Elections held in 2017
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||3||17,426||20.86||-14.14||2||50.00||4||26.67|
|Shooters and Fishers Party||3||3,227||3.86||*||0||0|
* Party did not contest previous election or did not meet criteria for listing, or contested previous election under a different party name.
Change in representation from November by-election: The results shown in the tables above combine the results of the periodic elections for the districts of Launceston, Murchison and Rumney held on 6 May 2017 with the result of the by-election for the seat of Pembroke held on 4 November 2017. The by-election was prompted by the resignation of the sitting Liberal member, Vanessa Goodwin. As the by-election was won by Jo Siejka, the Australian Labor Party candidate, the party standings in the table above are correct for the period beginning in December 2017. From January to October 2017, there were three Labor and and two Liberal Party members; from November 2017, there were four Labor members and one Liberal Party member of the Legislative Council; see also 'Seats held by ...' notes, below.
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, and the 2016-17 Legislative Council electoral boundaries redistribution process.
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 Amendment Act of Act of 1928 made voting compulsory for both houses of the Tasmanian Parliament. The Electoral Act of 1979 provided for the rotation of candidates' names on the ballot papers for both houses of the Tasmanian Parliament, often called Robson rotation; see Proportional Representation Society of Australia, Robson Rotation, available online here [accessed 21 May 2017].
District names at this election: The district of Launceston was first contested at the election of 1886 while the districts of Murchison and Rumney were created by the redistribution prompted by the reduction of the number of members in the Legislative Council from 19 to 15 in 1999; this election in 2017 was the fourth periodic election to be held for these two districts. An electoral district named Pembroke had been contested since 1856.
Seats held by the Australian Labor Party: The Australian Labor Party endorsed two candidates at the periodic elections for the Legislative Council in 2017. Brian Roe unsuccessfully contested the seat of Launceston for the Labor Party, but Sarah Lovell unseated Independent member Tony Mulder for the seat of Rumney (Tony Mulder had registered as an Independent Liberal candidate with the Tasmanian Electoral Commission when elected to the seat of Rumney in 2011, but sat as an Independent when he took his seat in the Legislative Council). Lovell joined Josh Willie who had won the seat of Elwick in 2016 and Craig Farrell who was returned for the seat of Derwent in 2015 to raise the number of seats held by the Australian Labor Party to three after these periodic elections in May 2017.The illness and subsequent resignation of Vanessa Goodwin, the Liberal member for the district of Pembroke, in October 2017 prompted a by-election in November 2017 that was won by the Australian Labor Party candidate, Jo Siejka. This increased Labor Party representation in the Legislative Council to four from November 2017. 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 the periodic elections in 2016 or 2017. 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 had been 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 illness and subsequent resignation of Vanessa Goodwin in October 2017, followed by the by-election for the seat of Pembroke in November 2017 won by the Labor Party candidate reduced Liberal representation in the Legislative Council to one from November 2017. See the Glossary of this website for the definition of seats held by party.
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 from 1856' page on the Parliament of Tasmania website here.
The results for this election were calculated from figures shown on the Tasmanian Electoral Commission website 'Results: Legislative Council Elections 2017' on line here [accessed 21 May 2017].