Tasmanian state election, 1996

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Tasmanian state election, 1996
1992 ←
24 February 1996 → 1998

All 35 seats to the House of Assembly
  First party Second party Third party
Leader Ray Groom Michael Field Christine Milne
Party Liberal Labor Greens
Leader since 17 December 1991 14 December 1988 1993
Leader's seat Denison Braddon Lyons
Last election 19 seats 11 seats 5 seats
Seats won 16 seats 14 seats 4 seats
Seat change Decrease3 Increase3 Decrease1
Percentage 41.21% 40.47% 11.14%
Swing Decrease12.91 Increase11.62 Decrease2.09

Premier before election

Ray Groom

Resulting Premier

Tony Rundle

Elections for the Tasmanian House of Assembly were held on 24 February 1996. The Liberal Party of Australia, led by Ray Groom, hoped to secure another term in government.

The Opposition Labor party was headed by Michael Field and the Tasmanian Greens were headed by Christine Milne.

Prior to the election, the Liberal Party held 19 of the 35 seats, a majority in the House of Assembly. Labor held 11 and the Tasmanian Greens held five.

Before the election Groom had increased the wages of all serving politicians by 40%; this was done early in his term and he had hoped the electorate would forget about it. The electorate was reminded in 1996, by the "Extremely Greedy 40% Extra Party" who fielded candidates. Bumper stickers were placed on cars around the state reading "40% never forget" although politicians' wages had been on freeze for some time and the rise was in keeping with inflation.

Groom promised he would only govern in majority.


The election ended with a swing against the Liberals. A fall of over 10% caused them to lose their parliamentary majority. The Liberals lost three sitting members; Carole Cains, John Barker and Brian Davison. The Liberals polled strongly in Braddon and Bass but poorly in Franklin.

Labor polled well in Denison and Franklin. The Tasmanian Greens suffered a state-wide swing against them and lost one of their seats (Lance Armstrong in Bass) but gained the balance of power because Di Hollister narrowly held onto her seat in Braddon, while the party received a high vote in Denison.

The Extremely Greedy 40% Extra Party polled 0.8% of the vote, well behind winning a seat, but its appearance on the ballot paper succeeded in reminding voters of the previous wage increases. Independent Bruce Goodluck narrowly won a seat at the expense of the Liberals' Paul Harriss. The Australian Democrats ran four candidates in Franklin but were unsuccessful at winning a seat.

Tasmanian state election, 24 February 1996
House of Assembly
<< 19921998 >>

Enrolled voters 324,556
Votes cast 311,486 Turnout 95.98 +1.00
Informal votes 16,815 Informal 5.40 +0.84
Summary of votes by party
Party Primary votes  % Swing Seats Change
  Liberal 121,391 41.20 –12.91 16 – 3
  Labor 119,260 40.47 +11.62 14 + 3
  Greens 32,813 11.14 –2.09 4 – 1
  National 6,476 2.20 +2.20 0 ± 0
  Extremely Greedy 40 Extra 2,251 0.76 +0.76 0 ± 0
  Democrats 2,190 0.74 +0.74 0 ± 0
  Independent 10,290 3.49 +2.36 1 + 1
  Others –2.67 0 ± 0
Total 294,671     35  

Distribution of Seats[edit]

Electorate Seats won


Labor had the numbers to enter minority government with the Greens, but had refused to do so. The Liberal premier, Ray Groom, who had announced that the Liberals would not govern in minority, was forced to resign and was replaced by Tony Rundle, who reached an informal agreement with the Greens.

This election was the last time that Tasmanians voted 35 members into parliament because it was reduced to 25 members in 1998.

See also[edit]


Further reading[edit]

  • (1994) Democracy through education, education through participation : a presentation to the Board of Inquiry into the Size & Constitution of the Tasmanian Parliament.