Elections held in 2015
Criteria for the inclusion of parties in this table are set out in the Glossary under 'listed party'
|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 %|
|Australian Labor Party||2||17,181||30.96||*||1||33.33||1||6.67|
* 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 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. Other name changes were made after the electoral boundaries redistribution of 2007-08.
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].
District names at this election; Derwent, Mersey and Windermere: There had been an electoral district for the Legislative Council called Derwent since 1856, and Mersey since 1871, but the district of Windermere was created by the redistribution of 1998; this election in 2015 was the third periodic election to be held for this district.
Seat held by the Australian Labor Party: The Australian Labor Party endorsed two candidates at the periodic elections for the Legislative Council in 2015, after not having done so at the two previous elections in 2013 and 2014. At this election, Jennifer Houston unsuccessfully contested the seat of Windermere for the Labor Party, but Craig Farrell, the sitting member for Derwent, was returned to continue as the sole member of the Australian Labor Party in the Legislative Council. Farrell had been elected to the seat at a by-election in 2011. See the Glossary of this website for the definition of seats held by party.
Seats held by the Liberal Party: The Liberal Party did not field candidates for any of the seats contested at these periodic elections (2015). Vanessa Goodwin had been returned at the 2013 periodic election as a candidate endorsed by the Liberal Party for the electoral district of Pembroke, a seat she had won from the Australian Labor Party in a by-election held in August 2009 (no candidates endorsed by the Liberal Party contested Legislative Council elections in 2012). Goodwin was joined in the Legislative Council at the 2013 periodic elections by Leonie Hiscutt who won the seat of Montgomery as a Liberal Party candidate. This was the first time that two members endorsed by the Liberal Party had been elected to the Legislative Council at the same set of periodic elections. The last time there were two sitting members of the Council who, when elected, had run as Liberal Party candidates, was in 1920; there were three such members during 1916 and 1917. See the Glossary of this website for the definition of seats held by party.
Independent Liberal: Tony Mulder who won the seat of Rumney in 2011, registered as an Independent candidate with the Tasmanian Electoral Commission at that election, but sat as an Independent Liberal when he first took his seat in the Legislative Council. He is included among the Independents in the 'seats held by party' at this election.
References: For a study of patterns of representation in the Tasmanian Legislative Council, see Campbell Sharman, ‘Limiting Party Representation: Evidence from a Small Parliamentary Chamber’, Legislative Studies Quarterly, 38(3) August 2013: 327-348. 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 website here.
Results calculated from the Tasmanian Electoral Commission, Annual Report, 2014-15, Appendix B, pp 46-50, online here [accessed 6 June 2016]