ID 0421

Parliament of Tasmania, House of Assembly election

Election of 25 March 1916

Show only vote and seat summary details

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General election for the House of Assembly
Date of election (or first day of voting at elections held over more than one day)
25 March 1916

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
House of Assembly support for government at election
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
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
Adult franchise 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 25 March 1916
Criteria for the inclusion of parties in this table are set out in the Glossary under 'listed party'

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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  36,118  48.47  +2.47  14  46.67 
Liberal Party  35,939  48.23  -4.35  15  50.00 
Independents  2,457  3.30  +1.88  3.33 
Votes for other than listed parties 0 0.00 0.00       
Totals 74,514  100.00    30  100.00 

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Government in office at election: There had been a change of government since the previous general election for the House of Assembly in 1913. Solomon and the Liberal Party had won a majority of seats in in 1913 but 'Labor won the Denison by-election in January 1914, and thereafter the House was equally divided 15-15. Evans, the Liberal Speaker, resigned in March and the Labor Party supplied a new Speaker, Woods. Earle [the leader of the opposition Labor Party] then moved a motion of no confidence which was carried 15-14 on 1 April, the Independent member, Whitsitt, now voting with Labor. Solomon sought a dissolution which was refused and then resigned on 3 April', Hughes and Graham, p. 257 (see 'Sources', below). Earle was then commissioned as Premier of an Australian Labor Party minority government.

Government in office after election: 'The Earle [Labor] Government lost one seat to the Liberals at the March 1916 election. Earle immediately indicated that he would resign; the Liberal parliamentary party met on 10 April and confirmed Lee as its leader; Earle then resigned...', Hughes and Graham, p. 257 (see 'Sources', below). Lee was commissioned as Premier of a Liberal minority government dependent on the support of the Independent member J T H Whitsitt.

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).

Independents: The vote shown for Independents in the table above is the vote gained by three candidates who ran for election without any stated party affiliation, one of whom, J T H Whitsitt, was elected.

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), and note 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).


Information for this election was taken from 'House of Assembly Election Results, 1909-2006', Tasmanian Parliamentary Library, Tasmanian Parliament website: ; 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 on General Election, 25 March 1916, (Hobart: Tasmanian Parliamentary Papers, 1916), online at: