Tasmanian state election, 1969

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Tasmanian state election, 1969

← 1964 10 May 1969 1972 →

All 35 seats to the House of Assembly

  First party Second party Third party
  Angus Bethune.jpg Eric Reece.jpg Kevin Lyons.jpg
Leader Angus Bethune Eric Reece Kevin Lyons
Party Liberal Labor Centre
Leader since 19 March 1960 26 August 1958 1969
Leader's seat Wilmot Braddon Braddon
Last election 16 seats 19 seats 0 seats
Seats won 17 seats 17 seats 1 seats
Seat change Increase1 Decrease2 Increase1
Percentage 43.98% 47.68% 4.31%
Swing Increase5.49 Decrease3.64 Decrease0.94

Premier before election

Eric Reece

Resulting Premier

Angus Bethune

The Tasmanian state election, 1969 was held on 10 May 1969 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[1] — seven members were elected from each of five electorates.

The incumbent Labor Party, which had been in power continuously since 1934, was led by Eric Reece, who had been premier of Tasmania since 1958. The opposition Liberal Party was led by Angus Bethune.

The election resulted in a hung parliament, with the Labor and Liberal parties on 17 seats each (out of 35). The balance of power was held by Kevin Lyons, a former Liberal who had quit the party in 1966 after a dispute over preselection and formed the Centre Party. Lyons approached Bethune with an offer for a coalition government with himself as Deputy Premier. Bethune agreed, allowing him to form government by one seat—thus consigning Labor to opposition for the first time in 35 years.


Tasmanian state election, 10 May 1969
House of Assembly
<< 19641972 >>

Enrolled voters 210,268
Votes cast 198,571 Turnout 94.44 –0.99
Informal votes 9,248 Informal 4.66 +0.34
Summary of votes by party
Party Primary votes % Swing Seats Change
  Labor 90,278 47.68 –3.64 17 – 2
  Liberal 83,261 43.98 +5.49 17 + 1
  Centre Party[1] 8,160 4.31 –0.94 1 + 1
  Labor (Anti-Communist) 3,258 1.72 –0.07 0 ± 0
  Independent 4,366 2.31 –0.79 0 ± 0
Total 189,323     35  
1 The Centre Party was composed out of the former Country Party in Tasmania, and was supported by federal Country MHRs.

Distribution of Seats[edit]


The Liberal-Centre coalition lasted for one term, with Lyons dissolving the partnership in 1972. The resulting instability triggered an election, which was easily won by Eric Reece and the Labor Party.

See also[edit]