1975 Australian federal election

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1975 Australian federal election
Flag of Australia (converted).svg
  1974 13 December 1975 1977  

All 127 seats of the House of Representatives
64 seats were needed for a majority in the House
All 64 seats of the Senate
 First partySecond party
  Malcolm Fraser 1977 - crop.jpg Gough Whitlam - ACF - crop.jpg
Leader Malcolm Fraser Gough Whitlam
Party Liberal/NCP coalition Labor
Leader since 21 March 1975 8 February 1967
Leader's seat Wannon (Vic.) Werriwa (NSW)
Last election61 seats66 seats
Seats won91 seats36 seats
Seat changeIncrease2.svg30Decrease2.svg30
Percentage55.7%44.3%
SwingIncrease2.svg7.4%Decrease2.svg7.4%

Australia 1975 federal election.png
Popular vote by state and territory with graphs indicating the number of seats won. As this is an IRV election, seat totals are not determined by popular vote by state or territory but instead via results in each electorate.

Prime Minister before election

Malcolm Fraser
Liberal/NCP coalition

Subsequent Prime Minister

Malcolm Fraser
Liberal/NCP coalition

The 1975 Australian federal election was held in Australia on 13 December 1975. All 127 seats in the House of Representatives and all 64 seats in the Senate were up for election, due to a double dissolution.

Contents

Malcolm Fraser had been commissioned as caretaker prime minister following the dismissal of Gough Whitlam's three-year-old Labor government by Governor-General Sir John Kerr, on 11 November 1975. The same day, Fraser advised an immediate double dissolution, in accordance with Kerr's stipulated conditions (see 1975 Australian constitutional crisis).

The Coalition of Fraser's Liberal Party of Australia and Doug Anthony's National Country Party secured government in its own right, winning the largest majority government to date in Australian history. The Liberals actually won a majority in their own right, with 68 seats–the first time that the main non-Labor party had done so since adopting the Liberal banner in 1944. Although Fraser had no need for the support of the National Country Party, the Coalition was retained.

Labor suffered a 30-seat swing and saw its lower house caucus cut almost in half, to 36 seats—fewer than it had when Whitlam became leader in the aftermath of the Coalition landslide nearly 10 years earlier, in the 1966 election.

Results

House of Representatives results

Government (91)
Coalition
Liberal (68)
NCP (22)
CLP (1)

Opposition (36)
Labor (36) Australian House of Representatives elected members, 1975.svg
Government (91)
Coalition
     Liberal (68)
     NCP (22)
     CLP (1)

Opposition (36)
     Labor (36)
    House of Reps (IRV) – 1975–77—Turnout 95.39% (CV) – Informal 1.89%
    PartyVotes%SwingSeatsChange
      Liberal–NCP coalition 4,102,07853.05+7.3291+30
      Liberal 3,232,15941.80+6.8568+28
      National Country  853,94311.04+0.2822+1
      Country Liberal 15,9760.21+0.211+1
      Labor 3,313,00442.84−6.4636−30
      Democratic Labor 101,7501.32−0.1000
      Workers 60,1300.78+0.7800
      Liberal Movement 49,4840.64–0.1400
      Australia 33,6300.43−1.8900
      Communist 9,3930.12+0.1100
      Independent 63,1090.82+0.4200
     Total7,732,578  127 
    Two-party-preferred (estimated)
      Liberal–NCP coalition WIN55.70+7.4091+30
      Labor  44.30−7.4036−30
    Popular Vote
    Labor
    42.84%
    Liberal
    41.80%
    National
    11.25%
    DLP
    1.32%
    Other
    2.79%
    Two Party Preferred Vote
    Coalition
    55.70%
    Labor
    44.30%
    Parliament Seats
    Coalition
    71.65%
    Labor
    28.35%

    Senate results

    Government (35)
Coalition
Liberal (26)
NCP (8)
CLP (1)

Opposition (27)
Labor (27)

Crossbench (2)
Liberal Movement (1)
Independent (1) Australian Senate elected members, 1975.svg
    Government (35)
    Coalition
         Liberal (26)
         NCP (8)
         CLP (1)

    Opposition (27)
         Labor (27)

    Crossbench (2)
         Liberal Movement (1)
         Independent (1)
      Senate (STV) – 1975–77—Turnout 95.39% (CV) – Informal 9.10%
      PartyVotes%SwingSeats WonSeats HeldChange
        Liberal–NCP coalition (total)3,706,98951.74+7.853535+6
       Liberal–NCP joint ticket2,855,72139.86+5.0917**
        Liberal 793,77211.08+3.261626+3
        National Country 41,9770.59−0.7118+2
        Country Liberal 15,5190.22+0.2211+1
        Labor 2,931,31040.91−6.3827272
        Democratic Labor 191,0492.67−0.89000
        Liberal Movement 76,4261.07+0.11110
        Workers 62,3850.87+0.87000
        Family Movement 45,6580.64+0.64000
        Australia 34,6320.48–0.91000
        United Tasmania 1,2270.02–0.01000
        Socialist 7270.01+0.01000
        Independents 114,3101.60–0.52110
       Total7,164,713  6464+4
      Notes

      Seats changing hands

      SeatPre-1975SwingPost-1975
      PartyMemberMarginMarginMemberParty
      Barton, NSW  Labor Len Reynolds 5.110.04.9 Jim Bradfield Liberal 
      Bowman, Qld  Labor Len Keogh 1.38.47.1 David Jull Liberal 
      Braddon, Tas  Labor Ron Davies 4.88.63.8 Ray Groom Liberal 
      Brisbane, Qld  Labor Manfred Cross 1.15.03.9 Peter Johnson Liberal 
      Canberra, ACT  Labor Kep Enderby 7.110.43.3 John Haslem Liberal 
      Capricornia, Qld  Labor Doug Everingham 4.95.00.1 Colin Carige National Country 
      Casey, Vic  Labor Race Mathews 1.59.07.5 Peter Falconer Liberal 
      Cook, NSW  Labor Ray Thorburn 0.58.37.8 Don Dobie Liberal 
      Dawson, Qld  Labor Rex Patterson 0.64.23.6 Ray Braithwaite National Country 
      Denison, Tas  Labor John Coates 2.87.74.9 Michael Hodgman Liberal 
      Diamond Valley, Vic  Labor David McKenzie 0.79.89.1 Neil Brown Liberal 
      Eden-Monaro, NSW  Labor Bob Whan 0.15.65.5 Murray Sainsbury Liberal 
      Evans, NSW  Labor Allan Mulder 4.96.92.0 John Abel Liberal 
      Franklin, Tas  Labor Ray Sherry 12.914.71.8 Bruce Goodluck Liberal 
      Henty, Vic  Labor Joan Child 1.56.75.2 Ken Aldred Liberal 
      Holt, Vic  Labor Max Oldmeadow 6.98.51.6 William Yates Liberal 
      Isaacs, Vic  Labor Gareth Clayton 0.67.56.9 David Hamer Liberal 
      Kalgoorlie, WA  Labor Fred Collard 2.16.34.3 Mick Cotter Liberal 
      Kingston, SA  Labor Richard Gun 6.112.76.6 Grant Chapman Liberal 
      La Trobe, Vic  Labor Tony Lamb 4.68.94.3 Marshall Baillieu Liberal 
      Leichhardt, Qld  Labor Bill Fulton 3.35.72.4 David Thomson National Country 
      Macarthur, NSW  Labor John Kerin 4.48.54.1 Michael Baume Liberal 
      Macquarie, NSW  Labor Tony Luchetti 8.710.31.6 Reg Gillard Liberal 
      McMillan, Vic  National Country Arthur Hewson N/A2.16.7 Barry Simon Liberal 
      Perth, WA  Labor Joe Berinson 8.29.00.8 Ross McLean Liberal 
      Phillip, NSW  Labor Joe Riordan 4.57.12.6 Jack Birney Liberal 
      St George, NSW  Labor Bill Morrison 5.85.80.0 Maurice Neil Liberal 
      Swan, WA  Labor Adrian Bennett 5.67.72.1 John Martyr Liberal 
      Tangney, WA  Labor John Dawkins 3.19.76.6 Peter Richardson Liberal 

      Issues and significance

      The Gallagher Index result: 14.19 1975 Election Australia Gallagher Index.png
      The Gallagher Index result: 14.19

      The election followed the controversial dismissal of the Whitlam government by Governor-General Sir John Kerr in the 1975 constitutional crisis. Labor campaigners hoped that the electorate would "maintain [its] rage" and punish the Coalition for its part in bringing down the government, proclaiming "Shame Fraser, Shame". However, the Coalition focused on economic issues following the 1973 oil crisis and 1973–75 recession, the so-called Loans Affair, alleged Labor mismanagement of inflation, and campaigned under the slogan "Turn on the lights, Australia" (drawing on a contemporary cynicism: "Would the last businessman leaving Australia please turn out the lights?").

      The Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory received an entitlement to elect two senators each as a consequence of the Senate (Representation of Territories) Act 1973, passed during the 1974 Joint Sitting of the Australian Parliament.

      See also

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      References