ID 1232

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

Election of 25 May 1996


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Election for the Legislative Council
Tasmania
Date of election
1996
Type of Legislative Council election
Periodic elections, 25 May 1996
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)
0
Total seats to be filled at this election
3

Enrolment and voting

Total number of voters on the roll
60,815
Number of uncontested seats
0
If uncontested seats, number of voters on the roll in uncontested seats
Not applicable
Number of voters on the roll in contested seats
60,815
Total number of candidates
14
Total ballots cast (may differ from number of votes in multiple voting systems)
52,736
Turnout (rate of voting in contested seats)
86.72%
Total valid votes
51,252
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
2.81%
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system
Not applicable
Electoral system
Adult franchise (from 1968) at 18 years (from 1973); single member electoral districts; preferential voting (the alternative vote) with optional preferences after the third preference, and rotation of candidates' names on the ballot; staggered fixed six year terms; annual periodic elections; compulsory voting (see notes)


Tasmania, Legislative Council votes and seats won, and seats held

Display Chart

Elections held in 1996
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  13  49,217  96.03  +30.24  100.00  15  78.95 
Tasmanian Greens  2,035  3.97  +0.28       
Australian Labor Party        -9.57      15.79 
Liberal Party        -11.68      5.26 
Totals 14  51,252  100.00    100.00  19  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 Constitution Act of 1968 '...abolished all property restrictions on Council electors, making the franchise the same as for the Assembly', Scott Bennett and Barbara Bennett, Tasmanian Electoral Handbook, 1851-1982, p. 17 (Kensington, NSW: Reference Section of History Project Incorporated, University of New South Wales, 1983). The franchise was further widened from 1973 when the minimum age for voting and standing as a candidate for the Legislative Council was reduced to 18 years. The restrictive property qualification for the Legislative Council had been progressively relaxed since 1856 (see notes to previous elections) so that, by 1954 there was a long list of eligible voters which ensured that most Tasmanians could vote at Legislative Council Elections; see section 28 of the Constitution Act 1934, as amended to 1959, in the consolidated Tasmanian Statutes 1826-1959, (Hobart, Government Printer, 1959). For the slow enfranchisement of women for the Legislative Council, see the notes to Legislative Council elections before 1968. Women gained the vote for the Tasmanian House of Assembly in 1903.

Qualifications for candidates: The Constitution Act of 1921 gave women the right to sit as members of the Tasmanian Parliament but the restrictions on women's franchise limited the number of eligible women candidates until 1954; the remaining restrictions for both men and women were removed with the introduction of universal franchise for the Legislative Council in 1968. Under the Constitution Act of 1946, candidates for Legislative Council elections had to be British subjects of at least 25 years of age (previously 30 years, and from 1973, 18 years) and have been resident in the state for five years at any one time or two years preceding the election.

Membership of the Legislative Council: With the passage of the Constitution Act of 1946, a major redistribution of seats for the Legislative Council was undertaken and its membership increased to 19 with effect from 1947. The three member electoral district of Hobart was reconstituted as three single member districts (Hobart, Newdegate, and Queenborough), and the two member electoral district of Launceston was reconstituted as two single member districts (Launceston and Cornwall). Elections for the new districts were to be phased in to match a new sequence of annual periodic elections; three periodic elections for the Legislative Council in May each year, and four every sixth year from 1953.

Members' terms: The Constitution Amendment Act, 1885 had made significant changes to the electoral system (see the notes for the 1886 Legislative Council election). 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.

Electoral system and voting: The Electoral Act of 1907 introduced preferential voting with semi-optional preferences for Legislative Council elections -- voters were required to express preferences for all candidates on the ballot paper but, if there were more than three candidates for an electoral district, preferences beyond the third were not mandatory. The electoral system was first used for Legislative Council elections in 1909. This change was introduced in the same year as proportional representation by STV was first used for the House of Assembly. The Electoral Act of 1928 made voting compulsory for both houses of the Tasmanian Parliament. The Electoral Act Amendment Act of 1979 provided for the rotation of candidates' names on ballot papers, often called Robson rotation; see Andrew Hawkey, A Discussion Paper on Robson Rotation in Tasmania, (Hobart: Tasmanian Electoral Commission, April 2008) available online at: https://bit.ly/2spGeEB [accessed 10 June 2009].

Seats held by the Australian Labor Party: Three members of the Legislative Council had been elected as candidates affiliated with the Australian Labor Party at previous elections; Michael Aird was elected at a by-election for the seat of Derwent in 1995, Douglas Parkinson was elected to the seat of Hobart in 1994, and David Crean was elected to the seat of Buckingham in 1992. See the Glossary of this website for the definition of seats held by party.

Seat held by the Liberal Party: Peter McKay had been elected in 1995 to the seat of Pembroke as a candidate affiliated with the Liberal Party; see the Glossary of this website for the definition of seats held by party.

References: The Australian Journal of Politics and History has provided brief surveys of Tasmanian politics since 1956 in the 'Political Chronicle' section of the journal in issues of each annual volume. This publication can be viewed online through Wiley-Blackwell Journals at subscribing libraries; for notes on members of the Legislative Council, see the 'Parliament of Tasmania from 1856' page on the Parliament of Tasmania website at: https://bit.ly/2spMiws .

Sources

Voting figures and election results are calculated from information provided by the Tasmanian Parliamentary Library on its website at: https://bit.ly/2sqeCyS [accessed 22 April 2009]. The party affiliation of candidates is derived from research by the Parliamentary Research Service, Parliament of Tasmania, unless otherwise indicated in the 'Notes', above.

Note also, Tasmanian Electoral Office, Parliamentary Elections Report (1995-1997), (Hobart: Tasmanian Electoral Office, 1997), on line at: https://bit.ly/2LtGkB0


Tasmania, Legislative Council votes and seats won by electoral district

Election for the district of Cornwall

Date of election
25 May 1996
Type of election
Periodic election
Date of previous election
26 May 1990
Enrolment
13,739
Ballots cast
11,525
Turnout (rate of voting)
83.89%
Total valid votes
11,290
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
2.04%
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system

Candidate
Raymond Frederick Bailey
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Yes
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
4,205
First preference vote share %
37.25
Elected
Yes
Candidate
Tony Peck
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
3,019
First preference vote share %
26.74
Elected
Candidate
Lance Armstrong
Party affiliation
Tasmanian Greens
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
2,035
First preference vote share %
18.02
Elected
Candidate
Robin Lee McKendrick
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
2,031
First preference vote share %
17.99
Elected

Election for the district of Huon

Date of election
25 May 1996
Type of election
Periodic election
Date of previous election
26 May 1990
Enrolment
25,243
Ballots cast
22,149
Turnout (rate of voting)
87.74%
Total valid votes
21,330
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
3.70%
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system

Candidate
Andrew Paul (Paul) Harriss
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
7,210
First preference vote share %
33.80
Elected
Yes
Candidate
Flora Fox
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
4,259
First preference vote share %
19.97
Elected
Candidate
Greg Norris
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
3,763
First preference vote share %
17.64
Elected
Candidate
Bill Powell
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
2,687
First preference vote share %
12.60
Elected
Candidate
Robert Mallett
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
2,434
First preference vote share %
11.41
Elected
Candidate
Stephen Roomes
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
977
First preference vote share %
4.58
Elected

Election for the district of Mersey

Date of election
25 May 1990
Type of election
Periodic election
Date of previous election
26 May 1990
Enrolment
21,833
Ballots cast
19,062
Turnout (rate of voting)
87.31%
Total valid votes
18,632
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
2.26%
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system

Candidate
Geoffrey Bruce Squibb
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Yes
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
8,466
First preference vote share %
45.44
Elected
Yes
Candidate
Peter Hollister
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
4,222
First preference vote share %
22.66
Elected
Candidate
Rodney J Cooper
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
3,873
First preference vote share %
20.79
Elected
Candidate
Andrew Vanderfeen
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
2,071
First preference vote share %
11.12
Elected



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