Federal Election Dates and Outcomes

This 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


Some interesting facts:

  • There have been 28 Prime Ministers and 44 elections up to 2013.
  • The 28 Prime Ministers have served 34 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 22 changes of Prime Minister without an election. Reasons include:
    • vice-regal intervention: Whitlam
    • voluntary departure: Barton, Fisher, Page, Forde, McEwen, Menzies
    • party-room coups: Hughes, Menzies, Gorton, Hawke, Rudd, Gillard
    • death: Lyons, Curtin, Holt
    • defeat in Parliament: Deakin (2), Watson, Reid, Fisher, Fadden
  • There have been 7 Prime Ministers who never won an election: Watson, Reid, Page, Fadden, Forde, McEwen, McMahon.
  • There have been 10 Opposition Leaders who contested elections but never became Prime Minister: Tudor, Charlton, Evatt, Calwell, Snedden, Hayden, Peacock, Hewson, Beazley, Latham.

 

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