ID 1121

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

Election of 3 May 1887


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Election for the Legislative Council
Tasmania
Date of election
1887
Type of Legislative Council election
Periodic elections and by-elections, March to August 1887
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
18
If the Legislative Council has staggered terms, the number of seats to be filled at this election
3
Casual vacancies (by-elections) and additional seats to be filled at this election (see notes)
5
Total seats to be filled at this election
8

Enrolment and voting

Total number of voters on the roll
4,808
Number of uncontested seats
8
If uncontested seats, number of voters on the roll in uncontested seats
4,808
Number of voters on the roll in contested seats
Not applicable
Total number of candidates
8
Total ballots cast (may differ from number of votes in multiple voting systems)
Not applicable
Turnout (rate of voting in contested seats)
See notes
Total valid votes
0
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
Not applicable
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system
Not applicable
Electoral system
Property franchise; plural voting permitted; 13 single member and 2 multimember electoral districts; first past the post (plurality) voting; staggered fixed six year terms; annual periodic elections (see notes)


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

Display Chart

Elections held in 1887
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)        100.00  18  100.00 
Totals 0.00    100.00  18  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.

Membership of the Legislative Council and new electoral districts: The Constitution Amendment Act, 1885 had increased the membership of the Legislative Council to 18 (to take effect from 1886) with the creation of four new electoral districts -- three single member districts, Macquarie, Russell and Westmorland, and a two-member district, Launceston -- and the abolition or restructuring of three existing electoral districts. The electoral districts of Jordon and Longford were abolished, and the electoral district of Tamar was reduced from a two-member district to a single member district. Transitional arrangements were made for the implementation of the new arrangements (see below). The result was a chamber with a membership of 18, elected from 13 single member electoral districts, a two-member district (Launceston), and a three-member district (Hobart).

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: The Constitution Amendment Act, 1885 made significant changes to the electoral system in addition to increasing the membership of the chamber; '...periodic elections were held for the Council each year on the Tuesday immediately preceding the first Monday in May, and three members retired annually. Members elected in casual vacancies [at by-elections] held their seats for the unexpired portions for which their predecessors were elected. The first date of retirement for each member was specified..., Bennett and Bennett, p.8 (see 'Sources', below). These changes to the terms of members, coupled with a fixed six year term for each member, created a predictable pattern of rotation for periodic elections for the Legislative Council, with three members retiring each year, and periodic elections all held on the same date; for details of the previous situation, see notes to Legislative Council elections before 1885.

Transitional arrangements: To create a regular rotation for periodic elections, the two members first elected after the passage of the legislation in 1885 had shortened terms; the member for Mersey a three year term expiring in 1888, and the member for the restructured single member district of Tamar, a four year term expiring in 1889. The new seat of Macquarie also had a shortened first term with its second periodic election held in 1890; for more details, see the note for 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).

By-elections, recontested seats, and ministerial by-elections: Five of the eight Legislative Council elections held in 1887 were by-elections, two of which were for separate by-elections for the three member electoral district of Hobart, in addition to a separate periodic election. Both the Hobart by-elections had been prompted by the resignation of sitting members who recontested their seats; both members, W Crosby and A McGregor were returned unopposed. Two of the by-elections were ministerial by-elections, one for the seat of Buckingham at which the minister, P O Fysh, was returned unopposed, and the other for the seat of North Esk at which the minister, H I J R Rooke, was also returned unopposed.

No contested elections: No election held in 1887 was contested; all the winning candidates were elected without any votes being cast. This explains the blanks in the tables above.

Premier in upper house: Philip Oakley Fysh accepted a commission as Premier in 1887 while a member of the Legislative Council. He was the ninth and last Tasmanian Premier to hold the office while a member of the Legislative Council. His Treasurer, Bolton Stafford Bird, led for the government in the House of Assembly; see the entry for Premier Fish in the 'Governments' section of this website.

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 Buckingham

Date of election
13 April 1887
Type of election
Ministerial by-election (see notes)
Date of previous election
15 March 1884
Enrolment
393
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
Philip Oakley Fysh
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
Yes
First Preference vote n
Uncontested
First preference vote share %
Uncontested
Elected
Yes

Notes

Ministerial by-election: This election for Buckingham was one of two ministerial by-elections held in 1887; at both, the minister was returned unopposed.

Election for the district of Hobart

Date of election
3 May 1887
Type of election
Periodic election for one of the three seats in this electoral district
Date of previous election
15 February 1886
Enrolment
1,071
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
G Salier
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
Yes
First Preference vote n
Uncontested
First preference vote share %
Uncontested
Elected
Yes

Election for the district of Hobart

Date of election
10 May 1887
Type of election
By-election for one of the three seats in this electoral district (recontested by member; see note)
Date of previous election
13 July 1886
Enrolment
1,071
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
A McGregor
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Yes
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
Uncontested
First preference vote share %
Uncontested
Elected
Yes

Notes

Recontested seat: A McGregor is shown as the sitting member in the table above as he resigned from his seat only to recontest it at this by-election; he was successful in regaining it.

Election for the district of Hobart

Date of election
16 May 1887
Type of election
By-election for one of the three seats in this electoral district (recontested by member; see notes)
Date of previous election
4 May 1885
Enrolment
1,071
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 Crosby
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
Yes
First Preference vote n
Uncontested
First preference vote share %
Uncontested
Elected
Yes

Notes

Recontested seat: W Crosby is shown as the sitting member in the table above as he resigned from his seat only to recontest it at this by-election; he was successful in regaining it.

Election for the district of Macquarie

Date of election
1 August 1887
Type of election
By-election (resignation of member)
Date of previous election
23 March 1886
Enrolment
285
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
A Page
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
3 May 1887
Type of election
Periodic election
Date of previous election
17 February 1881
Enrolment
370
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
F W Grubb
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
Yes
First Preference vote n
Uncontested
First preference vote share %
Uncontested
Elected
Yes

Election for the district of North Esk

Date of election
16 March 1887
Type of election
Ministerial by-election (see notes)
Date of previous election
13 July 1886
Enrolment
297
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
H I J R Rooke
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Yes
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
Uncontested
First preference vote share %
Uncontested
Elected
Yes

Notes

Ministerial by-election: This election for North Esk was one of two ministerial by-elections held in 1887; at both, the minister was returned unopposed.

Election for the district of Pembroke

Date of election
3 May 1887
Type of election
Periodic election
Date of previous election
18 June 1881
Enrolment
250
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 Hodgson
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
Yes
First Preference vote n
Uncontested
First preference vote share %
Uncontested
Elected
Yes



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