ID 0426

Parliament of Tasmania, House of Assembly election

Election of 9 May 1931


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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)
9 May 1931

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
Nationalist Party
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
Nationalist 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
118,730
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
118,730
Total ballots cast (may differ from number of votes in multiple voting systems)
112,779
Turnout (rate of voting in contested seats)
94.99%
Total valid votes
108,894
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
3.44%
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); compulsory voting


Tasmania, House of Assembly votes and seats won

Display Chart

Election held on 9 May 1931
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 %
Nationalist Party (Nationalists)  61,414  56.40  +14.20  19  63.33 
Australian Labor Party  38,030  34.92  -12.23  10  33.33 
Independents  9,450  8.68  +0.27  3.33 
Votes for other than listed parties 0 0.00 0.00       
Totals 108,894  100.00    30  100.00 


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Notes

Government in office at election: At the previous House of Assembly election in 1928, the Nationalists had won 15 of the 30 seats and McPhee was commissioned as Premier of a Nationalist Party minority government relying on the support of the Independent member, B J Pearsall.

Government in office after election: The McPhee Nationalist Party government was confirmed in office, gaining more than 56 percent of the first preference votes and winning 19 of the 30 House of Assembly seats.

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).

The Electoral Amendment Act of 1917 provided that '...casual vacancies be filled, not by a fresh poll of the electorate [by-election] but by a re-count of the ballot papers which elected the vacating member. Candidates at the preceding general election were required to apply to be considered candidates....', Hughes and Graham, 1890-1964, p. 590 (see 'Sources', below).

First election with compulsory enrolment and voting: The Electoral Act of 1928 introduced compulsory voting, first implemented for the 1931 House of Assembly election (this election). The Electoral Act of 1930 made enrolment compulsory for all those eligible to vote. For a discussion of compulsory voting in Australia, see David M Farrell and Ian McAllister, The Australian Electoral System: Origins, Variations and Consequences, pp 121-126 (Sydney: University of New South Wales Press, 2006, ISBN 0868408581).

Independents: The vote shown for Independents in the table above is the vote gained by eleven candidates who ran for election without any stated party affiliation, one of whom, B Watkins, 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, particularly pp 344-345 (Hobart: St David's Park Publishing, 1991, ISBN 0724625753), 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).

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 on General Election, 9th May, 1931, (Hobart: Tasmanian Parliamentary Papers, 1931), online at: https://bit.ly/2Lvkptm



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