ID 1137

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

Election of 5 May 1903


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Election for the Legislative Council
Tasmania
Date of election
1903
Type of Legislative Council election
Periodic elections and by-election, February and May 1903
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
6
Casual vacancies (by-elections) and additional seats to be filled at this election (see notes)
1
Total seats to be filled at this election
7

Enrolment and voting

Total number of voters on the roll
5,273
Number of uncontested seats
5
If uncontested seats, number of voters on the roll in uncontested seats
3,182
Number of voters on the roll in contested seats
2,091
Total number of candidates
9
Total ballots cast (may differ from number of votes in multiple voting systems)
1,522
Turnout (rate of voting in contested seats)
72.79%
Total valid votes
1,517
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
0.33%
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system
Not applicable
Electoral system
Property franchise; 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 1903
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)  1,517  100.00  0.00  100.00  18  100.00 
Totals 1,517  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 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, [1956]), and W A Townsley, Tasmania From Colony to Statehood 1803-1945, (Hobart: St. David's Park Publishing, 1991, ISBN 0724625753).

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
5 May 1903
Type of election
Periodic election (extended term; see notes)
Date of previous election
7 May 1901
Enrolment
1,074
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
T Gant
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
Yes
First Preference vote n
Uncontested
First preference vote share %
Uncontested
Elected
Yes

Notes

Extended term: The term of the member for Buckingham had been extended by a year to seven years under the Constitution Amendment Act of 1901, with the next periodic election to be held in 1903 (this election; there had been an intervening by-election for this electoral district in May 1901).

Election for the district of Cambridge

Date of election
5 May 1903
Type of election
Periodic election
Date of previous election
4 May 1897
Enrolment
541
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
Yes
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
5 May 1903
Type of election
Periodic election for one of the three seats in this electoral district
Date of previous election
4 May 1897
Enrolment
1,450
Ballots cast
1,008
Turnout (rate of voting)
69.52%
Total valid votes
1,003
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
0.50%
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
719
First preference vote share %
71.68
Elected
Yes
Candidate
G Smith
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
284
First preference vote share %
28.32
Elected

Election for the district of Macquarie

Date of election
5 May 1903
Type of election
Periodic election (extended term; see notes)
Date of previous election
5 May 1896
Enrolment
276
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 Page
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Yes
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
Uncontested
First preference vote share %
Uncontested
Elected
Yes

Notes

Extended term: The term of the member for Macquarie had been extended by a year to seven years under the Constitution Amendment Act of 1901, with the next periodic election to be held in 1903 (this election).

Election for the district of Pembroke

Date of election
17 February 1903
Type of election
By-election (death of member)
Date of previous election
2 May 1899
Enrolment
629
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
James Murdoch (senior)
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 Russell

Date of election
5 May 1903
Type of election
Periodic election
Date of previous election
4 May 1897
Enrolment
662
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
Yes
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
Uncontested
First preference vote share %
Uncontested
Elected
Yes

Election for the district of South Esk

Date of election
5 May 1903
Type of election
Periodic election (extended term; see notes)
Date of previous election
16 March 1899
Enrolment
641
Ballots cast
514
Turnout (rate of voting)
80.19%
Total valid votes
514
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
0.00%
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system

Candidate
R S Scott
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
Yes
First Preference vote n
273
First preference vote share %
53.11
Elected
Yes
Candidate
J McCall
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
241
First preference vote share %
46.89
Elected

Notes

Extended term: The term of the member for South Esk had been extended by a year to seven years under the Constitution Amendment Act of 1901, with the next periodic election to be held in 1903 (this election; there had been an intervening by-election for this electoral district in March 1899).



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