1943 Australian federal election

Last updated
1943 Australian federal election
Flag of Australia (converted).svg
  1940 21 August 1943 1946  

All 74 seats in the House of Representatives
38 seats were needed for a majority in the House
19 (of the 36) seats in the Senate
 First partySecond party
  JohnCurtin.jpg FaddenPEO.jpg
Leader John Curtin Arthur Fadden
Party Labor Country/UAP coalition
Leader since 1 October 1935 (1935-10-01) 29 August 1941 (1941-08-29)
Leader's seat Fremantle (WA) Darling Downs (Qld.)
Last election32 seats36 seats
Seats won49 seats23 seats
Seat changeIncrease2.svg17Decrease2.svg13
Percentage58.20%41.80%
SwingIncrease2.svg7.90%Decrease2.svg7.90%

Australia 1943 federal election.png
Popular vote by state with graphs indicating the number of seats won. As this is an IRV election, seat totals are not determined by popular vote by state but instead via results in each electorate.

Prime Minister before election

John Curtin
Labor

Subsequent Prime Minister

John Curtin
Labor

The 1943 Australian federal election was held in Australia on 21 August 1943. All 74 seats in the House of Representatives and 19 of the 36 seats in the Senate were up for election. The incumbent Labor Party, led by Prime Minister John Curtin, defeated the opposition Country–UAP coalition led by Arthur Fadden in a landslide.

Contents

Fadden, the leader of the Country Party, was serving as Leader of the Opposition despite the Country Party holding fewer seats in parliament than the United Australia Party (UAP). He was previously the Prime Minister in August 1941, after he was chosen by the coalition parties to lead the government after the forced resignation of Prime Minister Robert Menzies, the UAP leader. However, he stayed in office for only six weeks before the two independents who held the balance of power joined Labor in voting down his budget. Governor-General Lord Gowrie was reluctant to call an election for a parliament barely a year old, especially considering the international situation. At his urging, the independents threw their support to Labor for the remainder of the parliamentary term.

Over the next two years, Curtin proved to be a very popular and effective leader, and the Coalition was unable to get the better of him. A number of groups split away from the UAP prior to the election, the most prominent of which was the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). Labor thus went into the election in a strong position, and scored an 18-seat swing on 58 percent of the two-party vote. The Coalition saw its seat count cut by around a third since the last election, to 23 seats—including only nine for the Country Party. Notably, Labor won every seat in Western Australia and all but one in South Australia. Archie Cameron, the member for Barker in South Australia, was left as the only Coalition MP outside the eastern states. The LDP did not win any seats.

This election was significant in the fact that it resulted in the election of the first female member of the House of Representatives, the UAP's Enid Lyons for Darwin, Tasmania; and the first female Senator, Labor's Dorothy Tangney in Western Australia. The election remains Labor's greatest federal victory in terms of proportion of seats and two-party votes in the lower house, and primary vote in the Senate.

The lack of effective opposition to the Labor party in the lead up and following the election became the catalyst for the creation of the Liberal Party of Australia from the ashes of the UAP, and for George Cole & Keith Murdoch among other big business magnates to form the conservative propaganda think tank the Institute of Public Affairs.

This was the last major election that did not involve the current Liberal and Labor Party competition.

Results

House of Representatives

Australian federal election, 21 August 1943 [1]
House of Representatives
<< 19401946 >>

Enrolled voters4,466,749
Votes cast4,249,369 Turnout 95.13+1.27
Informal votes148,785Informal3.50+0.95
Summary of votes by party
PartyPrimary votes%SwingSeatsChange
  Labor 2,058,58250.20%+10.04%49+ 17
  United Australia 898,12821.90%–8.34%14– 9
  Country 350,3788.54%–4.97%9– 4
  One Parliament 87,1122.11%+2.11%0± 0
  Communist 81,8161.98%+1.98%0± 0
  Liberal Democratic 42,1491.02%+1.02%0± 0
  State Labor 29,7520.72%–1.89%0± 0
  Independent 501,05412.15%+4.69%2± 0
Total4,100,584  74 

Popular Vote
Labor
49.94%
United Australia
21.90%
Independent
12.15%
Country
8.54%
One Parliament
2.11%
Communist
1.98%
Liberal Democratic
1.48%
State Labor
0.72%
Two Party Preferred Vote (Estimated)
Labor
58.20%
Coalition
41.80%
Parliament Seats
Labor
66.22%
United Australia
18.92%
Country
12.16%
Independent
2.70%

Senate

Senate (P BV) — 1943–46 — Turnout 96.31% (CV) — Informal 9.73%
PartyVotes%SwingSeats WonSeats HeldChange
  Australian Labor Party 2,139,16455.09+17.571922+5
 Country/UAP (Joint Ticket)1,047,22526.9718.050
 Country-National Party (QLD)184,1814.74*000
  Liberal & Country League (SA)148,4193.82*000
 Nationalist Country Party (WA)101,7382.62*000
 Christian New Order (NSW)101,2472.61*000
  Country Party 37,3500.96*022
  United Australia Party **6.710123
 Other123,8463.19000
 Total3,883,170  1936

Seats changing hands

SeatPre-1943SwingPost-1943
PartyMemberMarginMarginMemberParty
Adelaide, SA  United Australia Fred Stacey 4.720.315.6 Cyril Chambers Labor 
Barker, SA  Country Archie Cameron*N/A14.21.7 Archie Cameron United Australia 
Boothby, SA  United Australia Grenfell Price 6.616.10.9 Thomas Sheehy Labor 
Denison, Tas  United Australia Arthur Beck 1.110.19.0 Frank Gaha Labor 
Eden-Monaro, NSW  United Australia John Perkins 4.810.85.4 Allan Fraser Labor 
Grey, SA  Country Oliver Badman*7.710.22.5 Edgar Russell Labor 
Hume, NSW  Country Thomas Collins 0.97.26.3 Arthur Fuller Labor 
Lilley, Qld  United Australia William Jolly 9.69.90.4 Jim Hadley Labor 
Maranoa, Qld  Labor Frank Baker 1.62.61.0 Charles Adermann Country 
Martin, NSW  United Australia William McCall 2.68.35.7 Fred Daly Labor 
Parkes, NSW  United Australia Charles Marr 7.410.32.9 Les Haylen Labor 
Perth, WA  United Australia Walter Nairn 14.520.56.0 Tom Burke Labor 
Robertson, NSW  United Australia Eric Spooner 0.39.28.9 Thomas Williams Labor 
Swan, WA  Country Thomas Marwick 7.510.53.0 Don Mountjoy Labor 
Wakefield, SA  United Australia Jack Duncan-Hughes 3.44.61.2 Albert Smith Labor 

See also

Notes

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References