1949 Kurilpa state by-election

The Kurilpa state by-election, 1949 was a by-election held on 10 September 1949 for the Queensland Legislative Assembly seat of Kurilpa, based in the inner southern Brisbane suburbs of West End and South Brisbane.

The by-election was triggered by the death of Labor member Patrick Copley on 18 July 1949. The seat was a swinging seat between Labor and non-Labor, although Copley had held it since the 1932 election and it was expected to be retained by the party.


Date Event
18 July 1949 Thomas Copley died, vacating the seat of Kurilpa.
22 August 1949 Writs were issued by the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly to proceed with a by-election.[1]
29 August 1949 Close of nominations and draw of ballot papers.
10 September 1949 Polling day, between the hours of 8am and 6pm.
14 September 1949 The writ was returned and the results formally declared.


The by-election attracted three candidates. The Labor Party nominated Thomas Moores, the incumbent alderman for the Kurilpa Ward on Brisbane City Council whose boundaries were identical to the Assembly seat. The Liberal Party nominated Norman Brandon, while the Communist Party nominated Anna Slater. It was the first electoral contest held since the Queensland People's Party became the Liberal Party's Queensland branch, along with the Ipswich state by-election held on the same day.


Thomas Moores retained the seat for the Labor Party.

Kurilpa state by-election, 1949[2][3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labor Thomas Moores 5,197 53.56 +1.94
Liberal Norman Brandon 4,274 44.04 –4.35
Communist Anna Slater 232 2.39 +2.39
Total formal votes 9,703 98.63 +0.22
Informal votes 135 1.37 –0.22
Turnout 9,838 87.30 –2.73
Labor hold Swing +1.94


Upon Moores' election, the Kurilpa Ward council seat was filled at a by-election on 12 November 1949 by Colin Bennett, who went on to be the leader of Municipal Labor on Brisbane City Council during the 1950s, and subsequently held the Legislative Assembly seat of South Brisbane from 1960 until 1972.

Moores held Kurilpa until the 1957 state election held on 3 August. He defected to the Queensland Labor Party on 26 April 1957 and on 7 May 1957 was appointed Minister for Transport to replace the outgoing Deputy Premier and minister Jack Duggan. With the loss of his seat at the election, Moores' term in the Executive Council of 3 months and 5 days was the shortest in Queensland since the six-day ministry of 1899.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Legislative Assembly - Writ of Election". Queensland Government Gazette. 22 August 1949. p. 173:880.
  2. ^ Hughes, Colin A.; Graham, B. D. (1976). Voting for the Queensland Legislative Assembly, 1890-1964. Canberra: Australian National University. p. 220. ISBN 0-7081-0301-4.
  3. ^ "Untitled". Queensland Government Gazette. 14 September 1949. p. 173:1131.