ID 0418

Parliament of Tasmania, House of Assembly election

Election of 30 April 1909


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General election for the House of Assembly
Tasmania
Date of election (or first day of voting at elections held over more than one day)
30 April 1909

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
Ministerialists
House of Assembly support for government at election
Minority
If coalition, coalition partner(s)

Government in office after election

Premier in office after election.
Premier's party affiliation
Anti - Socialist Party
House of Assembly support for government after election
Majority
If coalition, coalition partner(s)

Enrolment and voting

Total number of voters on the roll
95,784
Number of Assembly seats
30
Number of uncontested seats
0
If uncontested seats, number of voters on the roll in uncontested seats
Number of voters on the roll in contested seats
95,784
Total ballots cast (may differ from number of votes in multiple voting systems)
50,402
Turnout (rate of voting in contested seats)
52.62%
Total valid votes
48,960
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
2.86%
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system
Not applicable
Electoral system
Universal suffrage at 21 years; multimember districts; proportional representation by the single transferable vote method (STV)


Tasmania, House of Assembly votes and seats won

Display Chart

Election held on 30 April 1909
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 %
Anti - Socialist Party  29,044  59.32  18  60.00 
Australian Labor Party  19,067  38.94  +12.41  12  40.00 
Independents  483  0.99  -7.29     
Independent Labor   366  0.75     
Votes for other than listed parties 0 0.00 -22.35       
Totals 48,960  100.00    30  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.

Notes

Government after election: The Ministerialist minority government of Evans fought the election with other groups as Anti-Socialists and was able to form a majority Anti-Socialist Party government; see notes, below.

Franchise: The Constitution Act Amendment Act of 1903 introduced universal franchise for House of Assembly elections (but not for the Legislative Council); although all women over 21 could vote under the same conditions as men, women could not stand as candidates; for details of the franchise and qualifications for candidates, see the note to the 1903 House of Assembly elections. For previous franchise arrangements, see the notes to House of Assembly elections before 1903.

Electoral system and voting: The Constitution Amendment Act 1906 '...reduced the number of Assembly districts to five, the boundaries of which were to be identical with the five Commonwealth electoral districts. The Assembly was to number 30 members, with 6 elected from each district', Bennett and Bennett, p.12, (see 'Sources', below).

The Electoral Act 1907 introduced proportional representation by the single transferable vote (STV) method to elect all members of the Assembly, a method which became known as the Hare-Clark system. The system was similar to the method used for Hobart and Launceston at the 1897 and 1900 elections (see the notes to the 1900 House of Assembly elections) but differed in the way the quota for election was calculated. Voters were required to express at least three preferences; for summary details of the 1907 Electoral Act, see Bennett and Bennett, p.12, (see 'Sources', below), and Hughes and Graham p. 589 (see 'Sources', below) . For a brief summary of the Hare-Clark system and its context, see David M Farrell and Ian McAllister, The Australian Electoral System: Origins, Variations and Consequences, pp 26-27 (Sydney: University of New South Wales Press, 2006, ISBN 0868408581); for historical background and details, see Marcus Haward and James Warden (editors), An Australian Democrat: The Life, Work, and Consequences of Andrew Inglis Clark, (Hobart: Centre for Tasmanian Historical Studies, University of Tasmania, 1995, ISBN 0859016412), and Terry Newman, Hare-Clark in Tasmania: Representation of All Opinions, (Hobart: Joint Library Committee of the Parliament of Tasmania, 1992, ISBN 0724638768).

Differences in voting figures; Liberal Democrats: The aggregate voting figures shown in the tables above for this election are taken from the Tasmanian Parliamentary website (see 'Sources', below). Hughes and Graham present the same figures for enrolment and total votes cast, but differ in assigning 4,748 (9.69 percent) of the valid vote to a separate grouping, the Liberal Democrats, reducing the vote share of the Anti-Socialist Party, and its seats by one. Hughes and Graham state that '[t]he Liberal Democrats were prepared to seek Labor support and to compromise with Labor policies', Hughes and Graham, p. 599 (see 'Sources', below) but, after the election, both groups fused to form the Liberal Party (see notes below).

Emergence of political parties During the 1890s, the factional politics of previous years began to give way to political groupings and electoral organizations which foreshadowed the emergence of modern political parties. For studies of the emergence of political parties in Tasmania, see Patrick Weller, 'Tasmania' in P Loveday, A W Martin and R S Parker (editors), The Emergence of the Australian Party System, pp 355-382 (Sydney: Hale & Iremonger, 1977, ISBN 0908094035), R P Davis, 'Tasmania', in D J Murphy (editor), Labor in Politics: The State Labor Parties in Australia 1880-1920, pp 389-445, (St Lucia, Qld: University of Queensland Press, 1975, ISBN 0702209392), and Richard Davis, Eighty Years' Labor: The ALP in Tasmania, 1903-1983, (Hobart: Sassafras Books and the History Department, University of Tasmania, 1983, ISBN 0859012212).

Anti-Socialist Party: 'The growth of the Labor Party produced a group of Anti-Socialists united only by their opposition to Labor policies, and including both supporters and opponents of the Evans ministry', Hughes and Graham, p. 599 (see 'Sources', below). The Anti-Socialists were the immediate precursors of the Liberal Party.

Independent: In the table above, votes are shown for an Independent candidate who ran for office without any stated party affiliation (Bennett and Bennett, p. 166, see 'Sources', below). Other sources show these as 'Other', or included the votes in the total of Anti-Socialist votes.

References: For a description of the style of elections and parliamentary government in this period, see W A Townsley, 'Electoral Systems and Constituencies', and John Reynolds, 'Premiers and Political Leaders', in F C Green (editor), Tasmania: A Century of Responsible Government 1856-1956, (Hobart: L G Shea, Government Printer, [1956]), and W A Townsley, Tasmania From Colony to Statehood 1803-1945, (Hobart: St David's Park Publishing, 1991, ISBN 0724625753).

Sources

Information for this election was taken from 'House of Assembly Election Results, 1909-2006', Tasmanian Parliamentary Library, Tasmanian Parliament website: https://bit.ly/2uvczZ8 ; Scott Bennett and Barbara Bennett, Tasmanian Electoral Handbook, 1851-1982, (Kensington, NSW: Reference Section of History Project Incorporated, University of New South Wales, 1983); Colin A Hughes and B D Graham, A Handbook of Australian Government and Politics 1890-1964, (Canberra: Australian National University Press, 1968, SBN 708102700); and note Report of Committee on General Election, 1909, (Hobart: Tasmanian Parliamentary Papers, 1909), online at: https://bit.ly/2vaM4dY



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