ID 1296

Parliament of Tasmania, House of Assembly election

Election of 20 March 2010

Show only vote and seat summary details

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General election for the House of Assembly
Date of election (or first day of voting at elections held over more than one day)
20 March 2010

Government in office and parliamentary support before and after the election

Government in office at election

Premier in office at date of election. (check notes to see if change of Premier since previous election)
Premier's party affiliation
Australian Labor Party
House of Assembly support for government at election
If coalition, coalition partner(s)

Government in office after election

Premier in office after election.
Premier's party affiliation
Australian Labor Party
House of Assembly support for government after election
If coalition, coalition partner(s)
Tasmanian Greens

Enrolment and voting

Total number of voters on the roll
Number of Assembly seats
Number of uncontested seats
If uncontested seats, number of voters on the roll in uncontested seats
Number of voters on the roll in contested seats
Total ballots cast (may differ from number of votes in multiple voting systems)
Turnout (rate of voting in contested seats)
Total valid votes
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system
Not applicable
Electoral system
Adult franchise at 18 years (from 1976); multimember districts; proportional representation by the single transferable vote method (STV); compulsory voting

Tasmania, House of Assembly votes and seats won

Display Chart

Election held on 20 March 2010
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 First preference vote n First preference vote share % Change from previous election % Seats won n Uncontested seats held n Seat share %
Liberal Party  124,933  38.99  +7.17  10  40.00 
Australian Labor Party  118,168  36.88  -12.39  10  40.00 
Tasmanian Greens  69,232  21.61  +4.97  20.00 
Independents  7,458  2.33  +0.72     
Socialist Alliance  646  0.20  +0.04     
Votes for other than listed parties 0 0.00 0.00       
Totals 320,437  100.00    25  100.00 

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Premier in office at election: There had been a change of Premier since the previous general election for the House of Assembly in 2006. Premier Lennon resigned as Premier on 26 May 2008, and Bartlett was chosen by the Labor caucus as leader. Bartlett was then commissioned as Premier of an Australian Labor Party majority government. For a survey of the political context of this change of party leader, see Richard Herr, 'Tasmania', Australian Journal of Politics and History, Australian Political Chronicle, January-June 2008, 54 (4) December 2008: 646-651.

Government in office after election: At this election, the Australian Labor Party lost its majority support in the House of Assembly, winning only 10 of the 25 seats in the Assembly. The Liberal Party also won 10 seats, with the remaining 5 seats held by the Tasmanian Greens. Comments made by both Labor and Liberal leaders during the election campaign had indicated that neither party would form a coalition with the Greens, and if the Labor and Liberal parties won the same number of seats, the party with the larger proportion of the primary vote should be invited by the Governor to form a minority government. The result of the election gave the Liberal Party 38.99 percent of the first preference vote to the Labor Party's 36.88 percent, a margin of over 2 percent to the Liberals.

After a meeting of the Labor caucus on 31 March, Premier Bartlett announced that, after the declaration of the polls on 7 April, he would be relinquishing his commission as Premier and would advise the Governor, Peter Underwood, to invite the Liberal Party leader, Will Hodgman, to form a government. But, after meetings with both party leaders and a public declaration by the leader of the Tasmanian Greens that they would support a Labor minority government, the Governor announced on 8 April that Bartlett had an obligation to remain as Premier and test his government's support in the Assembly.

After negotiations with the Tasmanian Greens, Bartlett announced on 19 April that an agreement had been reached for a coalition with the Tasmanian Greens under which the Greens would have one minister in the government and would provide the Secretary to Cabinet who, while not being a minister, would be a full member of cabinet and be able to participate in cabinet decisions. The new ministry -- including the Secretary to Cabinet and the Leader for the government in the Legislative Council -- was sworn in on 21 April 2010. Bartlett became Premier of a coalition Australian Labor Party and Tasmanian Greens government, the first such coalition agreement in Australia. For more information on this coalition agreement, see the notes to Bartlett's second period in office.

Electoral system and voting: The Constitution Amendment Act 1906 '... reduced the number of Assembly districts to five, the boundaries of which were to be identical with the five Commonwealth electoral districts', Bennett and Bennett, p.12, (see 'Sources', below). The 1906 Act specified six members in each electoral district, but this was increased to seven from 1959, and then reduced to five from 1998 creating a House of Assembly of 25 (see the notes to the 1998 House of Assembly elections).

The Electoral Act 1907 introduced proportional representation by the single transferable vote (STV) method to elect all members of the Assembly, a method which became known as the Hare-Clark system. For details of the adoption of STV and references on the operation of the electoral system, see the notes to the 1909 House of Assembly elections.

From 1980, candidates' names were rotated within party lists on the ballots under a system of Robson rotation; for details, see the note to the 1979 House of Assembly election.

The Electoral Amendment Act of 1917 provided that '... casual vacancies be filled, not by a fresh poll of the electorate [by-election] but by a re-count [countback] of the ballot papers which elected the vacating member. Candidates at the preceding general election were required to apply to be considered candidates....', Hughes and Graham, 1890-1964, p. 590 (see 'Sources', below). For a brief summary of changes to the electoral system from 1909 to 1994, see Terry Newman, Representation of the Tasmanian People, Expanded edition 1803-1994, Appendix 2 (Hobart: Tasmanian Parliamentary Library, 1994, ISBN 0724642475).

Independents: Changes to the Electoral Act in 1941 meant that candidates who ran for election without any stated party affiliation (Independents) could run with one or more other like-minded Independents as a 'group' on the ballot paper, or be listed with all other Independent candidates in that electoral district in an 'ungrouped' list; for details, see the note to the 1941 House of Assembly elections.

The vote shown at this election for Independents in the table above is the vote gained by the combination of both sets of Independent candidates. One candidate ran as 'grouped' Independents and gained 5,382 first preference votes, and eight ran as 'ungrouped' Independent candidates gaining 2,076 first preference votes; none of these candidates was elected.

References: For a survey of this election, see Megan Alessandrini, 'Tasmania', Australian Journal of Politics and History, Australian Political Chronicle, January to June 2010, 56 (4) November 2010: 666-671.


Voting figures have been calculated from the website of the Tasmanian Electoral Commission: [accessed 31 March 2010]

Scott Bennett and Barbara Bennett, Tasmanian Electoral Handbook, 1851-1982, (Kensington, NSW: Reference Section of History Project Incorporated, University of New South Wales, 1983); Colin A Hughes and B D Graham, A Handbook of Australian Government and Politics 1890-1964, (Canberra: Australian National University Press, 1968, SBN 708102700).