ID 1119

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

Election of 14 July 1885


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Election for the Legislative Council
Tasmania
Date of election
1885
Type of Legislative Council election
Periodic elections and by-elections, May to December 1885
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
16
If the Legislative Council has staggered terms, the number of seats to be filled at this election
2
Casual vacancies (by-elections) and additional seats to be filled at this election (see notes)
2
Total seats to be filled at this election
4

Enrolment and voting

Total number of voters on the roll
1,861
Number of uncontested seats
3
If uncontested seats, number of voters on the roll in uncontested seats
1,030
Number of voters on the roll in contested seats
831
Total number of candidates
5
Total ballots cast (may differ from number of votes in multiple voting systems)
613
Turnout (rate of voting in contested seats)
73.77%
Total valid votes
606
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
1.14%
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system
Not applicable
Electoral system
Property and occupational franchise; plural voting permitted; 11 single member and 2 multimember electoral districts; plurality voting; staggered fixed six year terms (see notes)


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

Display Chart

Elections held in 1885
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)  606  100.00  0.00  100.00  16  100.00 
Totals 606  100.00    100.00  16  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.

Enlargement of the Legislative Council: The Electoral Act No. 4, 1870 had created the new single member Legislative Council electoral district of Mersey and, together with the Constitution Amendment Act, 1871 increased the membership of the Legislative Council to 16.

Franchise: The property qualification for the Legislative Council franchise was further reduced in 1884 by the Constitution Amendment Act of that year. Voters for the Legislative Council had to be over 21 years of age who were owners of freehold estate of £20 or more; see Bennett and Bennett, p.8 (see 'Sources', 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).

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: From 1871 to 1885, the Legislative Council was composed of 16 members to be elected from 11 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. Fixed terms and the high incidence of by-elections prompted by resignation or death had created an uneven pattern of elections at which by-elections were as common as periodic elections in the period From 1871 to 1885 (note legislation passed in 1885, with effect from 1886, which altered the electoral system; see the notes to the 1886 Legislative Council election.

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).

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, (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 Cambridge

Date of election
14 July 1885
Type of election
Periodic election
Date of previous election
1 September 1879
Enrolment
129
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
John Lord
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Yes
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
4 May 1885
Type of election
By-election for one of three seats in this electoral district (death of member)
Date of previous election
6 March 1882
Enrolment
831
Ballots cast
606
Turnout (rate of voting)
72.92%
Total valid votes
606
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
0.00%
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system

Candidate
W Crosby
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
344
First preference vote share %
56.77
Elected
Yes
Candidate
W F Brownell
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
262
First preference vote share %
43.23
Elected

Election for the district of Mersey

Date of election
25 November 1885
Type of election
Periodic election
Date of previous election
19 November 1879
Enrolment
300
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 Moore
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Yes
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
Uncontested
First preference vote share %
Uncontested
Elected
Yes

Notes

Transitional arrangements for changes to the electoral system in 1886: As part of the substantial changes to the electoral system of the Legislative Council created by the Constitution Amendment Act of 1885 which came into effect in 1886, the seat of Mersey had a shortened term of only three years; for details and background, see the notes to the 1886 Legislative Council election. W Moore was returned uncontested at this election, but was transferred to the new seat of Russell from 1886, prompting a by-election in 1886 for the remainder of term for the seat of Mersey.

Election for the district of Tamar

Date of election
29 December 1885
Type of election
By-election for one of the two seats in this electoral district (resignation of member; this seat became a one seat electoral district from 1886)
Date of previous election
4 July 1882
Enrolment
601
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 Hart
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
Uncontested
First preference vote share %
Uncontested
Elected
Yes

Notes

Reconstruction of electoral district: The electoral district of Tamar lost one of its two seats and its boundaries were redrawn as part of the redistribution of seats and the increase in the membership of the Legislative Council created by the Constitution Amendment Act of 1885 which came into effect in 1886 (see notes to the 1886 Legislative Council election). W Hart, who was elected unopposed at this by-election under the old boundaries, was assigned to one of the two seats for the newly created Launceston electoral district from 1886.



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