ID 1609

Parliament of New South Wales Legislative Council election

Election of 28 March 2015

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Election for the Legislative Council
New South Wales
Date of election
28 March 2015
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

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Elections held in 28 March 2015
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  1,839,452  42.61  -5.06  42.86     
Australian Labor Party  21  1,341,943  31.09  +7.36  33.33  12  28.57 
Greens  21  428,036  9.92  -1.20  9.52  11.90 
Shooters Party  21  167,871  3.89  +0.19  4.76  4.76 
Christian Democratic Party  20  126,305  2.93  -0.20  4.76  4.76 
No Land Tax Party  16  82,054  1.90     
Animal Justice Party  16  76,819  1.78  4.76  2.38 
Voluntary Euthanasia Party  15  40,710  0.94     
No Parking Meters Party  21  34,852  0.81  -0.41     
The Fishing Party  20  31,882  0.74  -0.59     
Outdoor Recreation Party  15  31,445  0.73  -0.04     
Australian Motorists Party  17  27,785  0.64     
Australian Democrats  15  23,466  0.54  -0.29     
Independents  112  21,643  0.50  -0.89     
Australian Cyclists Party  15  21,280  0.49     
Building Australia  17  12,466  0.29  +0.07     
Socialist Alliance  16  8,489  0.20  -0.06     
Liberal Party        13  30.95 
National Party        16.67 
Totals 393  4,316,498  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.

Shooters 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 and unregistered parties : In the table above, the vote for Independents includes the votes for all candidates who did not have a formal affiliation with a registered political party. But this category covers several different groups of candidates.

There were several groupings of like-minded candidates who ran as Independents on separate tickets. Green, pp 44 and 45, (see ‘Sources’, below) shows five of such groups of Independents on the Legislative Council ballot paper with the number of first preference votes won by each group: Group D (16 candidates, 6,251 votes); Group J (15 candidates, 4,361 votes); Group P (15 candidates, 2,767 votes); Group U (2 candidates, 113 votes) and group W (2 candidates, 113 votes). These 50 candidates, together with 17 ungrouped candidates (1,273 votes), gained a total of 14,878 votes for candidates who claimed no party affiliation.

Green also shows that three other groups on the ballot paper, while nominally Independents, campaigned as candidates for unregistered parties. These unregistered parties were: the Strata Party (Group H, 15 candidates, 3,024 first preference votes); the Future Party (Group M, 16 candidates, 2,782 first preference votes); and the Country Party (Group V, 14 candidates, 959 first preference votes). In total, this represents 45 candidates from unregistered parties who gained 6,765 first preference votes.

References: 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).


Antony Green, 2015 New South Wales Election: Analysis of Results,(Sydney: New South Wales Parliamentary Library Research Service, Background Paper No. 1/2015, ISSN 1325-4456, ISBN 9780731319374), available online here [accessed 11 August 2015].