ID 1027

Parliament of New South Wales, Legislative Assembly election

Election of 1 February 1889

Show only vote and seat summary details

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General election for the Legislative Assembly
New South Wales
Date of election (or first day of voting at elections held over more than one day)
1 February 1889

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)
Premier's party affiliation
Protectionist Party
Legislative Assembly support for government at election
If coalition, coalition partner(s)

Government in office after election

Premier in office after election.
Premier's party affiliation
Free Trade Party
Legislative Assembly support for government after election
If coalition, coalition partner(s)

Enrolment and voting

Total number of voters on the roll
Number of Assembly seats
Number of uncontested seats
If uncontested seats, number of voters on the roll in uncontested seats
Number of voters on the roll in contested seats
Total ballots cast (may differ from number of votes in multiple voting systems)
Turnout (rate of voting in contested seats)
Total valid votes
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
Not applicable
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system
Electoral system
Male franchise at 21 years; plural voting; single and multimember districts (multiple voting); first past the post (plurality) voting, (see notes)

New South Wales, Legislative Assembly votes and seats won

Display Chart

Election held on 1 February 1889
Criteria for the inclusion of parties in this table are set out in the Glossary under 'listed party'

* to view table drag left or right.
Party Name First preference vote n First preference vote share % Change from previous election % Seats won n Uncontested seats held n Seat share %
Protectionist Party  185,187  50.94  66  11  48.18 
Free Trade Party  178,367  49.06  71  51.82 
Votes for other than listed parties 0 0.00 0.00       
Totals 363,554  100.00    137  13  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.


Election dates: Elections were held over the period from 1 to 16 February 1889 (nominations were open from 25 January to 12 February 1889).

Premier in office at election: Dibbs had replaced Parkes as premier just before the election. The Parkes government had been defeated in a snap vote in the Legislative Assembly and, even though Parkes maintained the support of a majority of members, he chose to resign. Dibbs was then commissioned as premier but his government was immediately defeated in the Legislative Assembly and called an election; for details and references, see the entries for these premiers in the 'Governments' section of this website.

Electoral system: Electoral legislation had been passed in 1880 which allowed extra members to be added to electoral districts as their population grew; see Clune and Griffith, p. 34, (see 'Sources', below). At this election the Assembly had 137 members chosen from 37 single member electoral districts, 19 two-member districts, 10 three-member districts, and 8 four-member districts (74 electoral districts in total). For information on the electoral system established by the 1858 Electoral Act, much of which applied to this election, see the notes to the 1859 New South Wales Legislative Assembly election.

Parties: Dibbs was premier as leader of the Protectionist Party supported by ministerialists, and Parkes won the election as leader of the Free Trade Party, also supported by ministerialists. For a description and analysis of the style of parliamentary government in this period and the emergence of political parties, see P Loveday and A W Martin, Parliament, Factions and Parties: The First Thirty Years of Responsible Government in New South Wales, 1856-1889, (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1966); and P. Loveday, A W Martin and Patrick Weller, 'New South Wales', in P Loveday, A W Martin and R S Parker, (editors), The Emergence of the Australian Party System, pp. 172-248, (Sydney: Hale and Iremonger, 1977 ISBN 0908094035).

Reference: For comprehensive information on the Parliament of New South Wales during this period, see Clune and Griffith, ch. 1, (see 'Sources', below).


Election details are taken from the extensive information for each Legislative Assembly election provided by Antony Green in 'New South Wales Election Results 1856-2007', displayed on the Parliament of New South Wales website at: .

Summary electoral information and electoral maps can be found in Eamonn Clifford, Antony Green and David Clune (editors), The Electoral Atlas of New South Wales 1856-2006, (Bathurst NSW: New South Wales Department of Lands, 2006, ISBN 9780975235423); see also David Clune and Gareth Griffith, Decision and Deliberation: The Parliament of New South Wales 1856-2003, (Sydney: Federation Press, 2006, ISBN 186287591X).