ID 1086

Parliament of Tasmania, House of Assembly election

Election of 5 September 1872

Show full election details

Tasmania, House of Assembly votes and seats won

Display Chart

Election held on 5 September 1872
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)  3,847  100.00  0.00  32  15  100.00 
Votes for other than listed parties 0 0.00 0.00       
Totals 3,847  100.00    32  15  100.00 

Previous election in this series | Next election in this series | Display Chart


Election dates: Elections were held over the period from 5 September to 10 October 1872.

Premier in office at election: Within a year of the previous general election for the House of Assembly in September 1871, Wilson's government lost a vote of confidence over taxation measures and Wilson offered to resign as Premier. But 'no new government could be formed so an election was required in September 1872', Terry Newman, Tasmanian Premiers 1856-1988: A Biographical Handbook, p, 23, (Hobart: Tasmanian Parliamentary Library, [1988]). The loss of a vote confidence after the election ended Wilson's period in office. For more references on the Premier's career, click on Wilson's name in the 'Government in office at election' table, above.

Premier in office after election: The loss of a vote confidence after the election ended Wilson's period in office and Innes was then commissioned to form a government. For references on the Premier's career, click on Innes's name in the 'Government in office after election' table, above.

Franchise: The electoral system had been modified in 1870-71; property qualifications for voting were reduced for the Assembly from £100 to £50 for a freehold estate, and from £10 to £7 annual rent, and from £100 to £80 annual salary (Bennett and Bennett, p. 7, see 'Sources', below). The franchise had to be claimed annually, and plural voting was permitted for those who had the qualifications for the franchise in more than one electoral district; see Terry Newman, Sandstone and Statutes: A History of the Tasmanian Parliament, (in process).

Electoral system and voting: The number of seats in the House of Assembly had been increased to 32 in 1870-71, all being single member electoral districts . Voters were required to strike out the names of candidates on a printed ballot paper until only one name remained on the ballot. Votes were counted by the first past the post (plurality) method and cast using the secret ballot (see Newman in 'References', below).

Missing data: No record of the number of informal (invalid) ballots is available for 14 of the 17 contested electoral districts at this election.

References: For a description of the style of elections and parliamentary government in this period, see W A Townsley, 'Electoral Systems and Constituencies', and John Reynolds, 'Premiers and Political Leaders', in F C Green (editor), Tasmania: A Century of Responsible Government 1856-1956, pp 59-65, and 115-192, (Hobart: L G Shea, Government Printer, [1956]), and W A Townsley, Tasmania From Colony to Statehood 1803-1945, pp 111-128 (Hobart: St David's Park Publishing, 1991, ISBN 0724625753). On Tasmania's early adoption of the secret ballot in 1856, see Terry Newman, 'Tasmania and the Secret Ballot', Australian Journal of Politics and History, 9 (1) 2003: 93-101, and note pp 99-100 which gives an idea of the context of voting in early Tasmanian elections.


Voting figures and election results calculated from information in Scott Bennett and Barbara Bennett, Tasmanian Electoral Handbook, 1851-1982, (Kensington, NSW: Reference Section of History Project Incorporated, University of New South Wales, 1983). The difficulties of determining the accuracy of early Tasmanian election results is discussed in Scott Bennett, 'The Statistics of Tasmania and the Study of Tasmanian Elections: A Cautionary Note', in Tasmanian Historical Research Association, Papers and Proceedings, 45(4), December 1998: 237-242.