ID 0445

Parliament of Tasmania, House of Assembly election

Election of 24 February 1996


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)
24 February 1996

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
Minority
If coalition, coalition partner(s)

Enrolment and voting

Total number of voters on the roll
324,556
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
324,556
Total ballots cast (may differ from number of votes in multiple voting systems)
311,487
Turnout (rate of voting in contested seats)
95.97%
Total valid votes
294,673
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
5.4%
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 24 February 1996
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  121,391  41.20  -12.92  16  45.71 
Australian Labor Party  119,262  40.47  +11.62  14  40.00 
Tasmanian Greens  32,813  11.14  11.43 
Independents  10,290  3.49  +2.36  2.86 
National Party  6,476  2.20     
Extremely Greedy 40% Extra Party  2,251  0.76     
Australian Democrats  2,190  0.74     
Votes for other than listed parties 0 0.00 0.00       
Totals 294,673  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 1 February 1992, the Liberal Party won 19 of the 35 Assembly seats, Groom became Premier of a Liberal Party majority government,

Government in office after election and change of Premier: At the general election for the House of Assembly on 24 February 1996 (this election), the Liberal Party won 16 of the 35 Assembly seats, the Australian Labor Party 14, the Tasmanian Greens 4, and one seat was won by an Independent. Before the election, both the Labor and Liberal parties had resisted the idea of any arrangement to secure majority support in the Assembly with the Tasmanian Greens but, after the election, Premier Groom had an assurance that the Tasmanian Greens would be willing to support the formation of a minority Liberal Party government. While at first appearing to be willing to remain Premier under such an arrangement, Groom decided to resign from the leadership of the Liberal Party three weeks after the election. The Liberal caucus chose Rundle as Groom's replacement, and Rundle became Premier of a Liberal Party minority government; see Tanner, p.453 (see 'References', below).

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: At the previous three House of Assembly elections in 1986, 1989 and 1992, groups of Independent candidates had run as candidates sharing a platform stressing environmental concerns and parliamentary accountability. These groups were often referred to as Green Independents but were listed on the ballot papers for these elections in ways which differed between elections. To assist with the comparative presentation of votes for environmental parties in Australia, the votes won by these candidates were assigned to 'Tasmanian Greens (Independents)' in this database even though this label was not used at these elections. For more information, see the note on 'Tasmanian Greens (Independents)' for the 1989 House of Assembly election.

At the 1996 Assembly election (this election), the Tasmanian Greens were a formally recognized party providing this name as a party label for its candidates; this transition is regarded as a change of party name in this database so that no figures for 'Change from previous election %' are shown in the table above. At the 1992 Assembly, the Tasmanian Greens (Independents) vote share was 13.23 percent; the Tasmanian Greens vote share for 1996 was 11.14 percent, a decline of 2.09 percent.

National Party: The National Party was led by a former business associate of the Queensland National Party Premier Bjelke-Petersen; see Tanner, p.452 (see 'References', below). A rural oriented party had not fielded candidates for House of Assembly elections since the Country Party in 1964.

Extremely Greedy 40% Extra Party: As the party name suggests, this party ran candidates to protest against the large pay rise that Tasmanian parliamentarians had voted themselves under the Groom government; note Stephen Tanner, 'Tasmania', Australian Journal of Politics and History, Australian Political Chronicle, July-December 1994, 41 (2) August 1995: 310-315 at 311-312.

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. Ten candidates ran as members of five groups of Independents and gained 6,932 first preference votes, with one candidate -- former federal Liberal Party member of the House of Representatives, B J Goodluck -- being elected. In addition, seven 'ungrouped' Independent candidates gained 3,358 first preference votes; none of these candidates was elected.

References: For a survey of this election and its context, see Stephen Tanner, 'Tasmania', Australian Journal of Politics and History, Australian Political Chronicle, January-June 1996, 42 (3) August 1996: 453-460, and note K Crowley, 'The Tasmanian State Election 1996: Green Power and Hung Parliaments', Environmental Politics, 5 (3) Fall 1996: 530-535.

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 Parliamentary Elections Report (1995-1997), (Hobart: Tasmanian Electoral Office, 1997), online at: https://bit.ly/2LtGkB0



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