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Categories Of Informal Voting – 1987

The table below shows the different categories of informal voting in the 1987 Federal Election.

The Australian Electoral Commission conducted a study of every informal vote cast in the election and came up with these statistics.

The figures show that nearly half of all informal votes were the result of some kind of incorrect numbering. This suggests that these informal votes were accidental. Similarly, another quarter of all informal votes contained ticks and crosses, suggesting confusion about the voting system.

Blank ballots and those with writing on them made up 26% of informal votes. These are most likely to have been deliberate.

Categories of Informal Voting
House of Representatives – 1987 (%)
State Blank Writing/Scribble Ticks, Crosses, etc Defective Numbering


Source: Australian Electoral Commission publications.


Hawke Labor Government Wins Third Term

The Hawke Labor government was re-elected to a third term at the Federal Election on July 11, 1987.

The government increased its majority with a net gain of 4 seats. It lost one seat each in New South Wales and Victoria. It picked up one seat each in Tasmania and the Northern Territory, and four seats in Queensland.

The ALP’s success in Queensland justified Hawke’s decision to call an early election to capitalise on the “Joh for PM” campaign by the Queensland Premier, Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen.

This is how the ABC TV news in Melbourne reported on the election outcome:

Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen Comments On The 1987 Federal Election Result

This is audio and video of Queensland Premier Sir John Bjelke-Petersen commenting on the re-election of Bob Hawke’s Labor government in 1987.

Hawke called an early double dissolution election because of Coalition divisions over Bjelke-Petersen’s “Joh for PM” campaign.

Despite a small swing against the ALP, Hawke won two extra seats from the Coalition in NSW and another two in Queensland, increasing his overall majority in the House of Representatives. [Read more…]

Bob Hawke Claims Victory In 1987 Federal Election

This is the audio and video of Prime Minister Bob Hawke claiming victory in the 1987 Federal Election.

It was Hawke’s third election victory. He would win one more in 1990 before being replaced by Paul Keating in 1991.

Despite a small swing against the ALP, Hawke increased his majority in the House of Representatives, winning two extra seats in Queensland and another two in New South Wales.

Hawke called the double dissolution election six months early to capitalise on a split in the Liberal-National coalition. The division was caused by the “Joh for PM” campaign by the Queensland National Party Premier, Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen.

  • Listen to Bob Hawke’s remarks (9m)
  • Watch Bob Hawke:


John Howard Concedes Defeat In 1987 Federal Election

This video shows Opposition Leader John Howard conceding defeat in the 1987 federal election.

Prime Minister Bob Hawke called the early double dissolution election on the back of a disruptive campaign by the Queensland Premier, Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen. Facing a split coalition, Hawke suffered a small swing against the ALP but increased his majority in the House of Representatives.

Howard was replaced as Liberal leader by his predecessor, Andrew Peacock, in 1989. Howard returned to the leadership in 1995. He went on to win the 1996 election and served as prime minister until 2007.

  • Listen to Howard (6m)
  • Watch Howard:

1987 Federal Election: ALP TV Advertisements

This is a selection of ALP election advertisements for the 1987 Federal Election.

The ALP’s campaign theme was “Let’s Stick Together”. The Hawke government was re-elected to a third term, defeating the Liberal-National Coalition led by John Howard. [Read more…]

1987 Federal Election: Liberal Party TV Advertisements

This is a collection of Liberal Party television advertisements from the 1987 Federal Election.

Bob Hawke’s Labor government was re-elected to its third term on July 11, 1987. It defeated the Coalition led by Liberal leader John Howard and National Party leader Ian Sinclair. [Read more…]

1987 Federal Election: Australian Democrats TV Advertisement

This is an Australian Democrats television advertisement for the 1987 Federal Election.

It features the party’s leader, Senator Janine Haines, contesting her first election as leader, following the retirement of the party’s founder, Senator Don Chipp, in 1986.

Let’s Stick Together – ALP Campaign Jingle 1987

“Let’s Stick Together” was the ALP’s election slogan in 1987, the year Bob Hawke defeated John Howard’s coalition and won a third term.

1987 also saw the famous Whingeing Wendy ads. [Read more…]

1987 Federal Election: John Howard’s Liberal Party Policy Speech

Liberal Opposition Leader John Howard delivered his policy speech for the 1987 Federal Election on June 25.

Howard had seized the Liberal Party leadership from Andrew Peacock in 1985. Following his defeat in the 1987 election, Howard was replaced by Andrew Peacock in 1989. Howard did not regain the leadership until 1995. He went on to win the 1996 election and served as Prime Minister for nearly 12 years until his defeat in 2007.

  • Watch ABC TV News coverage of Howard’s Policy Speech:

Transcript of Federal Opposition Leader John Howard’s 1987 Federal Election policy speech.

We all agree on at least one thing in this election campaign—our country is in a big economic mess and we would like to see it put right. The burning question is how we do it?

I believe the one and only way that Australia can get on top of its economic problems is to become more productive. That means giving everyone–you, me, your friends, your family, everybody else–more incentive, more encouragement and more reason to work harder. [Read more…]