1947 New South Wales state election
The 1947 New South Wales state election was held on 3 May 1947. It was conducted in single member constituencies with compulsory preferential voting and was held on boundaries created at a 1940 redistribution. The election was for all of the 90 seats in the Legislative Assembly.
All 90 seats in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly
46 Assembly seats were needed for a majority
Legislative Assembly after the election
At the beginning of 1947, Labor had been in power for 6 years under the premiership of William McKell. The urban conservative parties, which had been in a state of disarray at the previous election in 1944 had been unified as the Liberal Party of Australia under the federal leadership of Robert Menzies. However, in New South Wales the state Liberals had lost their two most experienced and capable leaders, Reginald Weaver who had died in November 1945 and Alexander Mair who had resigned from parliament to unsuccessfully contest a NSW senate seat at the 1946 federal election. They had been led by Vernon Treatt since March 1946. In February 1947, 3 months before the election was due, McKell stunned most people in the Labor Party and general community by announcing that he would resign to take up the position of Governor-General. McKell's preference as a successor was his ally in the struggle against Jack Lang, Bob Heffron. However, revealing the residual influence of Lang, the caucus chose his preferred candidate, the Housing Minister, James McGirr. Both parties went to the election with untried leaders. However, residual respect for McKell, continuing economic growth, the popularity of the federal Labor government and the memory of the factional fights among the state's conservative politicians gave Labor a significant advantage in the campaign.
While Labor lost some of the traditionally conservative seats it had picked up at the 1944 election to the Liberal Party, the result of the election was a landslide victory for Labor. Many of the gains of the Liberal and Country parties were conservative members who had been elected as independents at the previous election. They had rejoined the parties when some degree of order had been restored:
McGirr, Treatt and Country Party Leader Michael Bruxner retained their leadership roles throughout the parliament.
There were 11 by-elections during the parliament with a net loss of 3 seats for Labor.
Seats changing party representationEdit
|Seat||Incumbent member||Party||New member||Party|
|Albury||John Hurley||Labor||Doug Padman||Liberal|
|Corowa [a]||Independent||Ebenezer Kendell||Country|
|Drummoyne||Robert Greig||Labor||Robert Dewley||Liberal|
|Hornsby||Sydney Storey||Independent Democrat||Sydney Storey||Liberal|
|Lachlan||John Chanter||Labor||Robert Medcalf||Country Party|
|Lane Cove||Henry Woodward||Labor||Ken McCaw||Liberal|
|Mosman||Donald Macdonald||Independent||Pat Morton||Liberal|
|Nepean||Joseph Jackson||Independent Democrat||Joseph Jackson||Liberal|
|Orange||Bob O'Halloran||Labor||Charles Cutler||Country|
|Oxley||Les Jordan||Independent||Les Jordan||Country|
|Ryde [b]||Independent Democrat||Eric Hearnshaw||Liberal|
|Tamworth||Bill Chaffey||Independent||Bill Chaffey||Country|
|29 March 1947||The Legislative Assembly was dissolved, and writs were issued by the Governor to proceed with an election.|
|3 April 1947||Nominations for candidates for the election closed at noon.|
|3 May 1947||Polling day.|
|127 May 1947||Last day for the writs to be returned and the results formally declared.|
|28 May 1947||Opening of 35th Parliament.|
|Summary of votes by party|
|Combined Liberal/Country endorsement||14,801||0.93||+0.93||1||+1|
- Kendell had won the seat at the 1946 Corowa by-election caused by the resignation of Independent Christopher Lethbridge.
- Hearnshaw had won the seat at the 1945 Ryde by-election caused by the death of Independent James Shand.
- There were 1,713,921 enrolled voters in 82 contested electorates and 138,866 were enrolled in 8 uncontested electorates (5 Labor and 3 Country).