Elections held in 1899
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)||9||775||100.00||*||6||100.00||19||100.00|
* Party did not contest previous election or did not meet criteria for listing, or contested previous election under a different party name.
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.
Increase in the membership of the Legislative Council and first election for new seat: The Constitution Act Amendment Act, 1898, increased the membership of the Legislative Council by one to 19, and the Electoral Act Amendment Act of 1898 created the new single member electoral district of Gordon, first contested in 1899 (this election). The pattern of annual periodic elections was modified so that four members would retire in 1905 and every sixth year thereafter; see Bennett and Bennett, p.10 (see 'Sources', below). Bennett and Bennett show the election for the new electoral district of Gordon as a by-election (p.46).
Electoral system and members' terms: The Constitution Amendment Act, 1885 made significant changes to the electoral system (see the notes for the 1886 Legislative Council election); '...periodic elections were held for the Council each year on the Tuesday immediately preceding the first Monday in May,... 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 periodic elections for the year all held on the same date; for details of the previous electoral arrangements, see the notes to Legislative Council elections before 1885.
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).
Ministerial by-election: Three of the six Legislative Council elections held in 1899 were by-elections, one of which was a ministerial by-election for the electoral district of Tamar; the minister, G T Collins, was returned unopposed.
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, ), 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.
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.