professional historians australia (south australia)
Home > On this day > May > 9 May 1891 United Labor Party elected to Legislative Council

9 May 1891 United Labor Party elected to Legislative Council

 9 May 1891   United Labor Party elected to Legislative Council

At the election held on 9 May 1891 three candidates of the United Labor Party were elected to the Legislative Council. The three men, D.M. Charleston, R.S. Guthrie and A.A. Kirkpatrick, were the first Labor men in Australia to be elected to parliament.

Charleston was a Cornishman and a craft unionist; Guthrie, a Scot, represented seamen, waterside workers, mill workers and labourers; Kirkpatrick was a member of the Typographical Society and was dedicated to the broader objectives of the industrial and political labor movement. The ULP platform included protection, progressive land tax, industrial legislation, electoral reform and other social improvements for workers and small farmers. The energetic campaign conducted on these issues helped to get them elected.

The Labor group grew stronger over the next decade and in 1905 Tom Price, the leader of the party, became the first Labor Premier of the State.

Jim Moss, The Sound of Trumpets, Wakefield Press, 1985, pp. 164-165.

Tags: Legislative Council, United Labor Party