ID 1090

Parliament of Tasmania Legislative Council annual periodic election and by-elections

Election of 1 January 1856


Show only vote and seat summary details

Next election in this series
Election for the Legislative Council
Tasmania
Date of election
1856
Type of Legislative Council election
First election for a fully elected Legislative Council as the upper house of Parliament, 6 to 17 October 1856 (see notes)
Previous Assembly election

Government support in Legislative Council at and after election

Government majority in Legislative Council at date of periodic election
No
Government majority in new Legislative Council
No

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

Total number of seats in the Legislative Council
15
If the Legislative Council has staggered terms, the number of seats to be filled at this election
15
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
15

Enrolment and voting

Total number of voters on the roll
2,988
Number of uncontested seats
7
If uncontested seats, number of voters on the roll in uncontested seats
1,492
Number of voters on the roll in contested seats
1,496
Total number of candidates
21
Total ballots cast (may differ from number of votes in multiple voting systems)
928
Turnout (rate of voting in contested seats)
62.03%
Total valid votes
1,988
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
Not applicable
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system
3
Electoral system
Property and occupational franchise; plural voting permitted; 10 single member and 2 multimember electoral districts; first past the post (plurality) voting; staggered fixed six year terms (see notes)


Tasmania, Legislative Council votes and seats won, and seats held

Display Chart

Elections held in 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 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 %
Independents (No disciplined party groupings)  21  1,988  100.00  15  100.00  15  100.00 
Totals 21  1,988  100.00    15  100.00  15  100.00 


Next election in this series | Display Chart


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

Notes

History of the Legislative Council: In 1825, on the establishment of Tasmania (known as Van Diemen's Land until 1856) as a separate colony from New South Wales, a Legislative Council was set up to assist the Lieutenant-Governor in the government of the colony. The 1825 Legislative Council was made up of the Lieutenant-Governor and six members appointed by the Crown. In 1828, the Legislative Council was reconstituted as a nominated body to advise the Lieutenant-Governor, and was typically composed of six officials from the administration and eight notables nominated by the Lieutenant-Governor, with the Lieutenant-Governor as the presiding officer. From 1851 to 1855, the Legislative Council was changed to a 'blended' Legislative Council of 24 members, 16 elected from a restricted property franchise, and eight officials. When Tasmania achieved responsible government in 1856, the Legislative Council became the upper house of a bicameral legislature, the lower house being the House of Assembly; for details of this period, see W A Townsley, The Struggle for Self-Government in Tasmania 1842-1856 (Hobart: L G Shea, Government Printer, 1951).

Franchise: The franchise for the Legislative Council 'was conferred on males over 21 years who were owners of freehold estate of £50 annual value or who were graduates, barristers, solicitors, medical practitioners, ministers of religion or officers, including retired officers, or Her Majesty's forces'; Townsley, Tasmania, p. 111, (see 'References', below). The franchise had to be claimed annually. 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), and note Bennett and Bennett, pp 5-6 (see 'Sources', below).

Qualifications for candidates: To be eligible to be a member of the Legislative Council, a candidate had to be a male British subjects of at least 30 years of age and qualified to vote for the Legislative Council.

Electoral system and voting for the first election: The Legislative Council was composed of 15 members to be elected from ten single member districts, a two member district (Tamar), and a three member district (Hobart). The term of each member was six years with a third retiring every five years. 'After the first Council election, the names of the new members were put on a members roll by lot, with the first five on the roll retiring after three years. Every three years thereafter, the first five on the roll were to retire', Bennett and Bennett, p.5 (see 'Sources', below). Voting was by striking out the names of candidates on a printed ballot paper until, for single member districts, only one name remained. In the case of this first elections for Hobart and Tamar, 3 and 2 names respectively had to remain after the names of other candidates on the ballot had been struck out. For all districts, if more or fewer names remained on the ballot than the number of members to be elected from the district, the ballot was declared invalid. Votes were counted by the first past the post (plurality) method and cast using the secret ballot (see Newman in 'References', below).

Missing information for this election: Information on the number of informal (invalid) ballots is available for only one electoral district; this may have understated the number of ballots cast and the rate of informal (invalid) voting in the table above.

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.

Sources

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.


Tasmania, Legislative Council votes and seats won by electoral district

Election for the district of Buckingham

Date of election
7 October 1856
Type of election
First election for fully elected Legislative Council
Date of previous election
Enrolment
406
Ballots cast
Uncontested
Turnout (rate of voting)
Not applicable
Total valid votes
Not applicable
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system

Candidate
T Y Lowes
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
Uncontested
First preference vote share %
Uncontested
Elected
Yes

Election for the district of Cambridge

Date of election
8 October 1856
Type of election
First election for fully elected Legislative Council
Date of previous election
Enrolment
150
Ballots cast
88
Turnout (rate of voting)
58.67%
Total valid votes
88
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
0.00%
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system

Candidate
F Burgess
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
63
First preference vote share %
71.59
Elected
Yes
Candidate
J Coverdale
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
25
First preference vote share %
28.41
Elected

Election for the district of Derwent

Date of election
10 October 1856
Type of election
First election for fully elected Legislative Council
Date of previous election
Enrolment
175
Ballots cast
Uncontested
Turnout (rate of voting)
Not applicable
Total valid votes
Not applicable
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system

Candidate
W Langdon
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
Uncontested
First preference vote share %
Uncontested
Elected
Yes

Election for the district of Hobart

Date of election
6 October 1856
Type of election
First election for fully elected Legislative Council; three members to be elected
Date of previous election
Enrolment
646
Ballots cast
440
Turnout (rate of voting)
68.11%
Total valid votes
1,321
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system
0

Candidate
T Horne
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
370
First preference vote share %
28.01
Elected
Yes
Candidate
J Walker
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
308
First preference vote share %
23.32
Elected
Yes
Candidate
E S P Bedford
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
256
First preference vote share %
19.38
Elected
Yes
Candidate
W E Nairn
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
252
First preference vote share %
19.08
Elected
Candidate
C B Brewer
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
135
First preference vote share %
10.22
Elected

Notes

Multimember electoral district: The election for this electoral district was only one of three at which more than one candidate was elected at the same time for the same electoral district; the three members from the electoral district of Hobart were subsequently elected at separate elections (the other exceptions are Tamar in 1856, and Hobart in 1859).

Defeated candidate elected in another electoral district: Candidate W E Nairn, on being defeated at the the Legislative Council election in the electoral district of Hobart on 6 October 1856, offered himself as a candidate for the electoral district of Meander and was elected unopposed on 17 October 1856.

Election for the district of Huon

Date of election
14 October 1856
Type of election
First election for fully elected Legislative Council
Date of previous election
Enrolment
144
Ballots cast
Uncontested
Turnout (rate of voting)
Not applicable
Total valid votes
Not applicable
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system

Candidate
T J Knight
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
Uncontested
First preference vote share %
Uncontested
Elected
Yes

Election for the district of Jordan

Date of election
9 October 1856
Type of election
First election for fully elected Legislative Council
Date of previous election
Enrolment
208
Ballots cast
134
Turnout (rate of voting)
64.42%
Total valid votes
134
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
0.00%
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system

Candidate
E Bisdee
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
86
First preference vote share %
64.18
Elected
Yes
Candidate
J Maclanachan
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
48
First preference vote share %
35.82
Elected

Election for the district of Longford

Date of election
10 October 1856
Type of election
First election for fully elected Legislative Council
Date of previous election
Enrolment
165
Ballots cast
Uncontested
Turnout (rate of voting)
Not applicable
Total valid votes
Not applicable
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system

Candidate
R Q Kermode
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
Uncontested
First preference vote share %
Uncontested
Elected
Yes

Election for the district of Meander

Date of election
17 October 1856
Type of election
First election for fully elected Legislative Council
Date of previous election
Enrolment
315
Ballots cast
Uncontested
Turnout (rate of voting)
Not applicable
Total valid votes
Not applicable
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system

Candidate
W E Nairn
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
Uncontested
First preference vote share %
Uncontested
Elected
Yes

Notes

Defeated candidate elected in another electoral district: Candidate W E Nairn, on being defeated at the the Legislative Council election in the electoral district of Hobart on 6 October 1856, offered himself as a candidate for the electoral district of Meander and was elected unopposed on 17 October 1856.

Election for the district of North Esk

Date of election
9 October 1856
Type of election
First election for fully elected Legislative Council
Date of previous election
Enrolment
151
Ballots cast
Uncontested
Turnout (rate of voting)
Not applicable
Total valid votes
Not applicable
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system

Candidate
J H Wedge
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
Uncontested
First preference vote share %
Uncontested
Elected
Yes

Election for the district of Pembroke

Date of election
13 October 1856
Type of election
First election for fully elected Legislative Council
Date of previous election
Enrolment
136
Ballots cast
Uncontested
Turnout (rate of voting)
Not applicable
Total valid votes
Not applicable
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system

Candidate
J Whyte
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
Uncontested
First preference vote share %
Uncontested
Elected
Yes

Election for the district of South Esk

Date of election
13 October 1856
Type of election
First election for fully elected Legislative Council
Date of previous election
Enrolment
127
Ballots cast
83
Turnout (rate of voting)
65.35%
Total valid votes
83
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
0.00%
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system

Candidate
P T Smith
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
46
First preference vote share %
55.42
Elected
Yes
Candidate
P H Gell
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
37
First preference vote share %
44.58
Elected

Election for the district of Tamar

Date of election
11 October 1856
Type of election
First election for fully elected Legislative Council; two members to be elected
Date of previous election
Enrolment
365
Ballots cast
183
Turnout (rate of voting)
50.14%
Total valid votes
365
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system
3

Candidate
W Henty
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
148
First preference vote share %
40.55
Elected
Yes
Candidate
W S Button
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
124
First preference vote share %
33.97
Elected
Yes
Candidate
A Stewart
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
90
First preference vote share %
24.66
Elected

Notes

Multimember electoral district: The election for this electoral district was only one of three at which more than one candidate was elected at the same time for the same electoral district; the two members from the electoral district of Tamar were subsequently elected at separate elections (the other exceptions are Hobart in 1856 and 1859).




Top