1946 Australian federal election

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1946 Australian federal election
Flag of Australia (converted).svg
  1943 28 September 1946 1949  

All 74 seats of the House of Representatives
38 seats were needed for a majority in the House
19 (of the 36) seats of the Senate
 First partySecond party
  Benchifley.jpg Portrait Menzies 1950s.jpg
Leader Ben Chifley Robert Menzies
Party Labor Liberal/Country coalition
Leader since 13 July 1945 23 September 1943
Leader's seat Macquarie (NSW) Kooyong (Vic.)
Last election49 seats19 seats
Seats won43 seats26 seats
Seat changeDecrease2.svg6Increase2.svg7
Percentage54.10%45.90%
SwingDecrease2.svg4.10%Increase2.svg4.10%

Australia 1946 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

Ben Chifley
Labor

Subsequent Prime Minister

Ben Chifley
Labor

The 1946 Australian Federal election was held in Australia on 28 September 1946. 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 Ben Chifley defeated the opposition Liberal–Country coalition, led by Robert Menzies. It was the Liberal Party's first federal election since its creation.

Australian Senate upper house of the Australian Parliament

The Senate is the upper house of the bicameral Parliament of Australia, the lower house being the Australian House of Representatives. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Chapter I of the Constitution of Australia. There are a total of 76 Senators: 12 are elected from each of the six Australian states regardless of population and 2 from each of the two autonomous internal Australian territories. Senators are popularly elected under the single transferable vote system of proportional representation.

Australian Labor Party Political party in Australia

The Australian Labor Party is a major centre-left political party in Australia. The party has been in opposition at the federal level since the 2013 election. The party is a federal party with branches in each state and territory. Labor is in government in the states of Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, and in both the Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory. The party competes against the Liberal/National Coalition for political office at the federal and state levels. It is the oldest political party in Australia.

Ben Chifley Australian politician, 16th Prime Minister of Australia

Joseph Benedict Chifley was an Australian politician who served as the 16th Prime Minister of Australia, in office from 1945 to 1949. He was leader of the Labor Party from 1945 until his death.

Contents

The election was held in conjunction with three referendum questions, one of which was carried.

The 1946 Australian Referendum was held on 28 September 1946. It contained three referendum questions.

Results

House of Representatives

Labor: 43 seats
Liberal: 18 seats
Country: 11 seats
Lang Labor: 1 seat
Independent: 1 seat Australian Federal Election, 1946.svg
  Labor: 43 seats
  Liberal: 18 seats
  Country: 11 seats
  Lang Labor: 1 seat
  Independent: 1 seat
House of Reps (IRV) — 1946–49—Turnout 93.97% (CV) — Informal 2.45%
PartyVotes%SwingSeatsChange
  Labor 2,159,95349.71−0.2243−6
  Liberal–Country coalition 1,896,34943.65+13.2029+6
  Liberal  1,431,68232.95+11.0518+4
  Country  464,66710.70+2.1611+2
  Lang Labor 69,1381.59+0.871+1
  Communist 64,8111.49+1.4900
  Services 55,1401.27+1.2700
  Protestant People's 20,1110.46+0.4600
  Independents 79,0401.82−10.3410
 Total4,344,542  74
Two-party-preferred (estimated)
  Labor WIN54.10−4.1043−6
  Liberal–Country coalition 45.90+4.1029+6

Notes
Doris Blackburn Australian political activist, legislator

Doris Amelia Blackburn was an Australian social reformer and politician. She served in the House of Representatives from 1946 to 1949, the second woman after Enid Lyons to do so. Blackburn was a prominent socialist and originally a member of the Labor Party. She was married to Maurice Blackburn, a Labor MP, but he was expelled from the party in 1937 and she resigned from the party in solidarity. Her husband died in 1944, and she was elected to his former seat at the 1946 federal election – the first woman elected to parliament as an independent. However, Blackburn served only a single term before being defeated. She later served as president of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.

The Division of Bourke was an Australian electoral division in Victoria. The division was proclaimed in 1900, and was one of the original 65 divisions to be contested at the first federal election. It was abolished in 1949. It was named for Sir Richard Bourke, who was Governor of New South Wales at the time of the founding of Melbourne. It was based in the northern suburbs of Melbourne, including the suburbs of Brunswick and Coburg. After 1910, it was a safe seat for the Australian Labor Party, but was lost to an independent Labor member in 1946.

South Australia State of Australia

South Australia is a state in the southern central part of Australia. It covers some of the most arid parts of the country. With a total land area of 983,482 square kilometres (379,725 sq mi), it is the fourth-largest of Australia's states and territories by area, and fifth largest by population. It has a total of 1.7 million people, and its population is the second most highly centralised in Australia, after Western Australia, with more than 77 percent of South Australians living in the capital, Adelaide, or its environs. Other population centres in the state are relatively small; Mount Gambier, the second largest centre, has a population of 28,684.

Popular Vote
Labor
49.71%
Liberal
32.95%
Country
10.70%
Lang Labor
1.59%
Independent/Other
1.83%
Two Party Preferred Vote
Labor
54.10%
Coalition
45.90%
Parliament Seats
Labor
58.11%
Coalition
35.14%

Senate

Senate (P BV) — 1946–49—Turnout 93.97% (CV) — Informal 8.01%
PartyVotes%SwingSeats WonSeats HeldChange
  Labor 2,133,27252.06−3.021633+11
  Liberal–Country coalition 1,775,02243.33N/A33–11
 Liberal–Country joint ticket1,561,71838.12N/A3N/AN/A
  Liberal 213,3045.21N/A02–10
  Country N/AN/AN/A01–1
  Protestant People's 123,5413.02+3.02000
  Services 37,7240.92+0.92000
  Independents 27,7670.68–3.83000
 Total4,097,326  1936

Notes

Seats changing hands

SeatPre-1946SwingPost-1946
PartyMemberMarginMarginMemberParty
Bourke, Vic  Labor Bill Bryson 3.64.71.1 Doris Blackburn Independent 
Calare, NSW  Labor John Breen 9.911.71.8 John Howse Liberal 
Capricornia, Qld  Labor Frank Forde 5.98.82.9 Charles Davidson Liberal 
Franklin, Tas  Labor Charles Frost 9.910.00.1 Bill Falkinder Liberal 
Henty, Vic  Independent Arthur Coles 5.59.84.3 Jo Gullett Liberal 
Reid, NSW  Labor Charles Morgan N/A7.44.2 Jack Lang Lang Labor 
Swan, WA  Labor Don Mountjoy 3.03.20.2 Len Hamilton Country 
Wakefield, SA  Labor Albert Smith 1.23.92.7 Philip McBride Liberal 
Wilmot, Tas  Liberal Allan Guy 1.73.41.7 Gil Duthie Labor 

See also

This is a list of the members of the Australian House of Representatives in the 18th Australian Parliament, which was elected at the 1946 election on 28 September 1946. The incumbent Australian Labor Party led by Prime Minister of Australia Ben Chifley defeated the newly formed opposition Liberal Party of Australia led by its founder Robert Menzies with coalition partner the Country Party led by Arthur Fadden.

This is a list of members of the Australian Senate from 1 July 1947 to 30 June 1950. Half of its members were elected at the 21 August 1943 election and had terms starting on 1 July 1944 and finishing on 30 June 1947; the other half were elected at the 28 September 1946 election and had terms starting on 1 July 1947 and finishing on 30 June 1953.

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References