ID 1088

Parliament of Tasmania, House of Assembly election

Election of 25 May 1882

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Tasmania, House of Assembly votes and seats won

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Election held on 25 May 1882
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)  3,831  100.00  0.00  32  20  100.00 
Votes for other than listed parties 0 0.00 0.00       
Totals 3,831  100.00    32  20  100.00 

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Election dates: Elections were held over the period from 25-31 May 1882. This was the last House of Assembly election to be held on multiple days.

Premier in office at election: There had been three changes of Premier since the previous House of Assembly general election in 1877. Premier Fysh resigned in March 1878 after the loss of a vote of confidence, and Giblin was commissioned to form a government. Without being able to make progress with the financial policies which he inherited from the Fysh government, Giblin resigned as Premier in December 1878 in favour of Crowther. When Crowther's Colonial Treasurer, David Lewis, proposed an income tax which was defeated, Crowther requested a dissolution of the House of Assembly. This request was refused by Governor Weld, and Crowther resigned as Premier in October 1879. Giblin was then recommissioned as Premier. For summary details of these changes of Premier and references on their careers, see the entries for each Premier in the 'Periods in office' component of this website; see also Reynolds, p. 144-151, (see 'References', below) and Terry Newman, Sandstone and Statutes: A History of the Tasmanian Parliament, (in process).

The House of Assembly had come to the end of its five year term in mid 1882 and was dissolved for a general election.

Premier in office after election: Giblin's period in office ushered in a new style of parliamentary politics, the so called 'Continuous Ministry' which lasted for the terms of three premiers until 1887; see Reynolds, pp 151-167, (see 'References', below).

Franchise: The electoral system had been modified in 1870-71; property qualifications for voting were reduced for the Assembly from £100 to £50 for a freehold estate, and from £10 to £7 annual rent, and from £100 to £80 annual salary (Bennett and Bennett, p. 7, see 'Sources', below). The franchise had to be claimed annually, and plural voting was permitted for those who had the qualifications for the franchise in more than one electoral district; see Terry Newman, Sandstone and Statutes: A History of the Tasmanian Parliament, (in process).

Electoral system and voting: The number of seats in the House of Assembly had been increased to 32 in 1870-71, all being single member electoral districts . Voters were required to strike out the names of candidates on a printed ballot paper until only one name remained on the ballot. Votes were counted by the first past the post (plurality) method and cast using the secret ballot (see Newman in 'References', below).

Missing data: No record of the number of informal (invalid) ballots is available for one of the 12 contested electoral districts at this election.

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, pp 59-65, and 115-192, (Hobart: L G Shea, Government Printer, [1956]), and W A Townsley, Tasmania From Colony to Statehood 1803-1945, pp 111-128 (Hobart: St David's Park Publishing, 1991, ISBN 0724625753). On Tasmania's early adoption of the secret ballot in 1856, see Terry Newman, 'Tasmania and the Secret Ballot', Australian Journal of Politics and History, 9 (1) 2003: 93-101, and note pp 99-100 which gives an idea of the context of voting in early Tasmanian elections.


Voting figures and election results calculated from information in Scott Bennett and Barbara Bennett, Tasmanian Electoral Handbook, 1851-1982, (Kensington, NSW: Reference Section of History Project Incorporated, University of New South Wales, 1983). The difficulties of determining the accuracy of early Tasmanian election results is discussed in Scott Bennett, 'The Statistics of Tasmania and the Study of Tasmanian Elections: A Cautionary Note', in Tasmanian Historical Research Association, Papers and Proceedings, 45(4), December 1998: 237-242.