1955 Australian federal election

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1955 Australian federal election
Flag of Australia (converted).svg
  1954 10 December 1955 1958  

All 122 seats of the House of Representatives
62 seats were needed for a majority in the House
30 (of the 60) seats of the Senate
 First partySecond party
  Portrait Menzies 1950s.jpg Herbert V. Evatt.jpg
Leader Robert Menzies H. V. Evatt
Party Liberal/Country coalition Labor
Leader since 23 September 1943 13 June 1951
Leader's seat Kooyong (Vic.) Barton (NSW)
Last election64 seats57 seats
Seats won75 seats47 seats
Seat changeIncrease2.svg11Decrease2.svg10
Percentage54.20%45.80%
SwingIncrease2.svg4.90%Decrease2.svg4.90%

Australia 1955 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

Robert Menzies
Liberal/Country coalition

Subsequent Prime Minister

Robert Menzies
Liberal/Country coalition

Federal elections were held in Australia on 10 December 1955. All 122 seats in the House of Representatives and 30 of the 60 seats in the Senate were up for election. An early election was called to bring the House and Senate elections back in line; the previous election in 1954 had been House-only. The incumbent Liberal–Country coalition led by Prime Minister Robert Menzies increased its majority over the opposition Labor Party, led by H. V. Evatt.

Elections in Australia discussion of elections conducted in Australia

Elections in Australia take place periodically to elect the legislature of the Commonwealth of Australia, as well as for each Australian state and territory. Elections in all jurisdictions follow similar principles, though there are minor variations between them. The elections for the Australian Parliament are held under the federal electoral system, which is uniform throughout the country, and the elections for state and territory Parliaments are held under the electoral system of each state and territory.

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.

1954 Australian federal election

Federal elections were held in Australia on 29 May 1954. All 121 seats in the House of Representatives were up for election, but no Senate election took place. The incumbent Liberal–Country coalition led by Prime Minister Robert Menzies defeated the opposition Labor Party led by H. V. Evatt, despite losing the two-party preferred vote.

Contents

Future Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser and future opposition leader Billy Snedden both entered parliament at this election.

Malcolm Fraser Australian politician, 22nd Prime Minister of Australia

John Malcolm Fraser was an Australian politician who served as the 22nd Prime Minister of Australia, in office from 1975 to 1983 as leader of the Liberal Party.

Billy Snedden Australian politician

Sir Billy Mackie Snedden, was an Australian politician who served as the leader of the Liberal Party from 1972 to 1975. He was also a cabinet minister from 1964 to 1972, and Speaker of the House of Representatives from 1976 to 1983.

Results

House of Representatives

Labor: 47 seats
Liberal: 56 seats
Country: 18 seats Australian Federal Election, 1955.svg
  Labor: 47 seats
  Liberal: 56 seats
  Country: 18 seats
House of Reps (IRV) — 1955–58—Turnout 95.00% (CV) — Informal 2.88%
PartyVotes%SwingSeatsChange
  Liberal–Country coalition 2,093,43047.67+0.1075+11
  Liberal  1,745,98539.75+0.7557+10
  Country  347,4457.91–0.6618+1
  Labor 1,961,35944.65–5.4247–10
  Anti-Communist Labor 227,0835.17+5.1700
  Communist 51,0011.16–0.0900
  Independents 60,0421.37+0.2600
 Total4,392,915  122+1
Two-party-preferred (estimated)
  Liberal–Country coalition WIN54.20+4.9075+11
  Labor 45.804.904710
Popular Vote
Labor
44.65%
Liberal
39.75%
Country
7.91%
ALP AC
5.17%
Independent
1.37%
Communist
1.16%
Two Party Preferred Vote
Coalition
54.20%
Labor
45.80%
Parliament Seats
Coalition
61.48%
Labor
38.52%

Senate

Senate (STV) — 1955–58—Turnout 95.01% (CV) — Informal 9.63%
PartyVotes%SwingSeats WonSeats HeldChange
  Liberal–Country coalition 2,161,46048.68+4.251730–1
 Liberal–Country joint ticket1,748,87839.38+12.938N/AN/A
  Liberal 384,7328.66–9.32824–2
  Country 27,8500.63+0.6316+1
  Labor 1,803,33540.61–10.001228–1
  Anti-Communist Labor 271,0676.10+6.1012+2
  Communist 161,8693.64+0.59000
  Henry George Justice 3,3660.08–0.22000
  Independents 39,9280.90+0.36000
 Total4,441,025  3060

Seats changing hands

SeatPre-1955SwingPost-1955
PartyMemberMarginMarginMemberParty
Ballaarat, Vic  Labor Bob Joshua*2.610.77.9 Dudley Erwin Liberal 
Hume, NSW  Labor Arthur Fuller 2,23.52.2 Charles Anderson Country 
Maribyrnong, Vic  Labor Arthur Drakeford 16.17.50.1 Philip Stokes Liberal 
Perth, WA  Labor Tom Burke 2.33.81.5 Fred Chaney Liberal 
Philip, NSW  Labor Joe Fitzgerald 8.95.71.1 William Aston Liberal 
St George, NSW  Labor Nelson Lemmon 2.75.83.4 Bill Graham Liberal 

Robert Joshua, MC was an Australian politician, and a key figure in the 1955 split in the Australian Labor Party which led to the formation of the Australian Labor Party (Anti-Communist) and, subsequently, the Democratic Labor Party.

The Australian Labor Party (Anti-Communist) (ALP-AC) was the name initially used by the right-wing group which arose from the 1955 Labor split. In 1957 it changed its name to the Democratic Labor Party, and was dissolved in 1978.

See also

This is a list of the members of the Australian House of Representatives in the 22nd Australian Parliament, which was elected at the 1955 election on 10 December 1955. Three new seats were created and two were abolished. The incumbent Liberal Party of Australia led by Prime Minister of Australia Robert Menzies with coalition partner the Country Party led by Arthur Fadden won an additional eleven seats, defeating the Australian Labor Party led by Herbert Evatt, which lost ten seats.

This is a list of members of the Australian Senate from 1956 to 1959. Half of its members were elected at the 9 May 1953 election and had terms starting on 1 July 1953 and finishing on 30 June 1959; the other half were elected at the 10 December 1955 election and had terms starting on 1 July 1956 and finishing on 30 June 1962. The process for filling casual vacancies was complex. While senators were elected for a six year term, people appointed to a casual vacancy only held office until the earlier of the next election for the House of Representatives or the Senate.

Notes

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