ID 1133

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

Election of 2 May 1899


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Election for the Legislative Council
Tasmania
Date of election
1899
Type of Legislative Council election
Periodic elections and by-elections, March to October 1899
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
19
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)
3
Total seats to be filled at this election
6

Enrolment and voting

Total number of voters on the roll
3,609
Number of uncontested seats
3
If uncontested seats, number of voters on the roll in uncontested seats
2,387
Number of voters on the roll in contested seats
1,222
Total number of candidates
9
Total ballots cast (may differ from number of votes in multiple voting systems)
781
Turnout (rate of voting in contested seats)
63.91%
Total valid votes
775
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
0.77%
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system
Not applicable
Electoral system
Property franchise; plural voting permitted; 14 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 1899
Criteria for the inclusion of parties in this table are set out in the Glossary under 'listed party'

* to view table drag left or right.
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)  775  100.00  100.00  19  100.00 
Totals 775  100.00    100.00  19  100.00 


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* Party did not contest previous election or did not meet criteria for listing, or contested previous election under a different party name.

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.

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, [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 Gordon

Date of election
10 April 1899
Type of election
By-election (and first election) for new electoral district
Date of previous election
Enrolment
296
Ballots cast
128
Turnout (rate of voting)
43.24%
Total valid votes
126
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
1.56%
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system

Candidate
A Morrisby
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
77
First preference vote share %
61.11
Elected
Yes
Candidate
P Finn
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
49
First preference vote share %
38.89
Elected

Notes

First election for new electoral district: This by-election was the first election for the new single member electoral district of Gordon.

Election for the district of Hobart

Date of election
2 May 1899
Type of election
Periodic election for one of the three seats in this electoral district
Date of previous election
2 May 1893
Enrolment
1,521
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 H Grant
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 Meander

Date of election
2 May 1899
Type of election
Periodic election
Date of previous election
2 May 1893
Enrolment
546
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
Yes
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
Uncontested
First preference vote share %
Uncontested
Elected
Yes

Election for the district of Pembroke

Date of election
2 May 1899
Type of election
Periodic election
Date of previous election
2 May 1893
Enrolment
474
Ballots cast
362
Turnout (rate of voting)
76.37%
Total valid votes
360
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
0.55%
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system

Candidate
W W Perkins
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
217
First preference vote share %
60.28
Elected
Yes
Candidate
H Lamb
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Yes
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
143
First preference vote share %
39.72
Elected

Election for the district of South Esk

Date of election
16 March 1899
Type of election
By-election (resignation of member)
Date of previous election
5 May 1896
Enrolment
452
Ballots cast
291
Turnout (rate of voting)
64.38%
Total valid votes
289
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
0.69%
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system

Candidate
R S Scott
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
146
First preference vote share %
50.52
Elected
Yes
Candidate
R G Talbot
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
143
First preference vote share %
49.48
Elected

Election for the district of Tamar

Date of election
25 October 1899
Type of election
Ministerial by-election (see notes)
Date of previous election
7 May 1895
Enrolment
320
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 T Collins
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 was a ministerial by-election for the seat of Tamar; the minister, G T Collins, was returned unopposed.




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