1898 New South Wales colonial election

The 1898 New South Wales colonial election was held on 27 July 1898 for all of the 125 seats in the 18th New South Wales Legislative Assembly and it was conducted in single-member constituencies with a first past the post voting system. Section 23 (1) of the Parliamentary Electorates and Elections Act of 1893 conferred a right to vote on 'every male person, being a natural born [British] subject, who shall have resided or had his principal place of abode in New South Wales for a continuous period of one year'. The 18th parliament of New South Wales was dissolved on 8 July 1898 by the Governor, Lord Hampden, on the advice of the Premier, George Reid.[1][2]

1898 New South Wales colonial election

← 1895 27 July 1898 (1898-07-27) 1901 →

All 125 seats in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly
63 Assembly seats were needed for a majority
  First party Second party Third party
  Williamlyne.jpg Sir George Reid portrait, 1890s.jpg James McGowen Premier.png
Leader William Lyne George Reid James McGowen
Party National Federal Free Trade Labor Electoral League
Leader since 1895 September 1891 August 1894
Leader's seat Hume Sydney-King Redfern
Last election 42 seats 58 seats 18 seats
Seats won 52 seats 45 seats 19 seats
Seat change Increase10 Decrease13 Increase1
Percentage 43.03% 32.89 12.18%
Swing Increase9.60 Decrease4.26 Decrease1.02

New South Wales Legislative Assembly 1898.svg
Legislative Assembly after the election

Premier before election

George Reid
Free Trade

Elected Premier

George Reid
Free Trade

The Protectionist Party, the main Opposition, contested this election under the name "National Federal Party", reflecting the party's focus on Federation as an issue at the election.

Key datesEdit

Date Event
8 July 1898 The Legislative Assembly was dissolved, and writs were issued by the Governor to proceed with an election.
18 – 22 July 1898 Nominations for candidates for the election closed at noon.
27 July 1898 Polling day.
16 August 1898 Opening of 18th Parliament.


New South Wales colonial election, 27 July 1898 [3]
Legislative Assembly
<< 18951901 >>

Enrolled voters 301,989
Votes cast 176,998 Turnout 58.61 −1.31
Informal votes 1,638 Informal 0.92 +0.04
Summary of votes by party
Party Primary votes % Swing Seats Change
  National Federal 76,161 43.03 +9.60 52 +10
  Free Trade 58,214 32.89 −4.26 45 −13
  Labour 21,556 12.18 −1.02 19 +1
  Independent Federalist 12,443 7.03 +2.71 4 +2
  Independent 5,290 2.99 −0.38 4 +4
  Ind. Free Trade 3,325 1.88 −5.44 1 −3
  Independent Labour 9 0.01 −1.21 0 −1
Total 176,998     125  

Retiring membersEdit

Changing seatsEdit

Seats changing hands [a]
Seat 1898 1901
Party Member Party Member
Albury   Free Trade Richard Ball   National Federal Thomas Griffith
Armidale   Free Trade Edmund Lonsdale   National Federal Charles Wilson
Ashfield   Free Trade Thomas Bavister   National Federal Bernhard Wise
Bathurst   Free Trade Sydney Smith   National Federal Francis Suttor
Bourke   Free Trade Edward Millen   National Federal William Davis
Burwood   Free Trade William McMillan   Ind. Free Trade William Archer
Camden   Free Trade Charles Bull   National Federal John Kidd
Cobar   National Federal Thomas Waddell[b]   Labour William Spence
Darlington   National Federal William Schey   Free Trade Thomas Clarke
Durham   National Federal Herbert Brown   Independent Federalist Walter Bennett
Granville   Labour George Smailes[c]   Free Trade John Nobbs
Grenfell   Ind. Free Trade George Greene[c]   Labour William Holman
Mudgee   Free Trade Robert Jones   National Federal Edwin Richards
Narrabri   Free Trade Charles Collins[d]   Labour Hugh Ross
The Nepean   National Federal Thomas Smith   Free Trade Samuel Lees
Northumberland   Free Trade Henry Wheeler   National Federal Richard Stevenson
Parramatta   Free Trade Dowell O'Reilly   Independent Federalist William Ferris
Petersham   Free Trade Llewellyn Jones   National Federal John Cohen
Ryde   Free Trade Frank Farnell   Independent Federalist Edward Terry
Sherbrooke   Free Trade Jacob Garrard   National Federal Broughton O'Conor
The Shoalhaven   Ind. Free Trade Philip Morton[e]   Independent Federalist David Davis
Singleton   Free Trade Albert Gould   National Federal Charles Dight
Sydney-Bligh   Free Trade James Harvey   National Federal Patrick Quinn
Sydney-Fitzroy   Ind. Free Trade John McElhone[f]   Free Trade Henry Chapman
Sydney-Gipps   Labour George Black   National Federal Wilfred Spruson
Tamworth   Free Trade Albert Piddington   National Federal William Sawers
Tumut   National Federal Travers Jones   Independent Robert Donaldson
The Tweed   National Federal Joseph Kelly   Independent Richard Meagher
Members changing party
Seat 1898 1901
Party Member Party Member
Bega   Independent Federalist Henry Clarke   National Federal Henry Clarke
Paddington   Ind. Free Trade John Neild   Free Trade John Neild
Quirindi   National Federal Robert Levien   Independent Robert Levien
Raleigh   Independent Federalist John McLaughlin   Independent John McLaughlin
Uralla-Walcha   Free Trade William Piddington   National Federal William Piddington
Warringah   Free Trade Dugald Thomson   National Federal Dugald Thomson
Woronora   Independent Labour John Nicholson   Free Trade John Nicholson[g]


  1. ^ Compares members at the 1895 election and the 1898 election and does not include seats that changed party as a result of a by-election.
  2. ^ Thomas Waddell successfully contested Cowra.
  3. ^ a b Did not contest the election.
  4. ^ Charles Collins (Free Trade) died in 1898 and Hugh Ross (Labour) had won the seat in a by-election.
  5. ^ Philip Morton had been elected as an Independent Free Trader but changed to National Federal.
  6. ^ John McElhone (Independent Free Trade) died in 1898 and John Norton (National Federal) had won the seat in a by-election.
  7. ^ This was the only election at which John Nicholson was listed as a Free Trade member and Antony Green suggests he may have been better classified as Independent Labour.[4]


  1. ^ "Part 5B - Members returned for each electorate" (PDF). New South Wales Parliamentary Record. Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 14 April 2020.
  2. ^ "Former Members". Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 14 April 2020.
  3. ^ Green, Antony. "1898 election totals". New South Wales Election Results 1856-2007. Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
  4. ^ Green, Antony. "1898 Woronora". New South Wales Election Results 1856-2007. Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 8 April 2020.

See alsoEdit