ID 0328

Parliament of New South Wales, Legislative Assembly election

Election of 7 October 1978

Show only vote and seat summary details

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General election for the Legislative Assembly
New South Wales
Date of election (or first day of voting at elections held over more than one day)
7 October 1978

Government in office and parliamentary support before and after the election

Government in office at election

Premier in office at date of election. (check notes to see if change of Premier since previous election)
Premier's party affiliation
Australian Labor Party
Legislative Assembly support for government at election
If coalition, coalition partner(s)

Government in office after election

Premier's party affiliation
Australian Labor Party
Legislative Assembly support for government after election
If coalition, coalition partner(s)

Enrolment and voting

Total number of voters on the roll
Number of Assembly seats
Number of uncontested seats
If uncontested seats, number of voters on the roll in uncontested seats
Number of voters on the roll in contested seats
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
Universal franchise at 18 years (from 1973); single member districts; preferential voting (AV); compulsory preferences; compulsory voting

New South Wales, Legislative Assembly votes and seats won

Display Chart

Election held on 7 October 1978
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 First preference vote n First preference vote share % Change from previous election % Seats won n Uncontested seats held n Seat share %
Australian Labor Party  1,615,949  57.77  +8.02  63  63.64 
Liberal Party  754,796  26.98  -9.31  18  18.18 
National Country Party  276,984  9.90  17  17.17 
Australian Democrats  74,019  2.65     
Independents  62,655  2.24  -0.66  1.01 
Communist Party  8,472  0.30  +0.22     
Votes for other than listed parties 4,467 0.16 -0.51       
Totals 2,797,342  100.00    99  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.


Referendum on Legislative Council Reform: On 17 June 1978, the electors in New South Wales were asked to approve a bill for the direct election of members of the Legislative Council (members had been chosen by indirect election since 1934). The referendum passed with 2,251,336 votes in favour of the proposal and 403,313 against; see Anne Twomey, The Constitution of New South Wales, p. 319 (Sydney: Federation Press, 2004, ISBN 1862875162). For a brief survey of the changes, see Bennett, pp. 159-161 (see 'Reference', below).

National Country Party: The Country Party in New South Wales changed its name to the National Country Party in 1977 (it changed its name again in 1982 to National Party); see Bennett, pp. 175-176 (see 'Reference', below).

Australian Democrats: The Australian Democrats emerged as a centre party immediately preceding the 1977 federal election to capture the support of voters who were dissatisfied with both the Labor and Liberal parties; see Rodney Smith, 'The Australian Democrats in NSW Politics', pp. 213- 233, in John Warhurst (editor), Keeping the Bastards Honest: The Australian Democrats' First Twenty Years, (St. Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin, 1997, ISBN 1864484209).

Reference: For a comprehensive survey of this election and the preceding period, see Scott Bennett, '1978', in Michael Hogan and David Clune (editors), The People's Choice: Electoral Politics in 20th Century New South Wales, vol. 3 (1968-1999), pp. 147-179, (Sydney: Parliament of New South Wales and University of Sydney, 2001, ISBN 0909907412).


Colin A Hughes, A Handbook of Australian Government and Politics 1975-1984, pp. 189-196, (Rushcutters Bay, NSW: Australian National University Press, 1986, ISBN 008033038X); New South Wales, Parliament, The New South Wales Parliamentary Record: Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly, 1824-1999, vol. VI, pp. 7-15, (Sydney: Parliament of New South Wales, 1999).