Tasmanian House of Assembly

Last updated

House of Assembly
Tasmania Coat of Arms.svg
Type
Type
History
Founded1856
Leadership
Sue Hickey, Liberal
since 1 May 2018
Chair of Committees
Structure
Seats25
Tasmanian House of Assembly (2020).png
Political groups
Government
     Liberal (13)
Opposition
     Labor (9)
Crossbench
     Greens (2)
     Independent (1)
Elections
Single transferable vote from 5-member districts
Last general election
3 March 2018
Next general election
by 2022
Meeting place
Tasmanian House of Assembly.jpg
House of Assembly Chamber,
Parliament House, Hobart,
Tasmania, Australia
Website
House of Assembly

The House of Assembly, or Lower House, is one of the two chambers of the Parliament of Tasmania in Australia. The other is the Legislative Council or Upper House. It sits in Parliament House in the state capital, Hobart.

Contents

The Assembly has 25 members, elected for a term of up to four years, with five members being elected in each of five electorates, called divisions. Each division has approximately the same number of electors. Voting for the House of Assembly is by a form of proportional representation using the single transferable vote (STV), known as the Hare-Clark electoral system. By having multiple members for each division, the voting intentions of the electors are more closely represented in the House of Assembly.

Since 1998, the quota for election in each division, after distribution of preferences, has been 16.7% (one-sixth). Under the preferential proportional voting system in place, the lowest-polling candidates are eliminated, and their votes distributed as preferences to the remaining candidates. If a candidate achieves a quota, their surplus votes are redistributed as preferences.

This system not only makes it all but certain that the division's minority party wins at least one seat, but makes it easier for minor parties to enter the legislature and possibly gain the balance of power. In the present House of Assembly, winning 15 seatsonly two more than necessary for a majorityis considered a landslide victory. [1] The last election for the House of Assembly took place on 3 March 2018.

Most legislation is initiated in the House of Assembly. The party or coalition with a majority of seats in the House of Assembly is invited by the Governor of Tasmania to form Government. The leader of that party becomes the Premier of Tasmania, and his/her senior colleagues become ministers responsible for various portfolios. As Australian politicians traditionally vote along party lines, most legislation introduced by the governing party will be passed by the House of Assembly.

Unlike other Australian state legislatures, the House of Assembly is elected from multimember districts while the Legislative Council is elected from single-member districts. The reverse is the case in most of the rest of Australia; that is, the lower house is elected from single-member districts while the upper house is elected from multi-member districts.

History

YearMembers
185630
187032
188536
189337
190035
190630
195935
199825

The House of Assembly was first established in 1856, under legislation passed by the British Parliament creating the independent self-governing Colony of Tasmania. The Legislative Council had already existed since 1852. The first elections for the House of Assembly were held in October 1856. The House first met on 2 December 1856 in the area that is now the parliamentary members lounge. The first House had members elected to represent 24 electorates. Hobart had five members, Launceston had three members, and the 22 other electorates each had one member.

In 1906 the old electoral system was abolished. Instead, the state was divided into five equally represented multi-member electorates corresponding to the state's five federal electorates. Each electorate would return six members using the Hare-Clark proportional representation system.

In 1959 the number of members per electorate was increased to seven. In 1998 it was reduced to five, resulting in the current 25-member parliament. The reduction has been criticised by the Greens, as an attempt to reduce their influence. However, since the 2002 election the Green vote has increased and they currently hold three seats. In 2010, the leaders of the three main parties—Labor, the Liberals and the Greens—moved to increase the number of seats in the House back to 35 for the next state election. The three leaders signed an agreement on 2 September to submit the proposal for public consideration before taking a set of resolutions to their respective party rooms. [2] The proposal, however, was dropped in February 2011 when the Liberal Party withdrew its support for the plan, citing budget circumstances. [3]

Unlike most state parliaments in Australia, by-elections are very rare in the House of Assembly. Since 1917, casual vacancies have usually been filled by a simple recount of votes. [4] One of the few by-elections in recent memory occurred in 1980, when the Supreme Court ordered a new election in Denison because three Labor members had exceeded spending limits. [5]

Electorates

Tasmanian House of Assembly and Commonwealth House of Representatives electoral divisions Tasmania divisions overview 2016.png
Tasmanian House of Assembly and Commonwealth House of Representatives electoral divisions

With five members each, the five electoral divisions of the Tasmanian House of Assembly are:

The electorates of the Tasmanian House of Assembly have the same boundaries as the electorates for the federal House of Representatives. [6]

Members

Current distribution of seats

The distribution of seats as a result of the 2018 House of Assembly elections was:

PartySeats heldPercentageSeat distribution
Liberal Party 1352%            
Labor Party 936%            
Tasmanian Greens 28%            
Independent 14%            

See also

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1996 Tasmanian state election

The Tasmanian state election, 1996 was held on 24 February 1996 in the Australian state of Tasmania to elect 35 members of the Tasmanian House of Assembly. The election used the Hare-Clark proportional representation system — seven members were elected from each of five electorates. The quota required for election was 12.5% in each division.

Parliament House, Hobart house of parliament for State of Tasmania, Australia

Parliament House, Hobart, located on Salamanca Place in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, is the meeting place of the Parliament of Tasmania. The building was originally designed as a customs house but changed use in 1841 when Tasmania achieved self-government. The building served both purposes from 1841 to 1904, when the customs offices were relocated.

1992 Tasmanian state election

The Tasmanian state election, 1992 was held on 1 February 1992 in the Australian state of Tasmania to elect 35 members of the Tasmanian House of Assembly. The election used the Hare-Clark proportional representation system — seven members were elected from each of five electorates. The quota required for election was 12.5% in each division.

1986 Tasmanian state election

The Tasmanian state election, 1986 was held on 8 February 1986 in the Australian state of Tasmania to elect 35 members of the Tasmanian House of Assembly. The election used the Hare-Clark proportional representation system — seven members were elected from each of five electorates. The quota required for election was 12.5% in each division.

The 1909 Tasmanian state election was held on Friday, 30 April 1909 in the Australian state of Tasmania to elect 30 members of the Tasmanian House of Assembly. At the 1909 election there was a reduction in the number of members from 35 to 30 and the first statewide use of the Hare-Clark proportional representation system — six members were elected from each of five electorates. The election saw an increase in Labour seats from 7 to 12, at the expense of the Anti-Socialist Party.

The Tasmanian state election, 1982 was held on 15 May 1982 in the Australian state of Tasmania to elect 35 members of the Tasmanian House of Assembly. The election used the Hare-Clark proportional representation system — seven members were elected from each of five electorates. The quota required for election was 12.5% in each division.

The Tasmanian state election, 1979 was held on 28 July 1979 in the Australian state of Tasmania to elect 35 members of the Tasmanian House of Assembly. The election used the Hare-Clark proportional representation system — seven members were elected from each of five electorates. The quota required for election was 12.5% in each division.

1928 Tasmanian state election

The 1928 Tasmanian state election was held on Wednesday, 30 May 1928 in the Australian state of Tasmania to elect 30 members of the Tasmanian House of Assembly. The election used the Hare-Clark proportional representation system — six members were elected from each of five electorates.

1931 Tasmanian state election

The 1931 Tasmanian state election was held on 9 May 1931 in the Australian state of Tasmania to elect 30 members of the Tasmanian House of Assembly. The election used the Hare-Clark proportional representation system — six members were elected from each of five electorates. For the first time, voting was compulsory, resulting in a high voter turnout.

1950 Tasmanian state election

The 1950 Tasmanian state election was held on 6 May 1950 in the Australian state of Tasmania to elect 30 members of the Tasmanian House of Assembly. The election used the Hare-Clark proportional representation system — six members were elected from each of five electorates.

1955 Tasmanian state election

The 1955 Tasmanian state election was held on 19 February 1955 in the Australian state of Tasmania to elect 30 members of the Tasmanian House of Assembly. The election used the Hare-Clark proportional representation system — six members were elected from each of five electorates.

1956 Tasmanian state election

The Tasmanian state election, 1956 was held on 13 October 1956 in the Australian state of Tasmania to elect 30 members of the Tasmanian House of Assembly. The election used the Hare-Clark proportional representation system — six members were elected from each of five electorates.

1959 Tasmanian state election election

The Tasmanian state election, 1959 was held on 2 May 1959 in the Australian state of Tasmania to elect 35 members of the Tasmanian House of Assembly. The number of members were increased from this election from 30 to 35. The election used the Hare-Clark proportional representation system — seven members were elected from each of five electorates.

1964 Tasmanian state election

The Tasmanian state election, 1964 was held on 2 May 1964 in the Australian state of Tasmania to elect 35 members of the Tasmanian House of Assembly. The election used the Hare-Clark proportional representation system — seven members were elected from each of five electorates.

The Centre Party, previously the Country Party, was a minor Australian political party in the state of Tasmania. Initially formed in 1962 as a new Tasmanian branch of the Country Party of Australia after decades of inactivity in the state, it at first enjoyed no electoral success. In the run up to the 1969 election the party was joined by Kevin Lyons, a former Liberal turned independent member of the Assembly for Braddon, who renamed it the Centre Party and retained his seat at the election, securing the balance of power and serving as Deputy Premier in a coalition government until 1972. Upon the coalition's collapse the Centre Party faded away before being dissolved in 1975.

References