Elections held in 1903
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||1,517||100.00||0.00||7||100.00||18||100.00|
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 1900 by the Constitution Act of that year. Voters for the Legislative Council had to be over 21 years of age who were owners of freehold estate worth £10 per annum, '...or be occupiers of property worth £30'. Plural voting was abolished, '...and voters were to register in the district in which they resided', Bennett and Bennett, p.10 (see 'Sources', below). Under the Constitution Act Amendment Act of 1903, women gained the vote for House of Assembly elections, but were not granted the ability to vote at Legislative Council elections; various categories of women were enfranchised from 1920, but universal franchise for the Legislative Council was not introduced until 1968; see Terry Newman, Representation of the Tasmanian People: Expanded Edition, p.174 (Hobart: Joint Library Committee of the Parliament of Tasmania, 1994, ISBN 0724641475)
Qualifications for candidates: Under the Constitution Act of 1900, candidates for Legislative Council elections had to be male British subjects of at least 30 years of age and 'needed to have been resident in the colony [state] for five years at any one time or two years preceding the election; if naturalized, they had to have been so for at least five years preceding nomination. Members of the Commonwealth Parliament were ineligible to sit concurrently in the Tasmanian Parliament', Bennett and Bennett, pp 10-11 (see 'Sources', below).
Membership of the Legislative Council: From 1901, the membership of the Legislative Council returned to 18 members with 13 single member electoral districts, a two member district (Launceston) and a three member district (Hobart). For details of the changes in 1901 and transitional arrangements, see the notes to the 1901 Legislative Council election.
Electoral system and members' terms: The Constitution Amendment Act, 1885 had 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.
Elections for electoral districts with extended terms: Under the changes made by the Constitution Amendment Act of 1901, three members had had their terms extended by a year to seven years, with periodic elections due in 1903 (this election). The electoral districts were those of Buckingham, Macquarie and South Esk.
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).
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.