1981 New South Wales state election
Elections were held in the state of New South Wales, Australia, on Saturday 19 September 1981. The result was a second "Wranslide": a landslide victory for the Labor Party under Neville Wran. Labor increased its already sizeable majority, winning what is still its biggest-ever share of seats in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly–69 out of 99 seats, 69.7 percent of the chamber.
All 99 seats in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly
and 15 (of the 44) seats in the New South Wales Legislative Council
50 Assembly seats were needed for a majority
Legislative Assembly after the election
The Liberals suffered the double indignity of losing the seat contested by their leader Bruce McDonald to an independent, and of being reduced to the same number of seats in parliament as their ostensible junior coalition partner, the National Country Party. In fact it was the second election in a row in which the sitting Liberal leader had failed to win a seat; Peter Coleman had been rolled in his own seat in 1978. Both the Liberals and National Country Party finished with 14 seats.
The election marked another milestone for electoral reform in New South Wales. The allocation of preferences became optional, and partisan gerrymandering was eliminated. Additionally, the practice of creating smaller rural seats to boost country representation was ended. Two further reforms were proposed—and passed—in referendums put to voters on the same day.
|28 August 1981||The Legislative Assembly was dissolved, and writs were issued by the Governor to proceed with an election.|
|3 September 1981||Nominations for candidates for the election closed at noon.|
|19 September 1981||Polling day, between the hours of 8am and 6pm.|
|2 October 1981||The fourth Wran ministry was constituted.|
|23 October 1981||The writ was returned and the results formally declared.|
|28 October 1981||Parliament resumed for business.|
|Summary of votes by party|
|National Country||314,841||11.21||+1.31||14||– 3|
|Summary of votes by party|
|Call to Australia||248,425||9.11||+7.80||1||1|
Seats changing handsEdit
|Dubbo||Liberal||John Mason||3.4||N/A||9.2||Ian Glachan||National Country|
|Northern Tablelands||National Country||new seat||1.9||-4.8||2.9||Bill McCarthy||Labor|
|North Shore||Liberal||new seat||3.8||-8.4||4.6||Ted Mack||Independent|
- Members in italics did not recontest their seats.
- In addition, the National Country held the seat of Murray, which it won from the Liberals in the 1980 by-election.
Redistribution affected seatsEdit
|Seat||1978 Election||1980 Redistribution||Swing||1981 Election|
|Bathurst||National Country||Clive Osborne||2.7||Labor||Notional||7.7||-7.6||0.1||Mick Clough||Labor|
|Bligh||Liberal||John Barraclough||8.4||Labor||Notional||6.6||-3.9||2.7||Fred Miller||Labor|
|Castlereagh||Labor||Jim Curran||6.9||National Country||Notional||4.3||-0.9||3.4||Roger Wotton||National Country|
|Clarence||National Country||Matt Singleton||10.9||Labor||Notional||2.8||+3.8||6.6||Don Day||Labor|
|Hornsby||Liberal||Neil Pickard||0.8||Labor||Notional||1.7||-5.5||3.8||Neil Pickard||Liberal|
|Maitland||Liberal||Peter Toms||4.3||Labor||Notional||0.3||+7.2||7.5||Allan Walsh||Labor|
|Willoughby||Labor||Eddie Britt||0.8||Liberal||Notional||2.2||+1.5||3.7||Peter Collins||Liberal|
- Green, Antony. "1981 election totals". New South Wales Election Results 1856-2007. Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 14 August 2019.
- Australian Government and Politics Database. "Parliament of New South Wales, Assembly election, 19 September 1981". Retrieved 6 February 2010.
- Hughes, Colin A. (1986). A handbook of Australian government and politics, 1975-1984. ANU Press. p. 192. ISBN 0-08-033038-X.
- Hughes (1986), p. 194.