ID 1319

Parliament of New South Wales Legislative Council election

Election of 26 March 2011

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Election for the Legislative Council
New South Wales
Date of election
26 March 2011
Type of Legislative Council election
Half of Council to be elected
Related or previous Assembly election

Government support in Legislative Council at and after election

Government majority in Legislative Council at date of election
Government majority in new Legislative Council

Composition of the Legislative Council and seats to be filled at this election

Total number of seats in the Legislative Council
If the Legislative Council has staggered terms, the number of seats to be filled at this election
Casual vacancies (by-elections) and additional seats to be filled at this election (see notes)
Not applicable
Total seats to be filled at this election

Enrolment and voting

Total number of voters on the roll
Number of uncontested seats
If uncontested seats, number of voters on the roll in uncontested seats
Not applicable
Number of voters on the roll in contested seats
Total number of candidates
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), statewide (at large) voting with a half of the seats to be elected at each election, proportional representation by STV, optional preferences (but a minimum of 15 preferences to be indicated), above the line voting permitted, compulsory voting (see notes)

New South Wales, Legislative Council votes and seats won, and seats held

Display Chart

Elections held in 26 March 2011
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 %
Liberal Party - National Party (joint ticket)  15  1,943,246  47.68  +13.46  11  52.38     
Australian Labor Party  18  967,242  23.73  -15.41  23.81  14  33.33 
Greens  21  453,125  11.12  +2.00  14.29  11.90 
Shooters Party  18  150,741  3.70  +0.90  4.76  4.76 
Christian Democratic Party  20  127,233  3.12  -1.30  4.76  4.76 
Pauline Hanson Group  16  98,043  2.41       
Family First  19  59,640  1.46       
Independents  39  56,830  1.39  -0.11       
The Fishing Party  21  54,253  1.33  -0.20       
No Parking Meters Party  18  49,429  1.21       
Australian Democrats  18  34,046  0.84  -0.95       
Outdoor Recreation Party  16  31,279  0.77       
Restore Workers' Rights  15  17,661  0.43  -0.49       
Save Our State  18  13,579  0.33       
Socialist Alliance  21  10,619  0.26  -0.14       
Building Australia  18  9,058  0.22       
Liberal Party              12  28.57 
National Party              16.67 
Totals 311  4,076,024  100.00    21  100.00  42  100.00 

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* Party did not contest previous election or did not meet criteria for listing, or contested previous election under a different party name.


History of the Legislative Council: For information and references on the evolution of the Legislative Council, see the note for the 1978 Legislative Council election.

Electoral system: The members of the Legislative Council were elected for two Legislative Assembly terms (8 years), half the membership (21 members) retiring every Legislative Council election which was held at the same time as general elections for the Assembly. The state was one electoral district (see at large election) and members were elected using proportional representation by the single transferable vote method (STV) with optional preferences above a minimum of 15 ranked candidates, and preferential above the line voting.

Changes to the electoral system for the Legislative Council were made after the 1999 Legislative Council election to limit the proliferation of small party groupings by changes to the rules for the registration of parties, candidate listings on the ballot paper (a minimum of 15 candidates for each group listing), and the allocation of preferences; see generally Clune and Griffith, pp. 503-515; 670-675, and Twomey, pp. 346-350, (see 'References', below).

Liberal Party and National Party: As with Senate contests in New South Wales, the Liberal Party and the National Party ran a joint ticket for the Legislative Council election, combining candidates from both parties; see seats won by ticket, seats won by party, and seats held by party.

Pauline Hanson Group: This group of candidates (Group J) did not register a group party name. The group was headed by Pauline Hanson, a candidate who had run for several electoral contests, state and federal, in Queensland and New South Wales, and who had been one of the founders of the Pauline Hanson One Nation Party. Group J, while nominally Independents, included candidates who had contested previous elections as members of One Nation or similar parties; for this reason, the group is regarded as a party grouping rather than a group of Independents. For background and details, see Antony Green's Election Blog, 'Pauline Hanson and the NSW Legislative Council election', online at: [accessed 27 March 2011].

Shooters Party and Shooters and Fishers Party: This party was registered for this election as the Shooters and Fishers Party; the original name -- Shooters Party -- has been retained for this database to permit comparison of the party's vote share over time and between states, and to distinguish it from The Fishing Party which also contested this election.

Independents: The 39 candidates and votes shown for Independents at this election in the table above are the sum of votes for 18 candidates who ran without party or group affiliation in the ungrouped category on the ballot paper (4,316 votes), and the 21 candidates in Group C (52,514 votes). This group of Independent candidates was headed by John Hatton, a former Independent member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly. Members of the group were committed to honesty, integrity, openness and accountability. For details of minor party and Independent groups, see Green in 'Sources', below.

References: For a detailed study of this election and its context, see David Clune and Rodney Smith (editors), From Carr to Keneally: Labor in Office in NSW 1995-2011, (Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 2012, ISBN 9781742376639). A comprehensive study of the Legislative Council's history and operation can be found in David Clune and Gareth Griffith, Decision and Deliberation: The Parliament of New South Wales 1856-2003, (Sydney: Federation Press, 2006, ISBN 186287591X), and Anne Twomey, The Constitution of New South Wales, (Sydney: Federation Press, 2004, ISBN 1862875162).

For a study of minor parties and groups contesting previous New South Wales elections, see Rodney Smith, Against the Machines: Minor Parties and Independents in New South Wales 1910-2006, (Sydney: Federation Press, 2006, ISBN 9781862876231).


Antony Green, 2011 New South Wales Election: Analysis of Results,(Sydney: New South Wales Parliamentary Library Research Service, Background Paper No. 3/2011, ISSN 1325-4456, ISBN 9780731318827), available online here. [accessed 11 August 2015]