1990 Australian federal election

Last updated

1990 Australian federal election
Flag of Australia (converted).svg
  1987 24 March 1990 (1990-03-24) 1993  

All 148 seats in the House of Representatives
75 seats were needed for a majority in the House
40 (of the 76) seats in the Senate
 First partySecond party
  Bob Hawke 1987 portrait crop.jpg Andrew Peacock.jpg
Leader Bob Hawke Andrew Peacock
Party Labor Liberal/National coalition
Leader since 3 February 1983 9 May 1989
Leader's seat Wills (Vic.) Kooyong (Vic.)
Last election86 seats62 seats
Seats won78 seats69 seats
Seat changeDecrease2.svg8Increase2.svg7
Percentage49.90%50.10%
SwingDecrease2.svg0.93%Increase2.svg0.93%

Australia 1990 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 1990 Australian federal election was held in Australia on 24 March 1990. All 148 seats in the House of Representatives and 40 seats in the 76-member Senate were up for election. The incumbent Australian Labor Party led by Bob Hawke defeated the opposition Liberal Party of Australia led by Andrew Peacock with coalition partner the National Party of Australia led by Charles Blunt despite losing the two party preferred popular vote. The election saw the reelection of a Hawke government, the fourth successive term. This was the first time the Labor party won a fourth consecutive election.

Contents

Background

John Howard lost the 1987 election to Hawke, and Andrew Peacock was elected Deputy Leader in a show of party unity. In May 1989 Peacock's supporters mounted a party room coup which returned Peacock to the leadership. Hawke's Treasurer, Keating, ridiculed him by asking: "Can the soufflé rise twice?" and calling him "all feathers and no meat". Hawke's government was in political trouble, with high interest rates and a financial crisis in Victoria.

Results

House of Representatives results

Government (78)
Labor (78)

Opposition (69)
Coalition
Liberal (55)
National (14)

Crossbench (1)
Independent (1) Australian House of Representatives elected members, 1990.svg
Government (78)
     Labor (78)

Opposition (69)
Coalition
     Liberal (55)
     National (14)

Crossbench (1)
     Independent (1)
    House of Reps (IRV) — 1990–93 — Turnout 95.31% (CV) — Informal 3.19%
    PartyVotes%SwingSeatsChange
      Liberal–National coalition 4,302,12743.46–2.4469+7
      Liberal  3,440,90234.76 +0.3555+12
      National  833,5578.42–3.1014–5
      Country Liberal  27,6680.28+0.050+0
      Labor 3,904,13839.44–6.4678–8
      Democrats 1,114,21611.26+5.2600
      Greens* (state-based)137,3511.37+1.3700
      Call to Australia 96,4970.97+0.9700
      Grey Power 20,9840.21+0.2100
      Democratic Socialist 20,6680.21+0.2000
      Rex Connor Labor 8,2770.08+0.0800
      New Australia 7,0430.07+0.0700
      Nuclear Disarmament 5,5780.06–0.0500
      Environment Independents 4,8660.05+0.0500
      Socialist 2,2550.02+0.0200
      Conservative 1,7340.02+0.0200
      Pensioner 1,1700.01–0.0300
      Independents 272,7702.76+0.901+1
     Total9,899,674  148 
    Two-party-preferred vote
      Labor WIN49.900.93788
      Liberal–National coalition  50.10+0.9369+7
    Popular Vote
    Labor
    39.44%
    Liberal
    35.04%
    Democrats
    11.26%
    National
    8.42%
    Independents
    2.55%
    Other
    3.30%
    Two Party Preferred Vote
    Coalition
    50.10%
    Labor
    49.90%
    Parliament Seats
    Labor
    52.70%
    Coalition
    46.62%
    Independents
    0.68%

    Senate results

    Government (32)
Labor (32)

Opposition (34)
Coalition
Liberal (29)
National (4)
CLP (1)

Crossbench (10)
Democrats (8)
WA Greens (1)
Independent (1) Australian Senate elected members, 1990.svg
    Government (32)
         Labor (32)

    Opposition (34)
    Coalition
         Liberal (29)
         National (4)
         CLP (1)

    Crossbench (10)
         Democrats (8)
         WA Greens (1)
         Independent (1)
      Senate (STV GV) — 1990–93 — Turnout 95.81% (CV) — Informal 3.40%
      PartyVotes%SwingSeats WonSeats HeldChange
        Liberal–National coalition 4,162,63341.92–0.1219340
       Liberal–National joint ticket2,429,55224.47+10.715N/AN/A
        Liberal 1,445,87214.56–6.411229+2
        National 258,1642.604.4914–2
        Country Liberal 29,0450.29+0.08110
        Labor 3,813,54738.414.4215320
        Democrats 1,253,80712.63+4.1558+1
        Greens [lower-alpha 1] 208,1572.10+1.6611+1
        Call to Australia 136,5221.37–0.09000
        Environment Independents 74,6680.75+0.75000
        Independent EFF 63,3780.64+0.64000
        Nuclear Disarmament 38,0790.38–0.7100–1
        Grey Power 37,6000.38+0.38000
        Democratic Socialist 36,1400.36+0.36000
        Against Further Immigration 19,4390.20+0.20000
        Pensioner 18,2350.18+0.00000
        Democratic Labor 14,7440.15–0.39000
        New Australia 8,3320.08+0.08000
        Conservative 7,3810.07+0.07000
        Citizens Electoral Council 7,1290.07+0.07000
        Independent 29,9740.30–1.5901–1
       Total9,929,765  4076

      Notes
      1. There was no nation-wide Greens party. The total includes 76,381 votes for the Greens Western Australia (who elected one senator), 64,583 votes for the Green Alliance (NSW), 23,420 votes for the Victorian Greens, 19,499 votes for the Greens South Australia, 14,160 votes for the United Tasmania Group, 5,288 votes for the ACT Green Democratic Alliance, and 4,826 votes for the Greens New South Wales.

      Seats changing hands

      Members in italics did not contest their seat at this election. Where redistributions occurred, the pre-1990 margin represents the redistributed margin.

      SeatPre-1990SwingPost-1990
      PartyMemberMarginMarginMemberParty
      Adelaide, SA  Liberal Mike Pratt 6.5*N/A3.7 Bob Catley Labor 
      Aston, Vic  Labor John Saunderson 2.67.24.6 Peter Nugent Liberal 
      Ballarat, Vic  Labor John Mildren 2.14.01.9 Michael Ronaldson Liberal 
      Bendigo, Vic  Labor John Brumby 4.05.11.1 Bruce Reid Liberal 
      Corinella, Vic  Labornotional – new seat5.36.00.7 Russell Broadbent Liberal 
      Dunkley, Vic  Labor Bob Chynoweth 5.66.81.2 Frank Ford Liberal 
      Fairfax, Qld  National Evan Adermann N/AN/A7.5 Alex Somlyay Liberal 
      Hawker, SA  Labor Elizabeth Harvey 1.21.20.0 Chris Gallus Liberal 
      Kennedy, Qld  National Bob Katter 3.04.41.4 Rob Hulls Labor 
      La Trobe, Vic  Labor Peter Milton 4.24.61.4 Bob Charles Liberal 
      McEwen, Vic  Labor Peter Cleeland 2.96.13.2 Fran Bailey Liberal 
      McMillan, Vic  Labor Barry Cunningham 3.07.44.4 John Riggall Liberal 
      Moreton, Qld  Liberal Don Cameron 0.73.02.3 Garrie Gibson Labor 
      North Sydney, NSW  Liberal John Spender N/AN/A7.7 Ted Mack Independent 
      Page, NSW  National Ian Robinson 4.55.20.7 Harry Woods Labor 
      Richmond, NSW  National Charles Blunt 6.67.10.5 Neville Newell Labor 

      Notes

      Outcome

      The Gallagher Index result: 12.7 1990 Election Australia Gallagher Index.png
      The Gallagher Index result: 12.7

      The 1990 election resulted in a modest swing to the opposition Coalition. Though Labor had to contend with the late 80s/early 90s recession, they won a record fourth successive election and a record 10 years in government with Bob Hawke as leader, a level of political success not previously seen by federal Labor. The election was to be Hawke's last as Prime Minister and Labor leader, he was replaced by Paul Keating on 20 December 1991 who would go on to lead Labor to win a record fifth successive election and a record 13 years in government resulting from the 1993 election.

      At the election, the Coalition won a slim majority of the two-party vote, and slashed Labor's majority from 24 seats to nine. However, it only managed a two-party swing of 0.9 percent, which was not nearly enough to deliver the additional seven seats the Coalition needed to make Peacock Prime Minister. Despite having regained much of what the non-Labor forces had lost three years earlier, Peacock was forced to resign after the election.

      This election saw the peak of the Australian Democrats' popularity under Janine Haines, and a WA Greens candidate won a seat in the Australian Senate for the first time – although the successful candidate, Jo Vallentine, was already a two-term senator, having previously won a seat for the Nuclear Disarmament Party at the 1984 election, and the Vallentine Peace Group at the 1987 election. Until 2010, this was the only post-war election where a third party (excluding splinter state parties and the Nationals) has won more than 10% of the primary vote for elections to the Australian House of Representatives.

      Since the 1918 Swan by-election which Labor unexpectedly won with the largest primary vote, a predecessor of the Liberals, the Nationalist Party of Australia, changed the lower house voting system from first-past-the-post to full-preference preferential voting as of the subsequent 1919 election which has remained in place since, allowing the Coalition parties to safely contest the same seats. Full-preference preferential voting re-elected the Hawke government, the first time in federal history that Labor had obtained a net benefit from preferential voting. [1]

      It also saw the Nationals' leader, Charles Blunt, defeated in his own seat of Richmond by Labor challenger Neville Newell—only the second time that a major party leader had lost his own seat. Newell benefited from the presence of independent and anti-nuclear activist Helen Caldicott. Her preferences flowed overwhelmingly to Newell on the third count, allowing Newell to win despite having been second on the primary vote.

      See also

      Notes

      1. Antony Green (23 September 2015). "The Origin of Senate Group Ticket Voting, and it didn't come from the Major Parties". Blogs.abc.net.au. Retrieved 30 July 2016.

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