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1996 Federal Election Funding

The Australian Electoral Commission has released figures showing the election funding of parties and candidates in the 1996 Federal Election.

Election funding and financial disclosure was first introduced for the 1984 elections. The scheme has two main parts:

  • public funding of election campaigns
  • disclosure of certain financial details by candidates, registered political parties and other persons and groups. Disclosure is by way of returns which must be submitted to the Australian Electoral Commission and which then become public documents

To be eligible for election funding a candidate or Senate group must win at least 4% of the formal first preference votes in the division contested (House of Representatives) or the State (Senate). The amount to be paid is calculated by multiplying the number of votes won by the current election funding rate. The rates are indexed every six months to increases in the Consumer Price Index. The funding rate for the 1996 federal election was 157.594 cents per House of Representatives and Senate vote. [Read more…]

1996 Federal Election Costs

The table shows the costs of the 1996 Federal Election.

The figures appear in the Australian Electoral Commission’s 1996 Electoral Pocket Book.

Costs of the 1996 Federal Election
Item/Project Amount – $
Payment of Polling Officials + hire of premises 30,749,000
Advertising 7,193,000
Computer support services 2,782,000
Ballot paper production and associated printing 2,740,000
Forms and equipment 2,544,000
Cardboard polling equipment production 1,732,000
Elector leaflet 1,474,000
Corporate services administration 1,271,000
Certified Lists 1,057,000
Operational administration 919,000
Public information materials and support 889,000
Storage and distribution 761,000
Training of polling officials 717,000
Senate scutiny 578,000
National Tally Room 537,000
Election allowances 364,000
Overseas postal voting 260,000
Scanning centres 256,000
Election statistics and results 144,000
Payment system 118,000
Resources monitoring 91,000
Funding and disclosure 23,000
Prosecutions 3,000
Total 57,202,000

Based on the number of electors at the close of rolls (11,655,190), the estimated expenditure per elector to 30 June 1996 was $4-91.

A final expenditure figure was not available in late 1996, as not all post-election tasks which will be costed to the election (such as non-voter action) had been completed.

Source: Australian Electoral Commission, Electoral Pocket Book 1996

Gary Gray: The Funding Of Political Parties

This is the text of a speech on Political Funding by the ALP National Secretary, Gary Gray.

The speech was given at The Sydney Institute.

Thank you, Gerard.

Ladies and gentlemen.

I have not come to the Sydney Institute today to pick over the entrails of the election on 2 March. Today I want to discuss with you an issue which goes to the heart of our pluralist democratic society.

The issue I would like to discuss is how our parties are funded. The inter relationship of politics and business has always been….controversial to say the least. But with our kind of economy and our kind of democracy, there will always be a close relationship between politics and business.

So I would like to flesh out…from the view point of the Labor Party some principles and a philosophy on the funding of parties.

Over the last three year political cycle, the two major parties, counting the Coalition as a single entity, spent over $155 million. The Coalition spent around $88 million, Labor around $67 million. [Read more…]

ALP National Secretary Gary Gray’s Address to the Queensland ALP Conference

ALP National Secretary Gary Gray says the ALP needs to “act as a Party” if it is to return to office federally and in the states.

Addressing the Queensland ALP Conference, Gray said it was important that the ALP not behave “as a bickering and jostling collection of factions, more interested in small victories over internal rivals than in the larger victory: over the hearts, the minds, the perceptions and the votes of the electorate.”

Gray said: “The way back to government for Labor, all around the country is: the pursuit of a “common cause” through “common sense”. Common sense doesn’t sound like a grand ideal. But it is – I would argue – the core value of the Labor Party.” [Read more…]

1996 Federal Election: Two-Party-Preferred Statistics

The 1996 election produced the third largest majority ever for a government in the House of Representatives.

The new coalition government led by John Howard won 94 seats in the 148-seat lower house. The ALP won 49 seats, a loss of 31. There were 5 independents elected: 3 ex-Liberal members, 1 ex-Labor member and Pauline Hanson. Hanson won Oxley as a disendorsed Liberal candidate.

The overall swing against the ALP was 5.06%, with every part of the country swinging to the coalition. The largest swing was 8.65% in Queensland. The smallest swing was 1.50% in Victoria.

There were swings against the ALP in 140 electorates. The biggest swing was 12.68% in the Queensland electorate of Fadden. The smallest swing to the coalition was 0.10% in the Victorian electorate of La Trobe.

The ALP won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote only in Victoria, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory.

The election reduced the ALP to a “south-east triangle” of seats in Victoria, and New South Wales, the party winning 36 of its 49 seats in those two States, and most of those in Sydney and Melbourne.

The ALP won only 2 seats in Queensland and South Australia, 3 in Western Australia, 3 in Tasmania (the only State where it won a majority of seats) and all 3 seats in the ACT.

Two-Party-Preferred Statistics 1996
House of Representatives – Summary
State ALP Votes ALP % L/NP Votes L/NP % % Swing To ALP
New South Wales 1,734,777
Victoria 1,388,142
Queensland 765,019
Western Australia 437,694
South Australia 391,516
Tasmania 159,853
Australian Capital Territory 105,323
Northern Territory 42,003
Total 5,024,327


Source: Australian Electoral Commission publications


Electoral Margins Following The 1996 Federal Election

The state-by-state tables on this page show the margins in every House of Representatives electorate following the 1996 federal election.

All results tabulated below are March 2, 1996 general election results. The swing required for the incumbent member to lose is based on Australian Electoral Commission figures. [Read more…]

Paul Keating Resigns From Parliament

Following his defeat in the 1996 Federal Election, Paul Keating resigned as member for Blaxland before the new parliament met for the first time.

Keating had been member for Blaxland since the October 1969 Federal Election. He served 11 full terms in a period just over 26 years.

Keating served as the Minister for Northern Australia in the final three weeks of the Whitlam government in 1975. He was Treasurer in the Hawke government from 1983 until 1991. He was Prime Minister from December 20, 1991 until March 11, 1996. [Read more…]