The 1993 Federal Election is often described as the election that should have been “unlosable” for the coalition.
The Hawke Government had been re-elected in 1990 with a minority of the two-party-preferred vote and 78 seats, a majority of 7 on the floor of the House of Representatives, after the provision of a Speaker.
Going into the 1993 elections, Australia had been beset with an economic recession. Paul Keating had replaced Bob Hawke as Labor leader in December 1991. Very few people believed that the ALP could win a 5th term.
The “victory for the true believers”, as Keating put it on election night, saw the ALP secure a two-party swing of 1.54% and increase its seat tally to 80, a majority of 11 on the floor of the House.
The result was not evenly spread across the country. Swings to the ALP in Tasmania, Victoria and New South Wales delivered an additional 9 seats. Swings to the coalition in Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia cost the ALP 7 seats.
This was the first election since 1966 in which an incumbent government increased its share of the vote and its majority in the House of Representatives. In 1987, Hawke had increased his government’s majority, whilst losing overall support.
Victoria emerged as one of the ALP’s strongest States, only 5 months after the State Labor Government led by Joan Kirner was decimated. Tasmania delivered 4 of its 5 seats to the ALP, the party’s best result since 1974.
|Two-Party-Preferred Statistics 1993
House of Representatives – Summary
|State||ALP Votes||ALP %||L/NP Votes||L/NP %||Total Votes||Exhausted Votes||% Swing to ALP|
|New South Wales||1,928,635||
|Australian Capital Territory||110,055||
Source: Australian Electoral Commission publications