1889 New South Wales colonial election

The 1889 New South Wales colonial election was held between 1 February and 16 February 1889. This election was for all of the 137 seats in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly and it was conducted in 37 single-member constituencies, nineteen 2-member constituencies, ten 3-member constituencies and eight 4-member constituencies, all with a first past the post system.[1] Part 1 (section 13) of the Electoral Act of 1880 had awarded the right to vote to 'every male subject of Her Majesty of the full age of twenty-one years and absolutely free being a natural born or naturalized'.[2] The previous parliament of New South Wales was dissolved on 19 January 1889 by the Governor, Lord Carrington, on the advice of the Premier, George Dibbs.[1][3][4]

1889 New South Wales colonial election

← 1887 1 February 1889 – 16 February 1889 1891 →

All 137 seats in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly
69 Assembly seats were needed for a majority
  First party Second party
Leader Sir Henry Parkes George Dibbs
Party Free Trade Protectionist
Leader since 1886 17 January 1889
Leader's seat St Leonards Murrumbidgee
Last election 79 seats 37 seats
Seats won 71 seats 66 seats
Seat change Decrease8 Increase29
Percentage 48.63% 51.37%
Swing Decrease12.12 Increase18.48

Results of the election, showing winners in each seat. Seats without circles indicate the electorate returned one member.

Premier before election

George Dibbs

Elected Premier

Sir Henry Parkes
Free Trade

Dibbs had assumed office shortly before the election after the previous Premier, Sir Henry Parkes, lost a vote on the floor of the Assembly. Dibbs' Protectionists never commanded a majority on the floor of the Assembly in this period.

Key dates

Date Event
19 January 1889 The Legislative Assembly was dissolved, and writs were issued by the Governor to proceed with an election.
25 January to 12 February 1889 Nominations for candidates for the election closed.
1 February to 16 February 1889 Polling days.
27 February 1889 Opening of new Parliament.
8 March 1889 Fifth Parkes ministry sworn in.



New South Wales colonial election, 1 – 16 February 1889 [1]
Legislative Assembly
<< 18871891 >>

Enrolled voters
Votes cast 150,816 Turnout 59.93 +1.69
Informal votes 2,641 Informal 1.72 −0.02
Summary of votes by party
Party Primary votes % Swing Seats Change
  Protectionist 77,468 51.37 +18.48 66 +29
  Free Trade 73,348 48.63 −12.12 71 −8
  Other –6.36 0 -8
Total 363,554     137  
Popular vote
Free Trade
Parliamentary seats
Free Trade

Retiring members



  1. ^ a b c Green, Antony. "1889 election totals". New South Wales Election Results 1856-2007. Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
  2. ^ Electoral Act 1880 (NSW).
  3. ^ "Part 5B alphabetical list of all electorates and Members since 1856" (PDF). NSW Parliamentary Record. Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 20 April 2020.
  4. ^ "Former members of the New South Wales Parliament, 1856–2006". New South Wales Parliament. Retrieved 4 December 2019.

See also