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1860 New South Wales colonial election

The 1860 New South Wales colonial election was held between 6 December and 24 December 1860. This election was for all of the 72 seats in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly and it was conducted in 52 single-member constituencies, six 2-member constituencies and two 4-member constituencies, all with a first past the post system.[1] Suffrage was limited to adult white males. This was the first election after the separation of Queensland in December 1859.

1860 New South Wales colonial election

← 1859 6 December 1860 –
24 December 1860
1864–65 →

All 72 seats in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly
37 Assembly seats were needed for a majority
  Sir John Robertson.jpg PremierWilliamForster.jpg
Leader John Robertson William Forster
Leader's seat Upper Hunter Queanbeyan

Premier before election

John Robertson

Elected Premier

Charles Cowper

The previous parliament of New South Wales was dissolved on 10 November 1860 by the Governor, Sir William Denison, on the advice of the Premier, John Robertson.

There was no recognisable party structure at this election; instead the government was determined by a loose, shifting factional system. Although Robertson won the election, he relinquished the premiership to Charles Cowper to concentrate on passing land reform bills as Secretary of Lands.

Key datesEdit

Date Event
10 November 1860 The Legislative Assembly was dissolved, and writs were issued by the Governor to proceed with an election.
5 December to 21 December 1860 Nominations for candidates for the election closed.
6 December to 24 December 1860 Polling days.
10 January 1861 Opening of new Parliament.


New South Wales colonial election, 6 December 1860 – 24 December 1860 [1]
Legislative Assembly
<< 18591864–65 >>

Enrolled voters 91,410
Votes cast 46,308 Turnout 42.91 [a] –9.63
Informal votes 48 Informal 0.17 +0.09
Summary of votes by party
Party Primary votes % Swing Seats Change
Total 46,308     72  
  1. ^ There were 17 uncontested districts and turnout is based on the roll of 66,581 for the contested districts.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Green, Antony. "1860 election totals". New South Wales Election Results 1856-2007. Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 21 September 2019.

See alsoEdit