ID 0419

Parliament of Tasmania, House of Assembly election

Election of 30 April 1912


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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 1912

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
Liberal Party
House of Assembly support for government at election
Majority
If coalition, coalition partner(s)

Government in office after election

Premier in office after election.
Premier's party affiliation
Liberal 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
103,513
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
103,513
Total ballots cast (may differ from number of votes in multiple voting systems)
76,052
Turnout (rate of voting in contested seats)
73.47%
Total valid votes
73,886
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
2.85%
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 1912
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 %
Liberal Party  38,071  51.53  16  53.33 
Australian Labor Party  33,634  45.52  +6.58  14  46.67 
Independents  2,181  2.95  +1.97     
Votes for other than listed parties 0 0.00 0.00       
Totals 73,886  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

Premier in office at election: There had been three changes of Premier since the previous election in 1909. Evans resigned as Premier of an Anti-Socialist government soon after the election. His resignation prompted the fusion of anti-Labor parliamentarians to form the Liberal Party under Lewis who was commissioned in June 1909 as Premier of a Liberal Party majority government. But some parliamentary member of the newly formed Liberal Party had only provided conditional support for Lewis and voted with the opposition Labor Party members on a vote of censure to bring down the government in October 1909. Lewis resigned and the leader of the Opposition, Earle, was commissioned as Premier of an Australian Labor Party minority government, Tasmania's first Labor government. The Earle Labor government lasted seven days before being defeated on a vote of no confidence after the six rebel Liberal members rejoined the Liberal Party and supported Lewis for another term in office. Lewis was recommissioned as Premier of a Liberal Party majority government. For summary details of these changes of Premier, see Hughes and Graham, pp. 256-257 (see 'Sources', below), and the entries for each Premier in the 'Periods in office' component of this website, and note Richard Davis, Eighty Years' Labor: The ALP in Tasmania, 1903-1983, (Hobart: Sassafras Books and the History Department, University of Tasmania, 1983, ISBN 0859012212).

Premier in office after election: The Liberal Party won a majority of seats at the 1912 general election for the House of Assembly, but there was dissatisfaction among Liberal parliamentarians with the leadership of Lewis, even though he had led the party to victory. This led to a challenge to his leadership, his resignation from the leader's position, and his replacement by Solomon as Premier on 14 June 1912. Notwithstanding his replacement as Premier within two months of the general election, Lewis is regarded as premier in office after election in this database, as his replacement had as much to do with factional politics within the Liberal Party as with the result of the general election; see Hughes and Graham, p. 257 (see 'Sources', below) and the entries for each Premier in the 'Periods in office' component of this website.

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 notes 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. For details of the adoption of STV and references on the operation of the electoral system, see the notes to the 1909 House of Assembly elections; for a brief summary of changes to the electoral system from 1909 to 1994, see Terry Newman, Representation of the Tasmanian People, Expanded edition 1803-1994, Appendix 2 (Hobart: Tasmanian Parliamentary Library, 1994, ISBN 0724642475).

Liberal Party and the 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. The resignation of Evans as Premier after the 1909 election paved the way for the fusion of anti-Labor parliamentarians to form the Liberal Party. 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), and 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).

Differences in voting figures; Independents: In the table above, votes are shown for Independents. Bennett and Bennett show four candidates who ran for office without any party affiliation, none of whom was elected (Bennett and Bennett pp 168-170). Hughes and Graham, and the official election report (see 'Sources', below) show the same number of votes for the Australian Labor Party as Bennett and Bennett, but assign all other candidates and first preference votes to the Liberal Party; this gives the Liberal Party 40,252 first preference votes (54.5 percent). The difference between the sources reflects different approaches to deciding what amounts to a candidate being affiliated with a political party.

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

Voting figures were calculated from information provided by 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 General Election for House of Assembly, April 30 1912, (Hobart: Tasmanian Parliamentary Papers, 1912), online at: https://bit.ly/2Lvle5q



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