ID 0442

Parliament of Tasmania, House of Assembly election

Election of 8 February 1986


Show only vote and seat summary details

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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)
8 February 1986

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
290,277
Number of Assembly seats
35
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
290,277
Total ballots cast (may differ from number of votes in multiple voting systems)
272,306
Turnout (rate of voting in contested seats)
93.81%
Total valid votes
256,161
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
5.93%
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system
Not applicable
Electoral system
Universal suffrage at 18 years (from 1976); 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 8 February 1986
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  138,836  54.20  +5.68  19  54.29 
Australian Labor Party  90,003  35.14  -1.72  14  40.00 
Tasmanian Greens (Independents)  14,227  5.55  5.71 
Independents  7,823  3.05  -6.18     
Australian Democrats  5,272  2.06  -3.33     
Votes for other than listed parties 0 0.00 0.00       
Totals 256,161  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.

Notes

Government in office at election: At the previous general election for the House of Assembly on 15 May 1982, the Liberal Party had won 19 of the 35 seats in the House of Assembly and Gray was commissioned as Premier of a Liberal Party majority government.

Government in office after election: At the general election for the House of Assembly on 8 May 1986 (this election), the Liberal Party government was returned with 19 of the 35 seats in the House of Assembly; Gray was recommissioned as Premier of a Liberal 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', 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. From 1980, candidates' names were rotated within party lists on the ballots under a system of Robson rotation; for details, see the note to the 1979 House of Assembly election.

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).

Tasmanian Greens (Independents): In January 1983, R J (Bob) Brown became an Independent member of the House of Assembly after a recount of N K Sanders's ballots won at the 1982 Assembly election prompted by Sanders's resignation from his seat in the Assembly (see note on casual vacancies, above). Brown had succeeded Sanders as Director of the Tasmanian Wilderness Society and was to become a major figure in the formation of the Tasmanian Greens Party after the 1989 Assembly election. At the 1986 Assembly election (this election), Brown was one of four candidates who ran as grouped Independents on a platform stressing conservationist issues and parliamentary accountability. Brown and his conservationist colleague Gerry Bates were elected.

To assist with the comparative presentation of votes for environmental parties in Australia, the votes won by these four candidates at this election are assigned to 'Tasmanian Greens (Independents)' in the table above, even though this label was not used at the election and the Tasmanian Greens were not formally constituted as a party which contested Assembly elections until 1996.

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 (note the exclusion of Tasmanian Greens (Independents); see note, above). Two candidates ran as members of a group of Independents and gained 1,393 first preference votes, with no candidate being elected. In addition, four 'ungrouped' Independent candidates gained 6,430 first preference votes, none of whom was elected. As a consequence of the separate listing of the Tasmanian Green (Indepdendents) in the table above, the total votes for Independents will differ from that shown on the Tasmanian Parliamentary website (see 'Sources', below)

References: For a survey of this election and its context, see Graham A Smith, 'Tasmania', Australian Journal of Politics and History, Australian Political Chronicle, January-June 1986, 32 (3) January 1986: 475-480.

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), Colin A Hughes, A Handbook of Australian Government and Politics 1985-1999, (Sydney: Federation Press, 2002, ISBN 1862873433); and note Report on Parliamentary Elections 1983 to 1986, (Hobart: Tasmanian Parliamentary Papers, 1986), online at: https://bit.ly/2EOPKmT



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