ID 1320

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

Election of 7 May 2011


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Election for the Legislative Council
Tasmania
Date of election
2011
Type of Legislative Council election
Periodic elections and by-election, 7 May 2011
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
3
Casual vacancies (by-elections) and additional seats to be filled at this election (see notes)
1
Total seats to be filled at this election
4

Enrolment and voting

Total number of voters on the roll
97,884
Number of uncontested seats
1
If uncontested seats, number of voters on the roll in uncontested seats
24,001
Number of voters on the roll in contested seats
73,883
Total number of candidates
16
Total ballots cast (may differ from number of votes in multiple voting systems)
62,673
Turnout (rate of voting in contested seats)
84.83%
Total valid votes
59,622
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
4.87%
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 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 %
Independents  10  24,332  40.81  -8.05  50.00  11  73.33 
Australian Labor Party  18,164  30.47  -7.53  25.00  13.33 
Liberal Party  6,575  11.03    6.67 
Independent Liberal   5,839  9.79  25.00  6.67 
Tasmanian Greens  4,712  7.90  -5.24       
Totals 17  59,622  100.00    100.00  15  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.

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). The seat of Paterson, first contested at the 2000 Legislative Council elections, reverted to the district's previous name of Launceston for the 2011 elections.

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].

Change of electoral district name; from Paterson to Launceston: Elections were first held for the seat of Paterson in 2000 with a subsequent election in 2005 but, after requests from a number of sources in the area of the city of Launceston, the name of the seat reverted to Launceston, the name of the district before 1995.

Seats held by the Australian Labor Party: Douglas Parkinson had been returned to the seat of Wellington as candidates affiliated with the Australian Labor Party in 2006. He was joined by Craig Farrell who was elected to the seat of Denison at this election as a Labor candidate to replace retiring Labor member Michael Aird. The sitting Labor member for Rumney, Lin Thorp, was defeated at this election, reducing the number of those elected to the Legislative Council as Labor Party candidates to two. Allison Ritchie had been returned to the seat of Pembroke as a Labor candidate in 2007, but resigned in June 2009 prompting a by-election in August which was lost to a Liberal Party candidate. See the Glossary of this website for the definition of seats held by party.

Seat held by the Liberal Party: The victory of Vanessa Goodwin as a candidate endorsed by the Liberal Party at the by-election for the seat of Pembroke in August 2009 was the first Legislative Council election since 2000 at which the Liberal Party had endorsed a candidate and Goodwin was the first Liberal candidate to win a seat in the Legislative Council since 1995. At this election (2011) the Liberal Party endorsed a candidate for the electoral district of Launceston, but he was unsuccessful. See the Glossary of this website for the definition of seats held by party.

Independent Liberal: Tony Mulder who won the seat of Rumney at this election, registered as an Independent candidate with the Tasmanian Electoral Commission, but had been previously associated with the Liberal Party and sat as an Independent Liberal when he took his seat in the Legislative Council.

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

The figures in the tables above were calculated from the Tasmanian Electoral Commission website:
https://bit.ly/2KlhP8D [accessed 18 May 2011]


Tasmania, Legislative Council votes and seats won by electoral district

Election for the district of Derwent

Date of election
7 May 2011
Type of election
By-election (resignation of member)
Date of previous election
2 May 2009
Enrolment
24,905
Ballots cast
21,085
Turnout (rate of voting)
84.66%
Total valid votes
19,675
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
6.69%
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system

Candidate
Craig Farrell
Party affiliation
Australian Labor Party
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
7,595
First preference vote share %
38.60
Elected
Yes
Candidate
Jenny Branch
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
3,990
First preference vote share %
20.28
Elected
Candidate
Ray Williams
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
3,197
First preference vote share %
16.25
Elected
Candidate
Deirdre Flint
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
2,943
First preference vote share %
14.96
Elected
Candidate
Phillip Bingley
Party affiliation
Tasmanian Greens
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
1,950
First preference vote share %
9.91
Elected

Notes

Retirement of sitting member: The sitting member, Michael Aird, who had been a minister in several Labor Party governments, retired from the Legislative Council prompting this by-election.

Election for the district of Launceston

Date of election
7 May 2011
Type of election
Periodic election (see note)
Date of previous election
7 May 2005
Enrolment
23,689
Ballots cast
20,010
Turnout (rate of voting)
84.47%
Total valid votes
19,337
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
3.36%
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system

Candidate
Sam McQuestin
Party affiliation
Liberal Party
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
6,575
First preference vote share %
34.00
Elected
Candidate
Rosemary Armitage
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
6,136
First preference vote share %
31.73
Elected
Yes
Candidate
Steve Bishop
Party affiliation
Australian Labor Party
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
3,815
First preference vote share %
19.73
Elected
Candidate
Lou Clark
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
2,811
First preference vote share %
14.54
Elected

Notes

Change of electoral district name; from Paterson to Launceston: Elections were first held for the seat of Paterson in 2000 with a subsequent election in 2005 but, after requests from a number of sources in the area of the city of Launceston, the name of the seat reverted to Launceston, the name of the district before 1995.

The sitting member for Paterson, Don Wing, retired from the Legislative Council and did not contest his renamed seat.

Election for the district of Murchison

Date of election
7 May 2011
Type of election
Periodic election
Date of previous election
7 May 2005
Enrolment
24,001
Ballots cast
Uncontested
Turnout (rate of voting)
Not applicable
Total valid votes
Not applicable
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system

Candidate
Ruth Jane Forrest
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Yes
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
Uncontested
First preference vote share %
Uncontested
Elected
Yes

Election for the district of Rumney

Date of election
7 May 2011
Type of election
Periodic election
Date of previous election
7 May 2005
Enrolment
25,289
Ballots cast
21,578
Turnout (rate of voting)
85.33%
Total valid votes
20,610
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
4.49%
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system

Candidate
Lin Thorp
Party affiliation
Australian Labor Party
Sitting member
Yes
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
6,754
First preference vote share %
32.77
Elected
Candidate
Tony Mulder
Party affiliation
Independent Liberal
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
5,839
First preference vote share %
28.33
Elected
Yes
Candidate
Paul Mason
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
3,114
First preference vote share %
15.11
Elected
Candidate
Penelope Ann
Party affiliation
Tasmanian Greens
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
2,762
First preference vote share %
13.40
Elected
Candidate
Cate Clark
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
1,356
First preference vote share %
6.58
Elected
Candidate
John M Forster
Party affiliation
Independents
Sitting member
Sitting member from by-election
First Preference vote n
785
First preference vote share %
3.81
Elected

Notes

Independent Liberal: Tony Mulder who won the seat of Rumney at this election, registered as an Independent candidate with the Tasmanian Electoral Commission, but had been previously associated with the Liberal Party and sat as an Independent Liberal when he took his seat in the Legislative Council.




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