ID 0327

Parliament of New South Wales, Assembly election

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General election for the Assembly New South Wales 
Date of election (or first day of voting at elections held over more than one day) 1 May 1976

Government in office and parliamentary support before and after the election

Government in office at election

Premier in office at date of election. (check notes to see if change of Premier since previous election) Eric Archibald Willis
Premier's party affiliation Liberal Party 
Assembly support for government at election Coalition  
If coalition, coalition partner(s) Country Party  

Government in office after election

Premier in office after election. Neville Kenneth Wran
Premier's party affiliation Australian Labor Party
Assembly support for government after election Majority 
If coalition, coalition partner(s)  

Enrolment and voting

Total number of voters on the roll 2,989,786 
Number of Assembly seats 99 
Number of uncontested seats
If uncontested seats, number of voters on the roll in uncontested seats 46,538 
Number of voters on the roll in contested seats 2,943,248 
Total ballots cast (may differ from number of votes in multiple voting systems) 2,745,749 
Turnout (rate of voting in contested seats) 93.29% 
Total valid votes 2,697,529 
Rate of informal (invalid) voting 1.76%
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system Not applicable
Electoral system Universal franchise at 18 years (from 1973); single member districts; preferential voting (AV); compulsory preferences; compulsory voting 


New South Wales, Assembly votes and seats won

Election held on 1 May 1976
Criteria for the inclusion of parties in this table are set out in the Glossary under 'listed party'

Party Name First preference vote n First preference vote share % Change from previous election % Seats won n Uncontested seats held n Seat share %
Australian Labor Party 1,342,038  49.75  +6.82     50  50.51 
Liberal Party 978,886  36.29  +2.44     30  30.30 
Country Party 270,603  10.03  -0.45     18  18.18 
Independents 78,290  2.90  +0.36     1.01 
Australia Party 7,407  0.27  -3.93        
Communist Party 2,220  0.08  *        
Votes for other than listed parties 18,085  0.67  +0.64          
Totals 2,697,529  100.00    99  100.00 

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* Party did not contest previous election or did not meet criteria for listing, or contested previous election under a different party name.


Premier in office at election: There had been two changes of premier since the previous election; Premier Askin announced his retirement in December 1975 and his replacement, Lewis, was commissioned as Premier of a Liberal Party and National Party coalition government on 3 January 1976. Lewis lost the confidence of his parliamentary colleagues in the Liberal Party and was replaced as leader by Willis who took office as Premier on 23 January 1976; see Bennett, pp. 115-119 (see 'Reference', below) and the entries for Lewis and Willis in the 'Governments' section of this website.

Reference: For a comprehensive survey of this election and the preceding period, see Scott Bennett, '1976', in Michael Hogan and David Clune (editors), The People's Choice: Electoral Politics in 20th Century New South Wales, vol. 3 (1968-1999), pp. 111-146, (Sydney: Parliament of New South Wales and University of Sydney, 2001, ISBN 0909907412).


Colin A Hughes, A Handbook of Australian Government and Politics 1975-1984, pp. 189-196, (Rushcutters Bay, NSW: Australian National University Press, 1986, ISBN 008033038X); New South Wales, Parliament, The New South Wales Parliamentary Record: Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly, 1824-1999, vol. VI, pp. 7-15, (Sydney: Parliament of New South Wales, 1999).