (Enoggera) and George Marriott (Bulimba) expelled from the party; the former lost his seat to a QPP candidate, while the latter retained his at the 1944 and 1947 elections. Frank Barnes, a colourful identity who supported social credit theories popular since the Great Depression and declared himself opposed to the Labor government, retained his seat of Bundaberg.

Various changes were taking place in conservative politics as well, with the dissolution of the United Australia Party and the formation of the Queensland People's Party (QPP), led by the mayor of Brisbane and member for Hamilton, John Beals Chandler. The two independent conservatives elected in 1941 were both out of parliament by the election — Bruce Pie had resigned to contest the 1943 federal election, whilst William Deacon had died. One of the former United Australia Party members, Louis Luckins (Maree), did not join the QPP originally and retained his seat in 1944 as an independent.

Apart from the above, numerous independent candidates contested with a range of banners, including Democrat, Christian Socialist, Servicemen's Association, People's Party and Independent Country Party, none of them achieving more than a few hundred votes.

Fred Paterson was elected in Bowen, the only member of the Communist Party of Australia to be elected to an Australian parliament.


The election saw a swing away from Labor based on the 1941 election, as indicated in the table below. In net terms, Labor lost four seats, although it still had a healthy working majority.

Queensland state election, 15 April 1944[6]
Legislative Assembly
<< 19411947 >>

Enrolled voters 585,727[1]
Votes cast 512,767 Turnout 87.54 –2.75
Informal votes 9,352 Informal 1.82 +0.02
Summary of votes by party
Party Primary votes % Swing Seats Change
  Labor 224,888 44.67 –6.74 37 – 4
  People's Party 124,437 24.72 +9.11 7 + 3
  Country 88,608 17.60 –3.29 12 – 2
  Communist 12,467 2.48 –0.61 1 + 1
  Independent Labor 12,154 2.41 +0.67 1 + 1
  Frank Barnes Labor 9,970 1.98 +0.93 2 + 1
  Hermit Park Labor 5,521 1.10 +1.10 1 + 1
  Independent Country 1,654 0.33 –0.45 0 ± 0
  Independent 23,716 4.71 +1.29 1 – 1
Total 503,415     62  
Popular vote
People's Party
Frank Barnes Labor
Hermit Park Labor
People's Party
Frank Barnes Labor
Hermit Park Labor
1 655,984 electors were enrolled to vote at the election, but 7 seats (11.3% of the total) were uncontested—6 Labor seats (2 more than in 1941) representing 58,561 enrolled voters and one Country seat representing 11,696 enrolled voters.

Seats changing party representationEdit

This table lists changes in party representation at the 1944 election.

Seat Incumbent member Party New member Party
Bowen Ernest Riordan   Labor Fred Paterson   Communist
Bulimba George Marriott   Labor George Marriott   Independent Labor
Cunningham William Deacon*   Independent Country Malcolm McIntyre   Country
Enoggera George Taylor   Independent Labor Kenneth Morris   People's Party
Keppel David Daniel   Country Walter Ingram   Labor
Logan John Brown   Labor Thomas Hiley   People's Party
Maree Louis Luckins   People's Party Louis Luckins   Independent
Mundingburra John Dash   Labor Tom Aikens   Hermit Park Labor
Sandgate Eric Decker   Country Eric Decker   People's Party
Windsor Harry Moorhouse   Independent Bruce Pie   People's Party
Wynnum Bill Dart   Independent Bill Gunn   Labor
  • Members listed in italics did not recontest their seats.
  • The sitting Independent Country member for Cunningham, William Deacon died in 1943. No by-election was held due to the proximity of the state election.
  • In addition, Frank Barnes Labor held the seat of Cairns, which it had won from Labor at the 1942 by-election.

See alsoEdit



  1. ^ If considered as new party. If considered from the United Australia Party (UAP),  58.36
  2. ^ The leader of the Queensland Country Party (Frank Nicklin) was unopposed in his candidacy for the seat of Murrumba


  1. ^ "A Proclamation". Queensland Government Gazette. 23 February 1944. p. 162:489.
  2. ^ "Untitled". Queensland Government Gazette. 24 February 1944. p. 162:493.
  3. ^ "Untitled". Queensland Government Gazette. 27 April 1944. p. 162:830.
  4. ^ "Untitled". Queensland Government Gazette. 6 July 1944. p. 163:33.
  5. ^ "JCU Library Archives - A.D. Murgatroyd Collection". Archived from the original on 25 February 2012. Retrieved 20 December 2009.
  6. ^ Australian Government and Politics Database. "Parliament of Queensland, Assembly election, 15 April 1944". Archived from the original on 13 April 2017. Retrieved 20 December 2009.