ID 1124

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

Election of 6 May 1890


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Election for the Legislative Council
Tasmania
Date of election
1890
Type of Legislative Council election
Periodic elections and by-elections, February to June 1890
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)
2
Total seats to be filled at this election
5

Enrolment and voting

Total number of voters on the roll
2,267
Number of uncontested seats
3
If uncontested seats, number of voters on the roll in uncontested seats
1,440
Number of voters on the roll in contested seats
827
Total number of candidates
7
Total ballots cast (may differ from number of votes in multiple voting systems)
571
Turnout (rate of voting in contested seats)
69.04%
Total valid votes
559
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
2.1%
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 1890
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)  559  100.00  0.00  100.00  18  100.00 
Totals 559  100.00    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.

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 to 18; '...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 (this election; see the note to the results for the district of Macquarie, below); for more details of the changes implemented in 1886 and transitional arrangements, see the notes 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).

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 170-215, (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
6 May 1890
Type of election
Periodic election
Date of previous election
15 March 1884
Enrolment
545
Ballots cast
414
Turnout (rate of voting)
75.96%
Total valid votes
403
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
2.66%
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
226
First preference vote share %
56.08
Elected
Yes
Candidate
N J Brown
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
177
First preference vote share %
43.92
Elected

Election for the district of Cambridge

Date of election
4 February 1890
Type of election
By-election (death of member)
Date of previous election
14 July 1885
Enrolment
296
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 E Lord
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 Launceston

Date of election
23 June 1890
Type of election
By-election for one of the two seats in this electoral district (death of member)
Date of previous election
13 July 1886
Enrolment
813
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 Douglas
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 Macquarie

Date of election
6 May 1890
Type of election
Periodic election
Date of previous election
1 April 1887
Enrolment
282
Ballots cast
157
Turnout (rate of voting)
55.67%
Total valid votes
156
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
0.64%
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system

Candidate
A Page
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
Yes
First Preference vote n
88
First preference vote share %
56.41
Elected
Yes
Candidate
G W Keach
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
68
First preference vote share %
43.59
Elected

Notes

End of transitional arrangement: The seat for the new electoral district of Macquarie had been one of the seats given a shorter term expiring after four years in 1890 under the transitional arrangements for the increase in membership of the Legislative Council and the alteration in election dates to ensure regular periodic elections; for details, see the notes for the 1886 Legislative Council election. Note that the first periodic election for the new district of Macquarie had been in 1886, but there had been a by-election for the seat in 1887; the next periodic election remained due in 1890 (this election).

Election for the district of South Esk

Date of election
6 May 1890
Type of election
Periodic election
Date of previous election
2 May 1886
Enrolment
331
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 Gibson
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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