New South Wales has a parliamentary system of government. This makes elections for the New South Wales Legislative Assembly doubly important; voters are choosing both a representative for their local electoral district, and someone who will support or oppose the current government.
The idea of voting for a representative is straightforward, but running an election for the Legislative Assembly is a complicated process requiring an extensive body of administrative rules. The information given on this webpage provides a brief outline of some of these rules. The table below gives a brief summary of the electoral systems used for the Legislative Assembly since 1890, and information on the number of electors on the roll (registered voters), the number of electors in contested seats, the number of voters who cast a ballot, the electoral turnout (the rate of voting in contested seats), and the rate of informal (invalid) voting.
The summary information on this page has been compiled from records in the Australian Government and Politics Database at the University of Western Australia. The individual records for each general election and period in office in New South Wales -- available through this website -- include references to sources and further reading. The Government of New South Wales sponsored a wide range of publications on New South Wales politics and government as part of the celebrations in 2006 for 150 years of self-government in New South Wales, (see Sesquicentenary of responsible government in NSW), which provide more detailed information on the history, politics and government of New South Wales than is available from this website.
Much more information on the conduct of elections in New South Wales can be found in David Clune and Gareth Griffith, Decision and Deliberation: The Parliament of New South Wales 1856-2003, (Sydney: Federation Press, 2006, ISBN 186287591X); and Anne Twomey, The Constitution of New South Wales, (Sydney: Federation Press, 2004, ISBN 1862875162) which are the sources for much of the material on this webpage. For more information on electoral systems, see David M Farrell and Ian McAllister, The Australian Electoral System: Origins, Variations Consequences, (Sydney: University of New South Wales Press, 2006, ISBN 0868408581).