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Federal Election Dates and Outcomes

This is a table showing federal election dates and outcomes since 1901.

The table shows:

  • all federal election dates since 1901
  • whether incumbent governments were re-elected or defeated
  • winning leader and party
  • losing leader and party

Periods of Labor and Coalition government are shaded.

House of Representatives Elections
No.
Date
Incumbent
Government
Winning Leader
Party
Losing Leader
Party
1.
29 March 1901
Govt. Elected
Edmund Barton
Protectionist
George Reid
Free Trade
2.
16 December 1903
Govt. Re-elected
Alfred Deakin
Protectionist
George Reid
Free Trade
3.
12 December 1906
Govt. Re-elected
Alfred Deakin
Protectionist
George Reid
Free Trade
4.
13 April 1910
Govt. Defeated
Andrew Fisher
ALP
Alfred Deakin
Fusion Party
5.
31 May 1913
Govt. Defeated
Joseph Cook
Liberal
Andrew Fisher
ALP
6.
5 September 1914
Govt. Defeated
Andrew Fisher
ALP
Joseph Cook
Liberal
7.
5 May 1917
Govt. Re-elected
W.M. Hughes
Nationalist
Frank Tudor
ALP
8.
13 December 1919
Govt. Re-elected
W.M. Hughes
Nationalist
Frank Tudor
ALP
9.
16 December 1922
Govt. Re-elected
Stanley Bruce
replaced W.M. Hughes
Nationalist
Matthew Charlton
ALP
10.
14 November 1925
Govt. Re-elected
Stanley Bruce
Nationalist/Country
Matthew Charlton
ALP
11.
17 November 1928
Govt. Re-elected
Stanley Bruce
Nationalist/Country
James Scullin
ALP
12.
12 October 1929
Govt. Defeated
James Scullin
ALP
Stanley Bruce
Nationalist
13.
19 December 1931
Govt. Defeated
Joseph Lyons
United Australia/Country
James Scullin
ALP
14.
15 September 1934
Govt. Re-elected
Joseph Lyons
United Australia/Country
James Scullin
ALP
15.
23 October 1937
Govt. Re-elected
Joseph Lyons
United Australia/Country
John Curtin
ALP
16.
21 September 1940
Govt. Re-elected (Minority)
Robert Menzies
United Australia Party
John Curtin
ALP
17.
21 August 1943
Govt. Re-elected
John Curtin
ALP
Arthur Fadden
Country Party
18.
28 September 1946
Govt. Re-elected
Ben Chifley
ALP
Robert Menzies
Liberal
19.
10 December 1949
Govt. Defeated
Robert Menzies
Liberal/Country
Ben Chifley
ALP
20.
28 April 1951
Govt. Re-elected
Robert Menzies
Liberal/Country
Ben Chifley
ALP
21.
29 May 1954
Govt. Re-elected
Robert Menzies
Liberal/Country
Dr. H.V. Evatt
ALP
22.
10 December 1955
Govt. Re-elected
Robert Menzies
Liberal/Country
Dr. H.V. Evatt
ALP
23.
22 November 1958
Govt. Re-elected
Robert Menzies
Liberal/Country
Dr. H.V. Evatt
ALP
24.
9 December 1961
Govt. Re-elected
Robert Menzies
Liberal/Country
Arthur Calwell
ALP
25.
30 November 1963
Govt. Re-elected
Robert Menzies
Liberal/Country
Arthur Calwell
ALP
26.
26 November 1966
Govt. Re-elected
Harold Holt
Liberal/Country
Arthur Calwell
ALP
27.
25 October 1969
Govt. Re-elected
John Gorton
Liberal/Country
Gough Whitlam
ALP
28.
2 December 1972
Govt. Defeated
Gough Whitlam
ALP
William McMahon
Liberal/Country
29.
18 May 1974
Govt. Re-elected
Gough Whitlam
ALP
Bill Snedden
Liberal/Country
30.
13 December 1975
Govt. Dismissed 11/11
Caretaker Govt. Elected
Malcolm Fraser
Liberal/National
Gough Whitlam
ALP
31.
10 December 1977
Govt. Re-elected
Malcolm Fraser
Liberal/National
Gough Whitlam
ALP
32.
18 October 1980
Govt. Re-elected
Malcolm Fraser
Liberal/National
Bill Hayden
ALP
33.
5 March 1983
Govt. Defeated
Bob Hawke
ALP
Malcolm Fraser
Liberal/National
34.
1 December 1984
Govt. Re-elected
Bob Hawke
ALP
Andrew Peacock
Liberal/National
35.
11 July 1987
Govt. Re-elected
Bob Hawke
ALP
John Howard
Liberal/National
36.
24 March 1990
Govt. Re-elected
Bob Hawke
ALP
Andrew Peacock
Liberal/National
37.
13 March 1993
Govt. Re-elected
Paul Keating
ALP
John Hewson
Liberal/National
38.
2 March 1996
Govt. Defeated
John Howard
Liberal/National
Paul Keating
ALP
39.
3 October 1998
Govt. Re-elected
John Howard
Liberal/National
Kim Beazley
ALP
40.
10 November 2001
Govt. Re-elected
John Howard
Liberal/Nationals
Kim Beazley
ALP
41.
9 October 2004
Govt. Re-elected
John Howard
Liberal/Nationals
Mark Latham
ALP
42.
24 November 2007
Govt. Defeated
Kevin Rudd
ALP
John Howard
Liberal/Nationals
43.
21 August 2010
Govt. Re-elected (Minority)
Julia Gillard
ALP
Tony Abbott
Liberal/Nationals
44.
7 September 2013
Govt. Defeated
Tony Abbott
Liberal/Nationals
Kevin Rudd
ALP
45.
2 July 2016
Govt. Re-elected
Malcolm Turnbull
Liberal/Nationals
Bill Shorten
ALP
46.
18 May 2019
Govt. Re-elected
Scott Morrison
Liberal/Nationals
Bill Shorten
ALP

 

Some interesting facts:

  • There have been 30 Prime Ministers and 46 elections up to 2019.
  • The 30 Prime Ministers have served 36 separate terms of office.
  • Eleven Prime Ministers have been defeated at a general election: Deakin, Fisher, Cook, Bruce, Scullin, Chifley, McMahon, Fraser, Keating, Howard, Rudd. Whilst he ceased to be prime minister following his dismissal by the Governor-General, Whitlam could be added as the 12th member of this list.
  • There have been 24 changes of Prime Minister without an election. Reasons:
    • party-room coups (8): Hughes, Menzies, Gorton, Hawke, Rudd, Gillard, Abbott, Turnbull
    • defeat in Parliament (6): Deakin (2), Watson, Reid, Fisher, Fadden
    • voluntary departure (3): Barton, Fisher, Menzies
    • death (3): Lyons, Curtin, Holt
    • stop-gap leaders following death of predecessor (3): Page, Forde, McEwen
    • vice-regal intervention (1): Whitlam
  • There have been seven Prime Ministers who never won an election: Watson, Reid, Page, Fadden, Forde, McEwen, McMahon.
  • There have been eleven Opposition Leaders who contested elections but never became Prime Minister: Tudor, Charlton, Evatt, Calwell, Snedden, Hayden, Peacock, Hewson, Beazley, Latham, Shorten.

 

See Also:

 

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