Who’s Left – The Surviving Members Of Every House Of Representatives Since 1949

Detailed information on the surviving members of the House of Representatives since 1949 is now available on this site. They include the members’ seats, parties, terms, dates of birth, ages and deaths.

All members of parliament who served in the first 18 parliaments from 1901 until the end of 1949 are now deceased.

There are two surviving members of the 19th Parliament that was elected on December 10, 1949. Both “forty-niners” are in their late 90s. One, Henry Pearce, will turn 100 in September this year.

Just four members of the House during the 1950s are still living.

For the entire Menzies era (1949-1972), there are 29 surviving members. All but four of them served together in the 27th Parliament between 1969 and 1972.

The table below provides a summary of how many members have served in the 19th to 45th parliaments. It shows how many are still living and what parties they belong to. There are links to more detailed information on each parliament since 1972.

Note: The data is structured around the parliaments since 1949. The numbers cannot be aggregated. Most surviving members served in more than one parliament.

Disclaimer: I am confident that the data shown here is correct. However, I rely on media reports and announcements in parliament for information on deaths of former members. I sincerely hope I haven’t killed or resurrected anyone. I am happy to receive corrections from readers.

House of Representatives – Members Still Living Since 1949
(Listed by Parliament No. and Years)
No. Years Size Members
Still
Living
% Oldest Surviving
Member
ALP Lib CP/
Nat
Oth
19th
1949-1951
121
2
1.65
Henry Pearce (99)
2
20th
1951-1954
131
2
1.52
Henry Pearce (99)
2
21st
1954-1955
122
1
0.81
Henry Pearce (99)
1
22nd
1955-1958
127
3
2.36
Henry Pearce (99)
2
1
23rd
1958-1961
128
3
2.34
Henry Pearce (99)
2
1
24th
1961-1963
125
5
4.00
Jim Forbes (93)
2
1
2
25th
1963-1966
129
9
6.97
Wylie Gibbs (94)
2
4
3
26th
1966-1969
130
17
13.07
Mervyn Lee (96)
5
9
3
27th
1969-1972
128
24
18.75
Doug Everingham (93)
11
9
4
28th
1972-1974
126
33
26.19
Doug Everingham (93)
17
10
6
29th
1974-1975
128
44
34.37
Doug Everingham (93)
18
17
9
30th
1975-1977
128
57
44.53
Clarrie Millar (91)
10
36
11
31st
1977-1980
126
66
52.38
Doug Everingham (93)
18
38
11
32nd
1980-1983
131
81
61.83
Doug Everingham (93)
33
35
13
33rd
1983-1984
131
90
68.70
Doug Everingham (93)
57
21
12
34th
1984-1987
149
111
74.49
Clarrie Millar (91)
64
31
16
35th
1987-1990
153
122
79.73
Clarrie Millar (91)
74
33
15
36th
1990-1993
150
131
87.33
Steele Hall (88)
72
44
13
37th
1993-1996
155
137
88.38
Steele Hall (88)
75
44
16
38th
1996-1998
150
139
92.66
Ian Sinclair (87)
49
69
18
39th
1998-2001
152
145
95.39
Garry Nehl (83)
68
61
16
40th
2001-2004
151
146
96.68
Frank Mossfield (81)
65
65
13
3
41st
2004-2007
151
147
97.35
Wilson Tuckey (81)
61
72
12
2
42nd
2007-2010
155
153
98.70
Wilson Tuckey (81)
83
56
11
3
43rd
2010-2013
150
148
98.66
Bronywyn Bishop (74)
72
59
12
5
44th
2013-2016
153
152
99.34
Bronwyn Bishop (74)
56
76
15
5
45th
2016-
150
150
100
Warren Snowdon (67)
69
60
16
5



40th Anniversary Of The 1974 Joint Sitting Of Parliament

Today is the 40th anniversary of the Joint Sitting of the House of Representatives and the Senate, held during the term of the Whitlam Labor government.

The Joint Sitting, the first and only ever held, took place over two days, August 6 and 7, 1974.

Gough Whitlam described the sitting as “a last resort to enable the democratic will of the Australian people to prevail over blind obstruction”.

Joint Sitting

The proceedings took place in what is now Old Parliament House. They were chaired by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Jim Cope. The Liberal Opposition Leader (and future Speaker) was Bill Snedden. The Governor-General was the just-appointed Sir John Kerr.

The only member of either house who attended the Joint Sitting and is still serving is Philip Ruddock. Now the member for Berowra, in 1974 he was the 31-year-old Liberal member for Parramatta and still in his first year as a member of the House.

*

The Six Bills

Six bills were submitted to the Joint Sitting, all of which had been first passed by the House of Representatives in 1973, following the election of the Whitlam government. [Read more…]


Federal Election Results 1901-2014

This is a research paper from the Parliamentary Library with statistics on Australian Federal Elections since 1901.

The paper is part of the Research Paper Series 2014-15 and was written by Stephen Barber and Sue Johnson of the Statistics and Mapping Section of the Parliamentary Library.

The paper is shown under the terms of its Creative Commons licence.

It does not contains result of individual seats, but includes aggregate and state-by-state statistics for both Houses on primary votes, two-party-preferred votes, voter turnout, informal votes. It provides state-of-the-party tables for each House and Senate election since 1901. [Read more…]


Remember When A Labor Government Could Win Re-Election?

8.00pm – Thirty-eight years ago tonight, the Whitlam Labor government won re-election to its second term.

Gough WhitlamThe early election took place just 18 months after the ALP’s historic 1972 victory. It occurred after Whitlam’s abortive attempt to secure an additional Senate vacancy by appointing DLP Senator Vince Gair as Ambassador to Ireland. The coalition threatened to block Supply, so Whitlam opted for a double dissolution.

The ALP polled 49.3% of the primary vote. It was returned to government with a net loss of one seat and a floor majority of 4 seats.

Despite eliminating the DLP from the Senate, Whitlam failed to gain control of the upper house. Eighteen months later, the government was dismissed by the Governor-General after the coalition refused to pass the Supply bills.

The close result in 1974 led to the Liberal leader Bill Snedden claiming that he hadn’t really lost the election. He variously said that the opposition didn’t win enough seats and that it hadn’t “lost all”.


The 1974 Joint Sitting Of Parliament

The 1974 joint sitting of the Commonwealth Parliament is so far the only one in the history of the federation.

When the Liberal-Country Party opposition threatened to block Supply in April 1974, Prime Minister Gough Whitlam called a double dissolution for May 18. He used five bills on electoral reform, Medibank (Medicare), and petroleum and minerals as the grounds.

Returned at the election, Whitlam immediately resubmitted the five bills that had been the basis of the double dissolution. They were passed by the House but again rejected by the Senate. On August 6, 1974 the parliament met in a joint sitting and the five bills were passed over two days. [Read more…]


The Opposition Leader As A Factor Influencing Voting Behaviour

Australia’s parliamentary elections are increasingly focused around perceptions and packaging of the leaders of the various parties.

The election of Senator Natasha Stott Despoja as the leader of the Australian Democrats in 2001 was an indication of the importance political parties place on leadership as a determinant of the voting patterns of electors.

Prime Minister John Howard’s attacks on Kim Beazley’s supposed lack of “ticker” in the 1998 election was another indication that Opposition leadership can be a factor in elections. [Read more…]


Snedden Acknowledges Whitlam Victory But Won’t Concede He Lost

Eleven days after the 1974 Federal Election, the Leader of the Opposition, Bill Snedden, finally acknowledged that he had not won the election, but he claimed he hadn’t lost either.

Snedden said: “We were not defeated. We did not win enough seats to form a government.”

In years to come, Snedden would claim he said, “We didn’t win but we didn’t lose all”, although there is no evidence from the recording that he actually said that. [Read more…]