1859 New South Wales colonial election

The 1859 New South Wales colonial election was held between 9 June and 7 July 1859. This election was for all of the 80 seats in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly and it was conducted in 58 single-member constituencies, seven 2-member constituencies and two 4-member constituencies, all with a first past the post system.[1] Suffrage was limited to adult white males. The previous parliament of New South Wales was dissolved on 11 April 1859 by the Governor, Sir William Denison, on the advice of the Premier, Charles Cowper.

1859 New South Wales colonial election

← 1858 9 June 1859 –
7 July 1859
1860 →

All 80 seats in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly
41 Assembly seats were needed for a majority
  PremierWilliamForster.jpg Charlescowper.jpg
Leader William Forster Charles Cowper
Leader's seat Queanbeyan East Sydney

Premier before election

Charles Cowper

Elected Premier

William Forster

There was no recognisable party structure at this election; instead the government was determined by a loose, shifting factional system.

Key datesEdit

Date Event
11 April 1859 The Legislative Assembly was dissolved, and writs were issued by the Governor to proceed with an election.
7 June to 26 June 1859 Nominations for candidates for the election closed.
9 June to 7 July 1859 Polling days.
30 August 1859 Opening of new Parliament.


New South Wales colonial election, 9 June 1859 – 7 July 1859 [1]
Legislative Assembly
<< 18581860 >>

Enrolled voters 78,231
Votes cast 52,153 Turnout 52.54 [a] +9.45
Informal votes 26 Informal 0.08 +0.08
Summary of votes by party
Party Primary votes % Swing Seats Change
Total 52,153     80  
  1. ^ There were 15 uncontested districts and turnout is based on the roll of 65,630 for the contested districts.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Green, Antony. "1859 election totals". New South Wales Election Results 1856-2007. Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 21 September 2019.

See alsoEdit