Success And Failure: The ALP’s Results In Federal Elections Since 1910

The tables on this page show the extent of the ALP’s victories and defeats in federal elections since 1910.

Each table shows the ALP statistics for three different measures:

  • the proportion of seats won in the House of Representatives,
  • the national two-party-preferred vote,
  • and the primary vote.

The ALP’s winning election years are shaded yellow.

The table includes every election since Federation, except for the first three: 1901, 1903 and 1906. These have been excluded since they took place before the formation of the two-party system as we know it. Since 1910, elections have been fought between the ALP and the non-Labor parties under a variety of names. [Read more…]


2016 House Of Representatives Primary Votes: State-By-State Breakdown

Despite a declining vote, the Coalition and the ALP maintained their dominance of the House of Representatives in the July 2 double dissolution.

The Coalition (Liberal, Liberal National, Nationals, Country Liberals) and ALP polled 76.77% of the nationwide primary vote, down 2.16% from 78.93% in 2013. They secured 145 (96.7%) of the 150 seats in the House of Representatives.

The Big Two + Greens

The Greens polled 10.23% of the primary vote, up 1.58% from their 2013 tally of 8.65%. Adam Bandt consolidated his hold on Melbourne but the party failed to win any more lower house seats.

The Coalition, ALP and Greens combined polled 87% of first preference (primary) votes nationally, marginally down from 87.58% in 2013. They won 146 (97.3%) of the 150 seats in the House of Representatives.

The Greens maintained their influence with the lion’s share of preferences. These preferences were vital to the ALP holding 8 of its seats and winning another 7 from the Liberal Party.

A Big Field of Micro Parties With Micro Votes

There were 42 parties that contested at least one seat each. They polled a total of 10.17%. Only the Nick Xenophon Team (Mayo) and Katter’s Australian Party (Kennedy) won seats.

The majority of micro parties (32 of 42) contested 10 or fewer seats. Twenty-four of these contested 5 or fewer seats. Whilst 10 parties ran more than 10 candidates each, they all nominated candidates for fewer than half the seats in the House. Family First ran in 65 seats, the Christian Democratic Party in 55 and the Animal Justice Party in 41.

The votes for micro parties were derisory, with 38 of the 42 failing to make it to 1% nationally. Moreover, 27 polled less than 0.1% nationally. The other 11 polled no higher than 0.7%. [Read more…]


2016 Senate Votes: A Higher But Fragmented Vote For Minor And Micro Parties

Aside from the Coalition, ALP and Greens, 47 parties contested the Senate at July’s double dissolution election.

Just 8 of the 47 parties polled above 1% nationally. Five of these 8 parties elected senators: Pauline Hanson’s One Nation (4 senators), Nick Xenophon Team (3), Liberal Democrats (1), Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party (1) and Family First (1). The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers, the Christian Democrats and the Animal Justice Party did not elect any of their candidates.

There were 39 parties that nominated candidates in at least one state or territory but failed to poll above 0.74%. Fourteen failed to even reach 0.1% nationally and did only marginally better in individual states. Another 25 polled between 0.14%-0.74%.

The Jacqui Lambie Network was the only party in the latter group that managed to elect a senator. Lambie polled just 0.50% nationally, but she only ran candidates in three states and polled a full quota in her own right in Tasmania. With 8.30% of the vote, Lambie won a place in the first group of senators who will receive six-year terms.

The election of Derryn Hinch in Victoria is somewhat comparable to Lambie. His party only polled 1.93% nationally, and less than 1% in all states except Victoria, where Hinch secured election off a primary base of 6.05%.

The combined Coalition-ALP-Greens vote was 73.62%, down 2.85% from the 2013 result. This delivered 65 of the 76 Senate positions (85.5%) to these three groups.

The remaining 26.38% of the vote was split between 47 parties. These parties won the remaining 11 seats (14.4%).

Independent and ungrouped candidates below-the-line received just 0.18% of the vote.

The figures in the table below are consistent with the previous election. In 2013, there were 46 parties that polled less than 1% each.

The overall proportion of the vote flowing to the Coalition, ALP and Greens fell once again at the 2016 election. It fuels the argument that voters are disillusioned with the major parties and looking for alternatives. However, the figures indicate that this is a simplistic analysis.

Voters have failed to coalesce around more than a handful of minor and micro parties. Outside the top 11 groups, the votes for other parties are derisory. The so-called fragmentation of support for the major political groups is more than matched by a fragmented voter rebellion.

Group voting tickets were abolished for this election. Without them, all but a handful of parties were incapable of winning seats. Those elected more closely represent the parties with the highest primary votes. The Family First party in South Australia elected Bob Day from the lowest primary vote of 2.87%. [Read more…]


MPs Who Won Their Seats On First Preferences In The 2016 Federal Election

Just under a third of the seats in the House of Representatives were decided on first preference (primary) votes, at the 2016 Federal Election.

By definition, these seats are the most secure for the various parties, since preference distribution cannot change the result. The winner has already secured an absolute majority of at least 50%+1 over every other candidate.

Of the 150 electorates, 48 (32%) were won on the primary vote. There were 53 such seats (35%) at the 2013 election. In 2004, 89 seats (59%) were decided on first preferences.

The Liberal Party was most successful, winning 27 of the 48 seats (56%), including 12 in NSW. The Liberal wins covered 4 states.

The Nationals won 5 seats (10%), including 3 in NSW, giving the coalition 32, or 67% of the total.

The ALP won 16 (33%) of the seats, including 10 in NSW. It won 6 seats in Victoria, but failed to win any more in other states or territories.

Seats Won On Primary Votes – 2016 Federal Election
Party NSW Vic Qld WA Total
Liberal Party
12
8
4
3
27
The Nationals
3
2
5
Australian Labor Party
10
6
16
TOTAL
25
16
4
3
48

 
NSW was the only state to have a majority of seats (25 of 47, or 53%) won on primary votes. In Victoria, 16 seats out of 37 (43%) were won on first preferences. Western Australia recorded 19% and Queensland 13%.

The two smallest states, South Australia and Tasmania, had no seats decided on primaries. The four seats in the two territories all went to preferences. [Read more…]


2016 Primary Vote Winners, Preference Vote Losers

There were 16 seats in the 2016 federal election where the primary vote leaders were defeated after the full distribution of preferences.

The ALP benefited in 15 seats and the Nick Xenophon Team in one. In 14 seats, (7 held by the ALP and 7 by the Coalition), the coalition candidate led on primary votes but the seat was won by the ALP after preferences. In one seat, the Liberal lead was overtaken by the Xenophon candidate. In another, the ALP overcame a Greens lead.

The 16 seats were spread across the states: Queensland (4), Victoria (3), South Australia (3), New South Wales (2), Western Australia (2) and Tasmania (2).

Overall, 48 (32%) of the 150 House of Representatives electorates were decided on primary votes, whilst 102 (68%) required preference distribution to obtain a winner.

It is worth noting that 86 of the 102 electorates were won after preferences by the candidates who led the primary vote count. Even with preferences, a primary vote lead is difficult to overcome. [Read more…]


Preferential Voting In Action: Denison 2010

The Tasmanian electorate of Denison at the 2010 Federal Election is an interesting case study of preferential voting in action.

The seat had been held by the ALP since 1987, although the sitting member, Duncan Kerr, retired at the election. The Labor, Liberal and Greens candidates were joined by a candidate from the Socialist Alliance and an independent, Andrew Wilkie.

The image below shows that Wilkie came third on primary votes, behind the Labor and Liberal candidates. The Greens were in fourth place and the Socialist Alliance in fifth. No candidate had an absolute majority of 50% + 1. This meant that preferences had to be distributed until someone secured 50% + 1.

Because she had the lowest number of votes, the Socialist Alliance candidate was excluded first. The allocation of her preferences did not change the order: the ALP still led, the Liberals were second and Wilkie remained in third place. [Read more…]


Electoral Pocketbook – 2015

The Australian Electoral Commission has released its latest Electoral Pocketbook, containing the full results of the 2013 Federal Election.

The pocketbook also includes the results of the 2014 Western Australian Senate re-run election.

The pocketbook is shown below. It can be expanded and downloaded. [Read more…]