ID 0331

Parliament of New South Wales, Legislative Assembly election

Election of 19 March 1988

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)
19 March 1988

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
Liberal Party
Legislative Assembly support for government after election
If coalition, coalition partner(s)
National Party

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); optional preferences; compulsory voting

New South Wales, Legislative Assembly votes and seats won

Display Chart

Election held on 19 March 1988
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  1,233,703  38.49  -10.27  43  39.45 
Liberal Party  1,147,613  35.80  +3.63  39  35.78 
National Party  440,391  13.74  +2.89  20  18.35 
Independents  259,297  8.09  +3.77  6.42 
Australian Democrats  58,163  1.81  -1.03     
Independents EFF (Enterprise, Freedom & Family)  39,194  1.22     
Call to Australia  14,205  0.44     
Illawarra Workers Party  6,755  0.21     
Socialist Party of Australia  2,717  0.08     
Community Independents  2,422  0.08     
Nuclear Disarmament Party  1,064  0.03     
Votes for other than listed parties 0 0.00 -0.22       
Totals 3,205,524  100.00    109  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.


Premier in office at election: There had been a change of Premier since the previous election; 'After completing 10 years as Premier, in June 1986 Wran announced his intention to retire. Unsworth, the Government Leader in the Legislative Council, was chosen by the dominant right wing faction [of the Australian Labor Party in New South Wales] to succeed him. In the two ensuing by-elections, Wran's own seat was lost and Unsworth secured a seat in the Legislative Assembly by merely 50 votes', Hughes, p. 50 (see 'Sources', below), and see Hagan and Clothier, p. 259 (see 'References', below).

Call to Australia: This party was closely associated with Fred Nile, a publicist for Christian and family values; see Hagan and Clothier, pp. 205-206 (see 'References', below). The party's main focus was to win seats in the New South Wales Legislative Council, but it also ran candidates for seats in the Legislative Assembly at the 1988, 1991 and 1995 elections.

Independents: There were 82 Independent candidates at this election (7 being elected) and 7 candidates from unlisted minor parties; see Hagan and Clothier, pp. 274-275 (see 'References', below).

References: For a comprehensive survey of this election and the preceding period, see Jim Hagan and Craig Clothier, '1988', in Michael Hogan and David Clune (editors), The People's Choice: Electoral Politics in 20th Century New South Wales, vol. 3 (1968-1999), pp. 251-281, (Sydney: Parliament of New South Wales and University of Sydney, 2001, ISBN 0909907412); note also, Antony Green, NSW Elections 1984 to 1991: A Comparative Analysis, (Sydney: New South Wales Parliamentary Library, Current Issues: Background Paper, 1994, ISSN 0817-3796; ISBN 0724095632).


Antony Green, Changing Boundaries, Changing Fortunes: An Analysis of the NSW Elections of 1988 and 1991, p. 7, (Sydney: New South Wales Parliamentary Library, Occasional Paper No. 7 October 1998, 1998, ISSN 1325-5142; ISBN 0731316290); Colin A Hughes, A Handbook of Australian Government and Politics 1985-1999, pp. 299-300, (Sydney: Federation Press, 2002, ISBN 1862874344); 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).