1984 Federal Election

December 1, 1984

The 1984 election was held 18 months ahead of time, partly in order to bring the elections for the House of Representatives and Senate back into line. They had been thrown out of kilter by the double dissolution of 1983.

It was widely expected that the Hawke-led Labor government would be easily re-elected, but the long campaign and a strong performance by Liberal leader, Andrew Peacock, saw the government’s majority reduced, although this was disguised by the increase in the size of the House from 125 to 148. The increase in the House of Representatives informal vote, due to confusion with the new above-the-line method in the Senate, could also have been a factor.

The election campaign saw the first ever head-to-head television debate between the leaders. It was generally accepted that Hawke had not performed well in this debate.

State of the Parties

This is the state of the parties following the 1984 federal election.

House of Representatives Elections 1984
ALP LIB NPA IND Total
NSW
29
12
10
51
VIC
25
11
3
39
QLD
9
7
8
24
WA
9
4
13
SA
8
5
13
TAS
5
5
ACT
2
2
NT
1
1
Total
82
44
22
148

 

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