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Explaining the District Results Pages
District Heading
The first line of every district result contains the name of the district along with the year for a general election result, or the word 'by-election'. In multi-member districts, the number of members to be elected is indicated Electoral enrolment, or "n.a." is displayed meaning the roll figure is not available.
Party Status Line
For most elections, this line indicates the party status of the election result. In most cases the contest will be based on the party defined as holding the seat as against the candidate winning the seat. Most seats are indicated as being either 'gained' or 'retained' by a party. Where redistributions make defining a holding party difficult, the seat will be simply defined as 'won'. See the result notes below the table for any specific information that may affect the party classification of a seat.
Categories Line
Indicated here is whether preferences or a second ballot were required to determine the winner, whether preferences or a second ballot changed the result of the primary vote race, whether preferences were counted to completion, and whether the winning candidate achieved an absolute as opposed to a simple majority.
Election Dates
General elections have been conducted on a single day since 1894, with a single nomination day used since 1901. For single date elections, check the Home page for each election for nomination and polling dates. For all by-elections, and for all elections prior to 1901 where different nomination or polling days were in use, the nomination and polling date are shown on this line. For the period of second ballots between 1910 and 1920, the second ballot date is shown. Note that candidates are declared elected on nomination day in the case of uncontested districts, or on polling (or second ballot) day in contested districts.
Candidate and vote details
This information is relatively straight forward. Details of the candidate as it is believed they appeared on the ballot paper is given. Party affiliation is shown, the votes and percentage votes received. Party affiliation is not shown for elections before 1887. Where second ballot or preferential voting was used, the result of the second ballot or preference count is shown. Note that before 1988, preferences were only distributed where required, and only distributed to the point where a candidate achieved a majority. For the proportional representation elections from 1920 to 1925, a primary vote quota is shown, along with the final tally for each candidate at the completion of the prefernce distribution.
Percentages under Optional Preferential Voting
Primary vote percentages are calculated as a percentage of the formal vote. For elections under compulsory preferential voting, two-candidate preferred percentages are calculated the same way. Under optional preferential voting, percentages are always calculated as a percentage of votes remaining in the count, that is the formal vote minus the exhausted preferences to that point.
Candidate Order
For elections 1856 to 1887, candidates are displayed in descending order of vote, as are single member districts for 1887, 1889 and 1891. For Multi-member districts 1887 to 1891, and 1920 to 1925, candidates are grouped by party, with candidates in descending order of vote within each party. For all single member elections since 1894, candidates are displayed in ballot paper order, or what is believed to be ballot paper order.
Formal, Informal, Turnout
Formal votes corresponds to the total of the number of votes for each candidate. Informal votes are always shown. In the nineteenth century, this may be zero, but this may simply indicate a value that was not reported. 'Estimated Turnout' is a value used for 19th century multi-member districts when electors had as many votes to cast as there were vacancies. Estimated turnout is calculated by dividing the total votes by the number of vacancies and the total enrolment. For many 19th century elections, a value for 'Persons Voting / Turnout' appears, based on records of the number of ballots issues. In multi-member districts, this is the correct measure of turnout. Discrepancies between Persons Voting and Total votes in single member districts often corresponds to incomplete results. See notes on the election below the result for details.
By-election Causes
A broad classification of the cause of a by-election is shown. More detail is usually provided in the notes.
This material lists any relevant background to the contest. It may relate to why a sitting member retired or changed party, why a by-election was held, or any other matter that assists in explaining a result.
All elections before 1894, and all by-elections before 1932 have been researched from newspaper sources. Statistical Returns for general elections were not published until 1894. There were also no statistical returns for the 1898 election, or for any by-elections until 1930. The Sources field details the source for the results, and in some cases for the candidate names. This field has also been used to index reports of nominations published in the Sydney Morning Herald between 1856 and 1891.
This field is used to explain where results differ from other election result sources. 
Distribution of preferences
This table shows the distribution of preferences in a district. For each candidate excluded, there are a series of columns that show the number of votes and percentage of preferences flowing to each candidate remaining in the count. After this, a new total for each candidate is displayed. In elections using optional preferential voting, the percentages are calculated from the number of ballots with continuing preferences, with a separate total of exhausted preferences shown.