ID 1243

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

Election of 3 May 2008


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Election for the Legislative Council
Tasmania
Date of election
2008
Type of Legislative Council election
Periodic elections, 3 May 2008
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)
0
Total seats to be filled at this election
2

Enrolment and voting

Total number of voters on the roll
47,941
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
47,941
Total number of candidates
4
Total ballots cast (may differ from number of votes in multiple voting systems)
39,092
Turnout (rate of voting in contested seats)
81.54%
Total valid votes
37,463
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
4.17%
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 2008
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  30,028  80.15  +27.88  100.00  10  66.67 
Tasmanian Greens  7,435  19.85  -5.53       
Australian Labor Party        -22.35      33.33 
Totals 37,463  100.00    100.00  15  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.

Membership of the Legislative Council: Under the Parliamentary Reform Act 1998, the number of members in the Legislative Council was reduced from 19 to 15 with effect from 1999, but six year terms and annual periodic elections were retained (see 'Members' terms', below); for details and transitional arrangements, see the notes to the 1999 Legislative Council election. For details of the previous arrangements which had operated from 1947 to 1998, see the notes for the 1947 Legislative Council election. 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

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: Five members of the Legislative Council had been elected at previous elections as candidates affiliated with the Australian Labor Party; Allison Ritchie was returned to the seat of Pembroke in 2007, Douglas Parkinson was returned to the seat of Wellington in 2006, Lin Thorp was returned to the seat of Rumney in 2005, Terry Martin was elected to the new electoral district of Elwick in 2004, and Michael Aird was returned to the seat of Derwent in 2003. 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 on the Tasmanian Electoral Commission website at: https://bit.ly/2Lv5jUH [accessed 13 May 2009]

Note also information provided by the Tasmanian Parliamentary Library on its website at https://bit.ly/2sqeCyS


Tasmania, Legislative Council votes and seats won by electoral district

Election for the district of Huon

Date of election
3 May 2008
Type of election
Periodic election
Date of previous election
4 May 2002
Enrolment
24,539
Ballots cast
20,332
Turnout (rate of voting)
82.86%
Total valid votes
19,584
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
3.68%
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system

Candidate
Andrew Paul (Paul) Harriss
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Yes
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
12,149
First preference vote share %
62.04
Elected
Yes
Candidate
Mark Rickards
Party affiliation
Tasmanian Greens
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
7,435
First preference vote share %
37.96
Elected

Election for the district of Rosevears

Date of election
3 May 2008
Type of election
Periodic election
Date of previous election
4 May 2002
Enrolment
23,402
Ballots cast
18,760
Turnout (rate of voting)
80.16%
Total valid votes
17,879
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
4.70%
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system

Candidate
Kerry Finch
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Yes
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
12,990
First preference vote share %
72.66
Elected
Yes
Candidate
Colin O'Brien
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
4,889
First preference vote share %
27.34
Elected



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