ID 0437

Parliament of Tasmania, House of Assembly election

Election of 10 May 1969

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)
10 May 1969

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's party affiliation
Liberal Party
House of Assembly support for government after election
If coalition, coalition partner(s)
Centre Party

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); compulsory voting

Tasmania, House of Assembly votes and seats won

Display Chart

Election held on 10 May 1969
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 %
Australian Labor Party  90,278  47.68  -3.64  17  48.57 
Liberal Party  83,261  43.98  +5.49  17  48.57 
Centre Party  8,160  4.31  2.86 
Independents  4,366  2.31  -1.39     
Democratic Labor Party  3,258  1.72  +0.53     
Votes for other than listed parties 0 0.00 0.00       
Totals 189,323  100.00    35  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.


Government in office at election: The Australian Labor Party had won 19 of the 35 House of Assembly members at the previous Assembly election in May 1964, and the Liberal Party 16. Reece was commissioned as Premier of an Australian Labor Party majority government.

Government in office after election: Both the Australian Labor Party and the Liberal Party won 17 of the 35 Assembly seats at election in May 1969 (this election), the remaining seat being won by Kevin Lyons or the Centre Party. 'Hasty negotiations between Lyons and the leaders of both major parties were reported in the ensuing three days, but Lyons took his time. Not until 22 May was a Liberal-Centre party coalition announced, with Lyons receiving the deputy-premiership and the portfolios of chief-secretary and tourism', Peter J Boyce, p.110 (see 'References', below). Bethune was commissioned as Premier of a Liberal Party and Centre Party coalition 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', Bennett and Bennett, p.12, (see 'Sources', below). The 1906 Act specified six members in each electoral district, but this was increased to seven from 1959, creating an Assembly of 35 members. 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.

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). 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).

Centre Party: The Centre Party was formed in 1966 when Kevin Lyons, a long standing member of the Liberal Party in the Assembly, resigned from the Liberal Party and sat on the cross benches as a member, and later leader, of the Centre Party. Lyons was '... joined by the remnants of the the Tasmanian Country Party', Dean Jaensch and David Mathieson, A Plague on Both Your Houses: Minor Parties in Australia, p.105 (St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin, 1998, ISBN 1864484217). The Centre Party ran 14 candidates in all five Assembly electoral districts, but only Lyons was elected. This was the only election contested by Centre Party candidates.

Independents: Changes to the Electoral Act in 1941 meant that candidates who ran for election without any stated party affiliation (Independents) could run with one or more other like-minded Independents as a 'group' on the ballot paper, or be listed with all other Independent candidates in that electoral district in an 'ungrouped' list; for details, see the note to the 1941 House of Assembly elections.

The vote shown for Independents in the table above is the vote gained by the combination of both sets of Independent candidates. Two candidates ran as members of a group of Independents and gained 726 first preference votes, with neither being elected. In addition, three 'ungrouped' Independent candidates gained 3,640 first preference votes, none of whom was elected.

References: For a brief survey of this election and its context, see Peter J Boyce, 'Tasmania', Australian Journal of Politics and History, Australian Political Chronicle, May to August 1969, 15(3)December 1969: 110-111; for a survey of Tasmanian politics in this period, see W A Townsley, Tasmania: Microcosm of the Federation or Vassal State, 1945-1983, particularly pp 256, 280 (Hobart: St David's Park Publishing, 1994, ISBN 0724623450), 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), Colin A Hughes, A Handbook of Australian Government and Politics 1965-1974, (Canberra: Australian National University Press, 1977, ISBN 0708113400); and note Report on Parliamentary Elections, (Hobart: Tasmanian Parliamentary Papers, 1970), online at: