Tasmanian state election, 1979

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Tasmanian state election, 1979
1976 ←
18 July 1979 → 1982

All 35 seats to the House of Assembly
  First party Second party
Leader Doug Lowe Max Bingham
Party Labor Liberal
Leader since 1 December 1977 4 May 1972
Leader's seat Franklin Denison
Last election 18 seats 17 seats
Seats won 20 seats 15 seats
Seat change Increase2 Decrease2
Percentage 54.32% 41.31%
Swing Increase1.84 Decrease3.18

Premier before election

Doug Lowe

Elected Premier

Doug Lowe

Elections for the Tasmanian House of Assembly were held on 18 July 1979. The incumbent Labor Party, led by Doug Lowe, won a third term in office against the opposition Liberal Party, led by Max Bingham.


Bill Neilson, leader of the Labor Party and Premier of Tasmania, had retired on 1 December 1977 and been replaced by Doug Lowe.

The United Tasmania Group, which had contested the two previous elections, did not field any candidates for the 1979 election. Instead a new party, the Australian Democrats, founded by Don Chipp in 1977, emerged as the most significant minor party.


The Labor Party won the election, increasing its majority in the House of Assembly from one seat to five.

Doug Lowe received the highest personal vote ever in the House of Assembly: 24,971 or 51.2% of the vote in the seat of Franklin.[1]

Tasmanian state election, 18 July 1979
House of Assembly
<< 19761982 >>

Enrolled voters 265,428
Votes cast 248,866 Turnout 93.76 –0.78
Informal votes 9,582 Informal 3.85 +0.05
Summary of votes by party
Party Primary votes  % Swing Seats Change
  Labor 129,973 54.32 +1.84 20 + 2
  Liberal 98,845 41.31 –3.18 15 – 2
  Democrats 6,858 2.87 +2.87 0 ± 0
  Independent 3,608 1.51 +0.68 0 ± 0
Total 239,284     35  

Distribution of Seats[edit]

Electorate Seats won


Max Bingham resigned as opposition leader after losing his second election, and was replaced by Geoff Pearsall.

The election of three Labor MPs for Denison (Julian Amos, John Devine and John Green) was ruled invalid, due to the enforcement of a previously ignored rule limiting campaign expenditure to $1,500. A by-election was arranged for Denison in February 1980. The placement of the Labor candidates on the ballot paper, which placed Deputy Premier Neil Batt fourth, was believed to have led to the introduction of the Robson Rotation method of randomising ballot ordering.[2]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]