1984 Australian federal election

Last updated

1984 Australian federal election
Flag of Australia (converted).svg
  1983 1 December 1984 (1984-12-01) 1987  

All 148 seats in the House of Representatives
75 seats were needed for a majority in the House
46 (of the 76) seats in the Senate
 First partySecond party
  Bob Hawke Portrait 1983.jpg Andrew Peacock.jpg
Leader Bob Hawke Andrew Peacock
Party Labor Liberal/National coalition
Leader since 3 February 1983 (1983-02-03) 11 March 1983 (1983-03-11)
Leader's seat Wills (Vic.) Kooyong (Vic.)
Last election75 seats50 seats
Seats won82 seats66 seats
Seat changeIncrease2.svg7Increase2.svg16
Percentage51.77%48.23%
SwingDecrease2.svg1.46%Increase2.svg1.46%

Australia 1984 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

Bob Hawke
Labor

Subsequent Prime Minister

Bob Hawke
Labor

The 1984 Australian Federal election was held in Australia on 1 December 1984. All 148 seats in the House of Representatives (24 of them newly created) and 46 of 76 seats in the Senate (12 of them newly created) were up for election. The incumbent Labor Party led by Prime Minister Bob Hawke defeated the opposition Liberal–National coalition, led by Andrew Peacock.

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.

Bob Hawke Australian politician, 23rd Prime Minister of Australia

Robert James Lee Hawke was an Australian politician who served as Prime Minister of Australia and Leader of the Labor Party from 1983 to 1991. Hawke served as Member of Parliament (MP) for Wills from 1980 to 1992.

Contents

The election was held in conjunction with two referendum questions, neither of which were carried.

The 1984 Australian Referendum was held on 1 December 1984. It contained two referendum questions, neither of which passed.

Background and issues

The election had a long campaign and a high rate of informal voting for the House of Representatives, but decreased rate in the Senate (due to the introduction of the Group voting ticket). The election was held 18 months ahead of time, partly to bring the elections for the House of Representatives and Senate back into line following the double dissolution election of 1983.

A group voting ticket (GVT) is a simplified preferential voting system previously used in federal and several Australian state elections that used the single transferable vote or the alternative vote system. Under the system, for multi-member electoral divisions, a group or party registers a GVT before an election with the electoral commission. When a voter selects a group or party “above the line” on a ballot paper, their vote is distributed according to the registered GVT for that group. The system continues to be used for the upper houses of the Australian state parliaments of Victoria and Western Australia. It has been abolished by New South Wales and South Australia. It was used in the Australian Senate from the 1984 federal election until the 2013 federal election. A form of GVT is used for some elections in Fiji.

Double dissolution procedure of dissolving both houses of the Australian Parliament

A double dissolution is a procedure permitted under the Australian Constitution to resolve deadlocks in the bicameral Parliament of Australia between the House of Representatives and the Senate. A double dissolution is the only circumstance in which the entire Senate can be dissolved.

1983 Australian federal election

The 1983 Australian Federal Election was a Double dissolution election held on 5 March 1983. All 125 seats in the House of Representatives and all 64 seats in the Senate were up for election, following a double dissolution. The incumbent Coalition government which had been in power since 1975, led by Malcolm Fraser and Doug Anthony, was defeated in a landslide by the opposition Labor Party led by Bob Hawke.

The legislated increase in the size of the House of Representatives by 24 seats and the Senate by 12 seats came into effect at the 1984 election. Prior to 1984 the electoral commission did not undertake a full distribution of preferences for statistical purposes. The stored ballot papers for the previous election were put through this process prior to their destruction – therefore the figures from 1983 onwards show the actual result based on full distribution of preferences.

Results

House of Representatives

Government (82)
Labor (82)

Opposition (66)
Coalition
Liberal (44)
National (21)
CLP (1) Australian House of Representatives elected members, 1984.svg
Government (82)
     Labor (82)

Opposition (66)
Coalition
     Liberal (44)
     National (21)
     CLP (1)
    House of Reps (IRV) — 1984–87 – Turnout 94.19% (CV) — Informal 6.78%
    PartyVotes%SwingSeatsChange
      Labor 4,120,13047.55−1.9382+7
      Liberal–National coalition 3,900,04245.01–1.4066+16
      Liberal 2,951,55634.06−0.0645+12
      National 921,15110.63+1.4221+4
      Country Liberal  27,3350.32+0.0800
      Democrats 472,2045.45+0.4200
      Democratic Labor 49,1210.57+0.3700
      Nuclear Disarmament 17,9780.21+0.2100
      Socialist Workers 9,4600.11–0.4200
      Deadly Serious 2,8260.03–0.0100
      Pensioner 1,6450.02+0.0200
      Communist 1,2130.01–0.0600
      Independent 90,3331.04+0.0700
     Total8,664,952  148+23
    Two-party-preferred
      Australian Labor Party WIN51.77−1.4682+7
      Liberal–National coalition  48.23+1.4666+16
    Popular Vote
    Labor
    47.55%
    Liberal
    34.06%
    National
    10.63%
    Democrats
    5.45%
    CLP
    0.32%
    Other
    1.99%
    Two Party Preferred Vote
    Labor
    51.77%
    Coalition
    48.23%
    Parliament Seats
    Labor
    55.41%
    Coalition
    44.59%

    Senate

    Government (34)
Labor (34)

Opposition (33)
Coalition
Liberal (27)
National (5)
CLP (1)

Crossbench (9)
Democrats (7)
NDP (1)
Independent (1) Australian Senate elected members, 1984.svg
    Government (34)
         Labor (34)

    Opposition (33)
    Coalition
         Liberal (27)
         National (5)
         CLP (1)

    Crossbench (9)
         Democrats (7)
         NDP (1)
         Independent (1)
      Senate (STV GV) — 1984–87 – Turnout 94.55% (CV) — Informal 4.68%
      PartyVotes%SwingSeats WonSeats HeldChange
        Labor 3,750,78942.17−3.322034+4
        Liberal–National coalition 3,516,85739.54–0.412033+5
        Liberal 1,831,00620.59+8.581427+4
       Liberal–National joint ticket1,130,60112.71−11.493N/AN/A
        National 527,2785.93+0.8725+1
        Country Liberal 27,9720.31+0.04110
        Democrats 677,9707.62−2.3257+2
        Nuclear Disarmament 643,0617.23+7.2311+1
        Call to Australia 162,2721.82−0.04000
        Democratic Labor 32,4720.37+0.37000
        Pensioner 23,9740.27+0.27000
        Family Movement 18,8410.21+0.21000
        Referendum First 5,8070.07+0.07000
        Conservative 4,7310.05+0.05000
        Independent 57,3260.64+0.64010
       Total8,894,100  4676+12

      Seats changing hands

      SeatPre-1984SwingPost-1984
      PartyMemberMarginMarginMemberParty
      Farrer, NSW  Liberal Wal Fife N/AN/A13.0 Tim Fischer National 
      Flinders, Vic  Labor Bob Chynoweth 1.01.51.2 Peter Reith Liberal 
      Forde, Qld  Labornotional – new seat2.72.70.0 David Watson Liberal 
      Gilmore, NSW  Labornotional – new seat0.51.71.2 John Sharp National 
      Hinkler, Qld  Labornotional – new seat0.60.80.2 Bryan Conquest National 
      Hume, NSW  National Stephen Lusher N/AN/A7.7 Wal Fife Liberal 
      Macquarie, NSW  Labor Ross Free 0.51.91.4 Alasdair Webster Liberal 
      Northern Territory, NT  Labor John Reeves 1.93.31.4 Paul Everingham Country Liberal 
      Petrie, Qld  Labor Dean Wells 0.52.10.6 John Hodges Liberal 
      Riverina-Darling, NSW  Labornotional – new seat1.35.94.6 Noel Hicks National 

      Analysis

      The Gallagher Index result: 7.79 1984 Election Australia Gallagher Index.png
      The Gallagher Index result: 7.79

      The results of the election surprised most analysts;[ citation needed ] the expectation had been that Bob Hawke – who had been polling a record ACNielsen approval rating of 75 percent [1] on the eve of the election – would win by a significantly larger margin. Labor instead suffered a 2-point swing against it and had its majority cut from 25 to 16. Hawke blamed the result on the changes to Senate vote cards, which he believed confused people regarding their House of Representatives votes and contributed to the relatively high informal vote, the majority of which apparently was Labor votes. [2] Andrew Peacock did well from a good performance in the one leaders' debate, held on 26 November 1984. [3] This was the first televised leaders' debate in Australia. [4]

      See also

      Notes

      1. "The biggest hammering in history". Sydney Morning Herald. 20 May 2008. Retrieved 20 May 2008.
      2. Hawke, RJL (1996). The Hawke Memoirs. Port Melbourne: Mandarin. pp. 275–276. "Attracted to the simplicity of the Senate ballot, a number of voters thought they could mark their Lower House ballot in exactly the same way. Unfortunately for both them and us the informal vote for the House of Representatives swelled from 2 per cent to nearly 7 per cent. On the best surmise the bulk of the informals were Labor votes."
      3. Fraser, Bryce (1998). The Macquarie Reference Series: Government in Australia. Sydney: The Macquarie Library Pty Ltd. p. 44. ISBN   1-876429-02-X.
      4. "1984 Federal Election". AustralianPolitics.com. Retrieved 30 July 2016.

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