ID 0428

Parliament of Tasmania, House of Assembly election

Election of 20 February 1937


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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)
20 February 1937

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
Minority
If coalition, coalition partner(s)

Government in office after election

Premier's party affiliation
Australian Labor 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
132,001
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
132,001
Total ballots cast (may differ from number of votes in multiple voting systems)
124,460
Turnout (rate of voting in contested seats)
94.29%
Total valid votes
121,463
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
2.41%
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 20 February 1937
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  71,263  58.67  +12.89  18  60.00 
Nationalist Party (Nationalists)  47,204  38.86  -7.85  12  40.00 
Independents  2,996  2.47  -3.41     
Votes for other than listed parties 0 0.00 0.00       
Totals 121,463  100.00    30  100.00 


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Notes

Government in office at election: At the previous general election for the House of Assembly held in June 1934, the Australian Labor Party had won 14 of the 30 seats in the House of Assembly. Ogilvie became Premier of an Australian Labor Party minority government supported by an Independent Labor member, G G Becker, and at least one of the Independent members, G S Carruthers, and B J Pearsall.

Government in office after election: At the general election held in February 1937 (this election), the Ogilvie Labor government was returned, winning 18 of the 30 seats with more that 58 percent of the first preference vote. Ogilvie became Premier of an Australian Labor Party majority government.

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 [countback] 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).

Extension of House of Assembly terms: The Electoral Act of 1936 extended the maximum duration of the term of the House of Assembly from three to five years.

Independents: The vote shown for Independents in the table above is the vote gained by eight candidates who ran for election without any stated party affiliation, none of whom 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]), W A Townsley, Tasmania From Colony to Statehood 1803-1945, particularly pp 361-362 (Hobart: St David's Park Publishing, 1991, ISBN 0724625753), 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).

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 20th February, 1937, (Hobart: Tasmanian Parliamentary Papers, 1937), online at: https://bit.ly/2rPxjdL



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