ID 1091

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

Election of 13 May 1857


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Election for the Legislative Council
Tasmania
Date of election
1857
Type of Legislative Council election
By-elections (no periodic elections), May 1857
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
0
Casual vacancies (by-elections) and additional seats to be filled at this election (see notes)
3
Total seats to be filled at this election
3

Enrolment and voting

Total number of voters on the roll
674
Number of uncontested seats
1
If uncontested seats, number of voters on the roll in uncontested seats
165
Number of voters on the roll in contested seats
509
Total number of candidates
5
Total ballots cast (may differ from number of votes in multiple voting systems)
305
Turnout (rate of voting in contested seats)
59.92%
Total valid votes
305
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
0.00%
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system
Not applicable
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 1857
Criteria for the inclusion of parties in this table are set out in the Glossary under 'listed party'

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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)  305  100.00  0.00  100.00  15  100.00 
Totals 305  100.00    100.00  15  100.00 


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Notes

History of the Legislative Council: For information and references on the early history of the Legislative Council, see the note for the 1856 Legislative Council election.

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: Candidates for Legislative Council elections had to be male British subjects of at least 30 years of age.

Electoral system and voting: 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. Votes were counted by the first past the post (plurality) method and cast using the secret ballot (see Newman in 'References', below).

By-elections: The only Legislative Council elections held in 1857 were by-elections, two of which were ministerial by-elections. At one of these, the minister, T J Knight in Huon, was not returned.

Missing information for this election: Enrolment figures for all electoral districts are taken from the 1856 Legislative Council elections. Information on the number of informal (invalid) ballots is not available for the electoral districts of Huon and Tamar; 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 Huon

Date of election
13 May 1857
Type of election
Ministerial by-election (see notes)
Date of previous election
14 October 1856
Enrolment
144
Ballots cast
110
Turnout (rate of voting)
76.39%
Total valid votes
110
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
0.00%
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system

Candidate
R Cleburne
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
57
First preference vote share %
51.82
Elected
Yes
Candidate
T J Knight
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Yes
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
53
First preference vote share %
48.18
Elected

Notes

Loss of ministerial by-election: The minister, T J Knight, was not returned at this ministerial by-election.

Election for the district of Longford

Date of election
19 May 1857
Type of election
By-election (resignation of member)
Date of previous election
10 October 1856
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
W P Weston
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 Tamar

Date of election
16 May 1857
Type of election
Ministerial by-election for one of the two seats in this electoral district (see notes)
Date of previous election
11 October 1856
Enrolment
365
Ballots cast
195
Turnout (rate of voting)
53.42%
Total valid votes
195
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
0.00%
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system

Candidate
W Henty
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Yes
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
127
First preference vote share %
65.13
Elected
Yes
Candidate
T W Field
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
68
First preference vote share %
34.87
Elected



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