Electing the Council
The Legislative Council has 42 members who are elected according to a system of proportional representation, with the entire State acting as a single electoral district. Periodic Council elections are held at the same time as the general election for the Legislative Assembly. The next periodic Council election is due in March 2015.
At each periodic election, one half (or 21 members) of the Legislative Council are elected for a term of eight years.
The ballot paper on election day
The ballot paper for the Council has two parts, often referred to as ‘above the line’ and ‘below the line’. Voters must vote either above or below the line. The form of the ballot paper is reproduced below.
Counting the votes
The procedure for the counting of votes is based on determining a quota of votes for election to the Council, currently 4.55 per cent of the total number of valid (unspoilt) first preference votes cast. Those candidates that achieve this quota, either through first preferences, or through the later transfer of preferences, are elected.
The Electoral Commissioner is responsible for determining the result of periodic Council elections.
Seats won in the Council since 1978
The following table shows seats won by party since the 1978 reconstitution of the Council.
New South Wales Legislative Council Practice, Chapter 4.
Electing the Parliament