ID 1131

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

Election of 4 May 1897


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Election for the Legislative Council
Tasmania
Date of election
1897
Type of Legislative Council election
Periodic elections, 4 May 1897
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)
0
Total seats to be filled at this election
3

Enrolment and voting

Total number of voters on the roll
1,921
Number of uncontested seats
2
If uncontested seats, number of voters on the roll in uncontested seats
689
Number of voters on the roll in contested seats
1,232
Total number of candidates
4
Total ballots cast (may differ from number of votes in multiple voting systems)
906
Turnout (rate of voting in contested seats)
73.54%
Total valid votes
904
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
0.22%
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 1897
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)  904  100.00  0.00  100.00  18  100.00 
Totals 904  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 1896 by the Constitution Amendment Act (No. 2) of that year. Voters for the Legislative Council had to be over 21 years of age who were owners of freehold estate worth £15 per annum, '...while occupiers of property worth £50 could also vote', Bennett and Bennett, p.10 (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 changes implemented in 1886 and transitional arrangements, see the notes for the 1886 Legislative Council election. The notes to Legislative Council elections before 1885 describe the previous situation.

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 Cambridge

Date of election
4 May 1897
Type of election
Periodic election
Date of previous election
5 May 1891
Enrolment
337
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
C E Davies
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 Hobart

Date of election
4 May 1897
Type of election
Periodic election for one of three seats in this electoral district
Date of previous election
3 May 1891
Enrolment
1,232
Ballots cast
906
Turnout (rate of voting)
73.54%
Total valid votes
904
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
0.22%
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system

Candidate
W Crosby
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Yes
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
562
First preference vote share %
62.17
Elected
Yes
Candidate
S Benjamin
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
342
First preference vote share %
37.83
Elected

Election for the district of Russell

Date of election
4 May 1897
Type of election
Periodic election
Date of previous election
8 May 1884
Enrolment
352
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
Sitting member from by-election
Yes
First Preference vote n
Uncontested
First preference vote share %
Uncontested
Elected
Yes



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