ID 1030

Parliament of New South Wales, Legislative Assembly election

Election of 8 June 1859

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New South Wales, Legislative Assembly votes and seats won

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Election held on 8 June 1859
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 %
Independents (No disciplined party groupings)  52,151  100.00  0.00  80  16  100.00 
Votes for other than listed parties 0 0.00 0.00       
Totals 52,151  100.00    80  16  100.00 

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Election dates: Elections were held over the period from 9 June to 7 July 1859 (nominations were open from 7 to 26 June 1859).

Electoral system and franchise: The Electoral Act of 1858 made major changes to the electoral system; it created 'virtual manhood suffrage' (Clune and Griffith, p. 33, see 'Sources', below), introduced the secret ballot, and abandoned community based representation by redrawing electoral district boundaries on the basis of population; see P Loveday and A W Martin, Parliament, Factions and Parties: The First Thirty Years of Responsible Government in New South Wales, 1856-1889, p. 29, (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1966). This publication gives a description and analysis of the style of parliamentary government in this period.

Under the 1858 electoral legislation the membership of the Legislative Assembly was increased for this election to 80 chosen from 58 single member electoral districts, 7 two-member, and 2 four-member districts (67 electoral districts in total). The membership was reduced to 72 from 1 December 1859 with the exclusion of eight members from districts which became part of the newly established colony of Queensland. For a description of the style of electioneering, see Michael Hogan, 'Voting in Colonial New South Wales', in Michael Hogan, Leslie Muir and Hilary Golder (editors), The People's Choice: Electoral Politics in Colonial New South Wales, pp 25-34, (Sydney: Federation Press, 2007, ISBN 9781862876255), and the Glossary entry elections in New South Wales, 1859 to 1887.

Total ballots cast and turnout: As plural voting was permitted, the number of ballots cast at this election (52,143) was greater than the number of voters. The turnout rate is one estimated by Antony Green (see 'Sources', below).

References: For a comprehensive survey of this election and the preceding period, see David Clune, '1858-59', in Michael Hogan, Leslie Muir and Hilary Golder (editors), The People's Choice: Electoral Politics in Colonial New South Wales, pp 63-84, (Sydney: Federation Press, 2007, ISBN 9781862876255). For comprehensive information on the Parliament of New South Wales during this period, see Clune and Griffith, ch. 1, (see 'Sources', below).


Election details are taken from the extensive information for each Legislative Assembly election provided by Antony Green in 'New South Wales Election Results 1856-2007', displayed on the Parliament of New South Wales website at: .

Summary electoral information and electoral maps can be found in Eamonn Clifford, Antony Green and David Clune (editors), The Electoral Atlas of New South Wales 1856-2006, (Bathurst NSW: New South Wales Department of Lands, 2006, ISBN 9780975235423); see also David Clune and Gareth Griffith, Decision and Deliberation: The Parliament of New South Wales 1856-2003, (Sydney: Federation Press, 2006, ISBN 186287591X).