Explaining Totals by Vacancy and Overall Totals. 
Elections between 1856 and 1891 were conducted
in multimember districts using firstpastthepost voting. Electors could
vote for as many candidates as their were vacancies to fill. An elector had
one vote in a
singlemember districts, two votes in a 2member district and up to four votes
in a 4member district. Separate totals have been provided based on grouping
districts by the number of vacancies to be filled. Note that because voters
had multiple votes, the
number of votes recorded in multimember districts can be larger than the
number of electors on the roll. It is not possible to calculate overall totals
by adding results from all districts, as the extra votes cast in multimember districts
would always distort the totals. Instead, The overall results provided have been calculated by using the number of persons
voting to weight down the number of votes in multimember districts, then
calculating the overall totals by adding the weighted totals. This calculation
is also applied to the vote by party.

Party Total Lines 
For each Party, a line is provided showing the number of
districts contested, the number of vacancies contested, the number of
candidates put forward by the party, the number of seats won, as well as the
total votes and % vote. Uncontested seats are INCLUDED in these totals, and
the number of uncontested seats won by a party indicated. In multimember
districts, the number of vacancies contested by party is often a more useful
measure of contest than the number of districts contested.

What is the 'Total Districts' line in each table? 
This line is included for any election where there were
uncontested districts. This line provides the total roll, number of districts, total
vacancies, total candidates and totals seats won for the election. Note that
these totals include both contested and uncontested districts. The 'Total Districts' line is the sum of the
Contested and Uncontested Districts lines. 
What is the 'Contested District Totals' line? 
This line provides a totals for each column in all contested
districts. Note that while the total Candidates, Seats Won and Votes are equal
to the column total of the preceding Party lines, the total districts and
vacancies are not. Note that the % figure in the final column provides a minimum
estimate of turnout by dividing the number of votes by the number of vacancies
and the total enrolment. This is the default calculation used when a total
number of persons voting was not available. Note that the turnout figure
provided on the 'Persons Voting / Turnout' line will always be a better
estimate. 
Why do the Persons Voting and Total Votes not always agree? 
Vote totals have mainly been obtained from newspaper sources,
while the value of Persons Voting has been taken from the annual NSW
Statistical Register. On some occasions, a final result exactly matching the
Statistical Register was not found. On other occasions, the Statistical
Register was not always consistent in its reporting of informal votes. Without officially
published results, it has not been possible to resolve minor discrepancies
between newspaper results and the Statistical Register and these are reflected
in the overall totals. 
Calculating Party Percentages 
In all tables, the percentage vote by party is calculated as
a percentage of the total vote. It does not use the persons voting values
obtained from the NSW Statistical Register. 
What has been done in districts where the number of persons
voting was not available? 
Where a Persons Voting total was not available, an estimate
has been calculated by
dividing the total number of votes by the number of vacancies. Districts where
a Persons Voting value was not available can be located on the District
Turnout page for any election. Overall
election results have been calculated using the Persons Voting value, and
where not available, by substituting the persons voting estimate. The only
election where Persons Voting was largely unavailable was the 1858 election. 
Informal Votes 
Until the 1880s, the reporting of informal votes in the
Statistical Register was erratic. Informal votes have been taken first from
the Statistical Register, and if not provided there, from newspaper reports.
On some occasions it was clear that the total of persons voting in the
Statistical Register included the number of informal votes. In others where
the Statistical register reported no informal votes, the shortfall in votes
from newspapers reports may well reflect unreported informal votes.
Discrepencies between reported results and the Statistical Register are noted
with the results for individual districts. 
Why are tables published by the number of vacancies 
Elections between 1856 and 1891 were conducted
in multimember districts using firstpastthepost voting. Electors could
vote for as many candidates as their were vacancies to fill. So in a
singlemember districts, an elector had one vote, two in twomember districts
and so on. Separate totals have been based on the
number of vacancies to be filled. It is not possible to simply add the votes
in each table to produce an overall result. This would heavily weight the vote
in favour of results in three and four member districts. To provide an overall result table,
the votes in all districts have been weighted down to match the total number
of recorded ballots (persons voting) in each district. This weighting allows
results in districts to be added together irrespective of the number of
vacancies to be filled. 
What is the difference between votes and ballots? 
Results for elections until 1891 have primarily been
obtained from newspapers, the reports stating the total number of votes for each
candidate. No official results of elections were published, though the annual NSW
Statistical Register did publish tables of the number of ballots cast in each
district. In singlemember districts, the number of ballots equals the total
votes, but in multimember districts, the number of ballots will be less than
the votes, as most ballots will have more than a single vote. Note that the
number of ballots is the same as the number of persons voting. 
Why is there sometime a discrepancy between votes and ballots? 
It has not always been possible to find a final
result that exactly matched the total ballots reported in the Statistical
Register. In addition, at some elections, the Statistical Register was
inconsistent in how it dealt with reporting informal votes. As a result, it
has not always been possible to reconcile the votes recorded in districts with
the reported total of ballots. This can be seen in singlemember districts,
where in theory the number of votes should equal the number of ballots. Given
the difficulty with sources, these tables are best estimates of turnout as no
official figures are available. 
What has been done where a total of ballots was not
available? 
Published tables of ballots were not available for
the 1858 election, and at other elections, a total was not available for every
multimember district. Where this is the case, the total of ballots has been
estimated by dividing the votes by the number of vacancies. This probably
underestimates the turnout, as not all ballots would have been filled in with
the full number of votes. However, it is the most reliable method of
estimating a value. 
Where do the informal votes come from? 
Informal votes have been obtained from varioius
sources, including the Statistical registers and the newspapers. However,
until the 1980s, the reporting of informal votes was erratic, and at early
elections was rarely reported at all. In all case at 19th century election,
the informal vote is probably underestimated. In various districts,
discrepancies between vote totals and ballots is probably due to unreported
informal votes, and this has been indicated where appropriate in individual
district results. 
What do the totals for districts, vacancies and candidates
mean for each Party? 
On each party line, the number of districts contested by this
party is shown. The vacancies column shows the number of vacancies to be
filled in the districts contested, and the Candidates column shows the number
of candidates nominated to fill these vacancies. Note that is a party stood
more or less candidates than the number of vacancies to be filled, then the
number of vacancies and the number of candidates will be different. In
multimember districts, the number of candidates compared to the number of
vacancies is a better measure of the effort put in by a party that then number
of districts contested. 
What do the totals for vacancies and candidates mean for
the election total lines? 
This line is simply the number of vacancies for the districts
in the first column, and the total number of candidates nominated. Note that
each party line includes the number of vacancies and candidates in uncontested
districts, but the total of Contested Districts will not include contested
districts. For this reason, the totals on the Contested Districts line is not
the sum of the party total lines. 