ID 1235

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

Election of 28 August 1999


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Election for the Legislative Council
Tasmania
Date of election
1999
Type of Legislative Council election
Periodic elections and by-election, 28 August 1999
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
15
If the Legislative Council has staggered terms, the number of seats to be filled at this election
2
Casual vacancies (by-elections) and additional seats to be filled at this election (see notes)
1
Total seats to be filled at this election
3

Enrolment and voting

Total number of voters on the roll
65,902
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
65,902
Total number of candidates
12
Total ballots cast (may differ from number of votes in multiple voting systems)
57,520
Turnout (rate of voting in contested seats)
87.28%
Total valid votes
55,588
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
3.36%
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system
Not applicable
Electoral system
Universal suffrage (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 1999
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  10  41,119  73.97  +9.80  66.67  10  66.67 
Australian Labor Party  14,469  26.03  -1.05  33.33  26.67 
Independent Labor         -7.63      6.67 
Totals 12  55,588  100.00    100.00  15  100.00 


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Notes

Reduction in the number of Legislative Council seats: Under the Parliamentary Reform Act 1998, the number of members in the Legislative Council was reduced from 19 to 15, but six year terms and annual periodic elections were retained (see 'Members' terms', below); for details of the previous arrangements which had operated from 1947 to 1998, see the notes for the 1947 Legislative Council election. The Legislative Council Elections Act 1999 deferred the date for periodic elections required in 1999 from May to August to allow the Legislative Council Redistribution Tribunal time '...to complete the transition determination (to implement the reduction in the number of members from 19 to 15) and to specify which new divisions had elections in 1999.' (Tasmanian Electoral Office, p. i ; see 'Sources', below).

As a consequence of the reduction in the number of seats in the Legislative Council, four members had their terms extinguished with the abolition of their seats on 31 July 1999: R C Anderson (Macquarie); D M Hiscutt (assigned to Emu Bay from West Devon in 1995); D R Schulze (one of two members assigned to Murchison from Gordon in 1995); and J C White (Newdegate); see Tasmanian Electoral Office, Parliamentary Elections Report (1998), p. 2 (Hobart: Tasmanian Electoral Office, 1999), online at: https://bit.ly/2spJuj5

After the 1999 redistribution, only three electoral districts retained the names of districts which existed before the 1995 redistribution (Derwent, Huon, and Mersey). During an eight year transition period, some Legislative Council seats had only a five year term (Paterson, Rowallan and Montgomery); for a list of the new Legislative Council district names and the schedule for transitional elections, see Tasmanian Electoral Office, Parliamentary Elections Report (1998), p. 3 (Hobart: Tasmanian Electoral Office, 1999), online at: https://bit.ly/2spJuj5

Elections for new seats: The periodic elections in 1999 were the first for the electoral districts of Murchison and Rumney, both created by the 1995 redistribution and retained after 1999 redistribution prompted by the reduction of the number of members in the Legislative Council from 19 to 15 (see above).

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.

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. After the reductions of the membership of the Legislative Council from 19 to 15 members in 1999, elections were phased in to match a new sequence of annual periodic elections; over a six year cycle, three years had three periodic elections, and three years had two periodic elections.

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: At this election (1999), Lin Thorp was elected to the new seat of Rumney as a candidate affiliated with the Australian Labor Party. She joined three other members who had been elected as candidates affiliated with the Labor Party: David Crean had been returned to the seat of Buckingham in 1998 (assigned to the new seat of Elwick since 1999), Michael Aird was returned to the seat of Derwent in 1997, and Douglas Parkinson was elected to the seat of Hobart in 1994 (assigned to the new seat of Wellington since 1999). See the Glossary of this website for the definition of seats held by party.

Seat held by Independent Labor: Silvia Smith had been elected in 1997 to the seat of Westmorland as an Independent Labor candidate (assigned to the seat of Windermere since 1999). The party label provided by the Tasmanian Parliamentary Research Service for this candidate was 'Independent ALP' but the term Independent Labor has been used in this database to aid comparison with other Legislative Council elections and elections for other parliamentary chambers across Australia. 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, Report on Parliamentary Elections 1999-2002, (Hobart: Tasmanian Electoral Office, 2003, online at: https://bit.ly/2r2OeIX


Tasmania, Legislative Council votes and seats won by electoral district

Election for the district of Murchison

Date of election
28 August 1999
Type of election
Periodic election (first election for new electoral district; see note)
Date of previous election
Enrolment
23,188
Ballots cast
20,438
Turnout (rate of voting)
88.14%
Total valid votes
19,695
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
3.64%
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system

Candidate
Anthony William (Tony) Fletcher
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Yes
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
7,974
First preference vote share %
40.49
Elected
Yes
Candidate
Desmond Miller Hiscutt
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
4,640
First preference vote share %
23.56
Elected
Candidate
Sue Owen
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
4,113
First preference vote share %
20.88
Elected
Candidate
Michael Weldon
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
2,968
First preference vote share %
15.07
Elected

Notes

Sitting member and new electoral district: Anthony Fletcher is shown in the table above as the sitting member for this new electoral district; his previous seat, Russell, had been abolished by the redistribution of 1995, and Fletcher had been assigned to the new electoral district of Murchison.

Election for the district of Pembroke

Date of election
28 August 1999
Type of election
By-election (resignation of member)
Date of previous election
27 May 1995
Enrolment
22,763
Ballots cast
19,681
Turnout (rate of voting)
86.46%
Total valid votes
19,076
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
3.07%
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system

Candidate
Catherine May Edwards
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
7,943
First preference vote share %
41.64
Elected
Yes
Candidate
Lara Giddings
Party affiliation
Australian Labor Party
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
6,782
First preference vote share %
35.55
Elected
Candidate
Richard James
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
2,529
First preference vote share %
13.26
Elected
Candidate
Eric Lockett
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
1,196
First preference vote share %
6.27
Elected
Candidate
David Lawrence Jackson
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
626
First preference vote share %
3.28
Elected

Election for the district of Rumney

Date of election
28 August 1999
Type of election
Periodic election (first election for new electoral district; see note)
Date of previous election
Enrolment
19,951
Ballots cast
17,401
Turnout (rate of voting)
87.22%
Total valid votes
16,817
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
3.36%
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system

Candidate
Lin Thorp
Party affiliation
Australian Labor Party
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
7,687
First preference vote share %
45.71
Elected
Yes
Candidate
Stephen John Wilson
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Yes
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
7,558
First preference vote share %
44.94
Elected
Candidate
John Avram (see note)
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
1,572
First preference vote share %
9.35
Elected

Notes

Sitting member and new electoral district: Stephen Wilson is shown in the table above as the sitting member for this new electoral district; his previous seat, Monmouth, had been abolished by the redistribution of 1999, and Wilson had been assigned to the new electoral district of Rumney.

John Avram: The candidate listed under the name of John Avram in the table above for the Legislative Council electoral district of Rumney, had contested the Legislative Council seat of Gordon under that name in 1988. In 1989 he won a seat at the Tasmanian House of Assembly election and is listed on the Tasmanian Parliamentary website under the name of 'His Grace the Most Noble the Duke of Avram, John Charlton'.



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