Elections held in 1861
Criteria for the inclusion of parties in this table are set out in the Glossary under 'listed party'
|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)||2||113||100.00||0.00||1||100.00||15||100.00|
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). 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 members' terms: 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). Each member was elected for a fixed six year term from the date of election, even if the election was a by-election. Coupled with the fact that Legislative Council could not be dissolved -- there could be no general election for the Legislative Council -- this meant that a member could choose to force a by-election for his electoral district before the end of the fixed term and win another full six year term. This, together with by-elections prompted by death and resignation, created an uneven pattern of elections at which by-elections were more common than periodic elections until 1870.
Voting: Voting was by striking out the names of candidates on a printed ballot paper until 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).
Missing information for this election: The enrolment figure is taken from the 1856 Legislative Council election. Information on the number of informal (invalid) ballots is not available; 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, ), 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.