ID 1028

Parliament of New South Wales, Legislative Assembly election

Election of 11 March 1856

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)
11 March 1856

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

Government in office after election

Premier's party affiliation
Support from parliamentary factions and independents
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
Property franchise, plural voting, single and multimember districts 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 11 March 1856
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 %
Independents (No disciplined party groupings)  38,044  100.00  54  100.00 
Votes for other than listed parties 0 0.00 0.00       
Totals 38,044  100.00    54  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 11 March to 19 April 1856 (nominations were open from 10 March to 5 April 1856).

First premier: Donaldson was the first premier to take office as head of government under the system of parliamentary responsible government granted to New South Wales by Britain; for details and references, see 'References', below. For a description of the formation of the first ministry, see P Loveday and A W Martin, Parliament, Factions and Parties: The First Thirty Years of Responsible Government in New South Wales, 1856-1889, pp. 6-26, (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1966). This publication provides a description and analysis of the style of parliamentary government in this period.

First Assembly electoral system and franchise There were 18 single member electoral districts districts for the Legislative Assembly, 13 two-member districts, 2 three-member districts, and 1 four-member district (34 electoral districts in total). The community based franchise was derived from 'the representation of interests rather than population' (Clune and Griffith, p. 33, see 'Sources', below). Members were chosen from pastoral districts, counties, towns and Sydney city (the four-member electoral district).

References: For a comprehensive survey of this election and the preceding period, see Michael Hogan '1856', and preceding chapters, in Michael Hogan, Leslie Muir and Hilary Golder (editors), The People's Choice: Electoral Politics in Colonial New South Wales, pp 1-62, (Sydney: Federation Press, 2007, ISBN 9781862876255). 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).