1944 Swan state by-election

A by-election for the seat of Swan in the Legislative Assembly of Western Australia was held on 29 April 1944. It was triggered by the death of the sitting member, Richard Sampson of the Country Party, on 16 February 1944. The election was won by Ray Owen, who finished with 60.0 of the two-candidate-preferred vote standing as an "Independent Country" candidate. The runner-up was Howard Sampson, a brother of the deceased member.


A member of the Country Party, Richard Sampson had held Swan since the 1921 state election, and briefly served as a minister under James Mitchell. He died in office on 16 February 1944, aged 66.[1] After his death, the writ for the by-election was issued on 21 March, with the close of nominations on 3 April. Polling day was on 29 April, with the writ returned on 18 May.[2]


Swan state by-election, 1944
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labor Owen Hanlon 1,488 28.8 –8.5
Independent Country Ray Owen 1,377 26.6 +26.6
Independent Country Howard Sampson 988 19.1 +19.1
Country Hurtle Prater 563 10.9 –51.8
Independent John Thomas 465 9.0 +9.0
Nationalist Herbert Yelland 288 5.6 +5.6
Total formal votes 5,169 96.9 +0.5
Informal votes 165 3.1 –0.5
Turnout 5,334 80.4 –12.6
Two-candidate-preferred result
Independent Country Ray Owen 3,099 60.0 +60.0
Independent Country Howard Sampson 2,070 40.0 +40.0
Independent Country gain from Country Swing n/a


Owen joined three other independents in parliament (Horace Berry, Lionel Kelly, and Harry Shearn), although Labor's comfortable majority meant they had little influence. At the 1947 state election, Owen was narrowly defeated by Gerald Wild of the Liberal Party. He joined the Country Party in 1949, and at the 1950 state election won the seat of Darling Range, which he would hold until 1962.[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Richard Stanley Sampson Archived 10 July 2018 at the Wayback Machine, Biographical Register of Members of the Parliament of Western Australia. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  2. ^ Black, David; Prescott, Valerie (1997). Election statistics, Legislative Assembly of Western Australia, 1890-1996. Perth, Western Australia: Parliamentary History Project and Western Australian Electoral Commission. p. 333. ISBN 0-7309-8409-5.
  3. ^ Raymond Cecil Owen – Biographical Register of Members of the Parliament of Western Australia. Retrieved 17 January 2017.