ID 1045

Parliament of New South Wales Legislative Council election

Election of 24 March 1984

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Election for the Legislative Council
New South Wales
Date of election
24 March 1984
Type of Legislative Council election
Transition to elected Council (see note)
Related or previous Assembly election

Government support in Legislative Council at and after election

Government majority in Legislative Council at date of election
Government majority in new Legislative Council

Composition of the Legislative Council and seats to be filled at this election

Total number of seats in the Legislative Council
If the Legislative Council has staggered terms, the number of seats to be filled at this election
Casual vacancies (by-elections) and additional seats to be filled at this election (see notes)
Not applicable
Total seats to be filled at this election

Enrolment and voting

Total number of voters on the roll
Number of uncontested seats
If uncontested seats, number of voters on the roll in uncontested seats
Not applicable
Number of voters on the roll in contested seats
Total number of candidates
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
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system
Not applicable
Electoral system
Adult franchise (at 18 years), statewide (at large) voting with a third of the seats to be elected at each election, proportional representation by STV, optional preferences (but a minimum of 10 preferences to be indicated), compulsory voting (see notes)

New South Wales, Legislative Council votes and seats won, and seats held

Display Chart

Elections held in 24 March 1984
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 Candidates n First preference vote n First preference vote share % Change from previous election % Seats won by party n Seats won by party % Seats held by party n Seats held by party %
Australian Labor Party  10  1,348,348  46.88  -4.90  46.67  24  53.33 
Liberal Party - National Party (joint ticket)  10  1,225,519  42.61  46.67     
Call to Australia  175,068  6.09  -3.02  6.67  4.44 
Australian Democrats  90,634  3.15  -0.88    2.22 
Concerned Citizens  14,036  0.49       
Independents  12,028  0.42  +0.35       
Progress Party  6,416  0.22  +0.11       
Silent Majority  3,899  0.14       
Liberal Party              11  24.44 
National Party              15.56 
Totals 43  2,875,948  100.00    15  100.00  45  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.


History of the Legislative Council: For information and references on the evolution of the Legislative Council, see the note for the 1978 Legislative Council election.

Electoral system: The reform proposals agreed to in 1978 stipulated that the Legislative Council was to be reduced from 60 indirectly elected members to 45 directly elected members over three elections. Under transitional arrangements, 32 of the indirectly elected members retired at the 1978 election to be replaced by 15 new elected members, making a total membership of 43 after the 1978 election; of the remaining 28 indirectly elected members, 14 retired at the 1981 election and 14 at the 1984 election. After the 1981 election there were 44 members of the Legislative Council and the Council reached its full membership of 45 after the 1984 election. Members were elected for three Legislative Assembly terms, originally a maximum of 9 years but, after the extension of the Legislative Assembly terms to 4 years from 1984, the maximum term for members of the Legislative Council became 12 years. A third of the membership retired at every Legislative Council election which was to be held at the same time as general elections for the Assembly. The state was one electoral district (see at large election) and members were elected using proportional representation by the single transferable vote method (STV) with optional preferences above a minimum of 10 ranked candidates; see Clune and Griffith, pp. 503-515, and Twomey, pp. 346-350, (see 'References', below), and Green (in 'Sources', below).

National Party and National Country Party: The National Country Party changed its name to the National Party in 1982; see Turner, p. 231 (see 'References', below).

Liberal and National parties: As with Senate contests in New South Wales, the Liberal Party and the National Party ran a joint ticket for the Legislative Council election, combining candidates from both parties; see seats won by ticket, seats won by party, and seats held by party.

Independents: The votes for Independents at this election shown in the table above are the votes for the 6 candidates who ran without party or group affiliation in the ungrouped category on the ballot paper.

References: A comprehensive study of the Legislative Council's history and operation can be found in David Clune and Gareth Griffith, Decision and Deliberation: The Parliament of New South Wales 1856-2003, (Sydney: Federation Press, 2006, ISBN 186287591X), and Anne Twomey, The Constitution of New South Wales, (Sydney: Federation Press, 2004, ISBN 1862875162).

For a survey of this election and the preceding period, see Ken Turner, '1984', in Michael Hogan and David Clune (editors), The People's Choice: Electoral Politics in 20th Century New South Wales, vol. 3 (1968-1999), pp. 215-249, (Sydney: Parliament of New South Wales and University of Sydney, 2001, ISBN 0909907412); pp. 242-243, 246-247 and 249, deal with issues directly relating to the Legislative Council election.


Antony Green, Electing the New South Wales Legislative Council 1978 to 1995: Past Results and Future Prospects, (Sydney: New South Wales Parliamentary Library, Background Paper No. 1995/2, ISSN 8017-3796; ISBN 724095686); Colin A Hughes, A Handbook of Australian Government and Politics 1975-1984, p. 196, (Rushcutters Bay, NSW: Australian National University Press, 1986, ISBN 008033038X).