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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2002  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/01/2002   
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Contents >> Government >> Commonwealth elections

Franchise

Any Australian citizen 18 and over, or British subject who was on the Commonwealth Roll as at 25 January 1984, is qualified to enrol and vote at Commonwealth elections. Residence in an electorate for a period of one month before enrolment is necessary to enable a qualified person to enrol. Enrolment and attendance at a polling place on polling day (except under certain lawful exceptions) are compulsory for all eligible persons.


Parliamentary terms

Members of the House of Representatives are elected for a maximum term of three years, though elections may be called earlier. Senators have fixed terms of six years. Normally half the Senate retires every three years, and elections for the Senate are usually held at the same time as elections for the House of Representatives, though they need not be.

At times of disagreement between the House of Representatives and the Senate, both houses may be dissolved and an election called for both houses. Six of the forty Commonwealth elections have been double dissolution elections.

Table 2.3 shows the number and terms of all parliaments since Federation.

2.3 COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTS(a)

Number of Parliament
Date of opening
Date of dissolution

First
9 May 1901
23 November 1903
Second
2 March 1904
5 November 1906
Third
20 February 1907
19 February 1910
Fourth
1 July 1910
23 April 1913
Fifth
9 July 1913
30 July 1914(b)
Sixth
8 October 1914
26 March 1917
Seventh
14 June 1917
3 November 1919
Eighth
26 February 1920
6 November 1922
Ninth
28 February 1923
3 October 1925
Tenth
13 January 1926
9 October 1928
Eleventh
6 February 1929
16 September 1929
Twelfth
20 November 1929
27 November 1931
Thirteenth
17 February 1932
7 August 1934
Fourteenth
23 October 1934
21 September 1937
Fifteenth
30 November 1937
27 August 1940
Sixteenth
20 November 1940
7 July 1943
Seventeenth
23 September 1943
16 August 1946
Eighteenth
6 November 1946
1 October 1949
Nineteenth
22 February 1950
19 March 1951(b)
Twentieth
12 June 1951
21 April 1954
Twenty-first
4 August 1954
4 November 1955
Twenty-second
15 February 1956
14 October 1958
Twenty-third
17 February 1959
2 November 1961
Twenty-fourth
20 February 1962
1 November 1963
Twenty-fifth
25 February 1964
31 October 1966
Twenty-sixth
21 February 1967
29 September 1969
Twenty-seventh
25 November 1969
2 November 1972
Twenty-eighth
27 February 1973
11 April 1974(b)
Twenty-ninth
9 July 1974
11 November 1975(b)
Thirtieth
17 February 1976
8 November 1977
Thirty-first
21 February 1978
19 September 1980
Thirty-second
25 November 1980
4 February 1983(b)
Thirty-third
21 April 1983
26 October 1984
Thirty-fourth
21 February 1985
5 June 1987(b)
Thirty-fifth
14 September 1987
19 February 1990
Thirty-sixth
8 May 1990
8 February 1993
Thirty-seventh
4 May 1993
29 January 1996
Thirty-eighth
30 April 1996
31 August 1998
Thirty-ninth
10 November 1998
8 October 2001(a)

(a) As at October 2001. Parliament was dissolved on 8 October 2001 and an election called for 10 November 2001, for the House of Representatives and half the Senate. At that election the Liberal-National Party coalition was returned to office.
(b) A dissolution of both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Source: Department of the Parliamentary Library.


Electorates

For the purpose of House of Representatives elections each State or Territory is divided into single-member electorates corresponding in number to the number of members to which the State or Territory is entitled. In Senate elections the whole State or Territory constitutes a single electorate.

Redistributions of House of Representatives electorates must be held at least every seven years. A redistribution must take into account current and projected enrolments, community of economic, social and regional interests, means of communication and travel, physical features and area, and existing electorate boundaries. Within each State and Territory the electorates must, as far as possible, be equal in numbers of electors. There is usually a variation in size of electorates from one State or Territory to another.

The Electoral Commissioner determines the representation entitlements of the States and Territories during the thirteenth month after the first meeting of a new House of Representatives. Determinations are based on the latest population statistics as provided by the Australian Statistician. The representation entitlements of the States and Territories at the 1999 determination are shown in table 2.4, which also shows the total size of the House of Representatives at the time of the next election. Tasmania has a constitutional entitlement to five members of the House of Representatives based on it being a State at the time of Federation in 1901. The Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory have gained representation since 1901, and current legislation provides a minimum representation of one member of the House of Representatives for each.


2.4 REPRESENTATION ENTITLEMENTS(a)

State/Territory
Seats
no.

New South Wales
50
Victoria
37
Queensland
27
Western Australia
15
South Australia
12
Tasmania
5
Australian Capital Territory
2
Northern Territory
2
Total
150

(a) 1999 Determination.

Source: Department of the Parliamentary Library.


1998 election

First preference votes cast for the major political parties in each State and Territory at the 1998 election for each House of the Commonwealth Parliament are shown in table 2.5.

Parliament was dissolved on 8 October 2001 and an election called for 10 November 2001, for the House of Representatives and half the Senate. At that election the Liberal-National Party coalition was returned to office. The final tally of votes recorded was not available at time of printing of this edition of Year Book Australia. It will be included in the next edition.

2.5 COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS, Votes Recorded - 3 October 1998

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

First preference votes
NSW
Vic.
Qld
SA

Australian Labor Party
1,489,021
1,261,289
719,743
319,267
Liberal Party
1,131,545
1,053,990
615,153
389,382
National Party
293,126
77,385
199,185
4,796
Country Liberal Party
-
-
-
-
Pauline Hanson’s One Nation
332,510
105,798
285,983
90,773
Australian Democrats
154,496
171,091
80,003
93,905
The Greens
98,647
59,383
47,440
4,576
Unity - Say No to Hanson
57,666
29,265
-
-
Christian Democratic Party
38,023
3,793
11,243
3,521
Others
116,110
80,687
34,625
19,771
Formal votes
3,711,144
2,842,682
1,993,375
925,991
Informal votes
1,554,859
103,524
68,659
44,074
Total votes recorded
3,866,003
2,946,205
2,062,034
970,065

WA
Tas.
NT
ACT
Aust.

Australian Labor Party
377,545
150,384
38,469
98,588
4,454,306
Liberal Party
397,836
117,377
-
59,424
3,764,707
National Party
13,596
-
-
-
588,088
Country Liberal Party
-
-
36,014
-
36,014
Pauline Hanson’s One Nation
96,708
7,553
7,401
9,895
936,621
Australian Democrats
41,364
10,024
4,658
14,394
569,935
The Greens
52,674
17,091
2,753
8,145
290,709
Unity - Say No to Hanson
321
-
-
-
87,252
Christian Democratic Party
8,336
-
-
-
64,916
Others
54,395
5,048
1,642
4,237
316,515
Formal votes
1,042,775
307,477
90,937
194,683
1,109,063
Informal votes
45,509
9,819
3,951
5,743
436,138
Total votes recorded
1,088,284
317,296
94,888
200,426
11,545,201

SENATE

First preference votes
NSW
Vic.
Qld
SA

Australian Labor Party
1,452 560
1,153,100
654,623
303,299
Liberal-National Party
1,375 563
1,076,844
-
-
Liberal Party
-
-
570,692
383,637
National Party
-
-
190,662
4,445
Country Liberal Party
-
-
-
-
Pauline Hanson’s One Nation
361,009
117,048
297,245
91,910
Australian Democrats
275,910
279,806
156,451
117,619
The Greens
81,612
70,872
42,264
20,895
Christian Democratic Party
58,079
13,881
28,826
9,598
Unity - Say No to Hanson
61,607
20,603
9,487
-
Senator Harradine Group
-
-
-
-
Others
89,385
111,006
53,460
15,413
Formal vote
3,755,725
2,843,160
2,003,710
946,816
Informal votes
128,596
111,686
62,859
27,424
Total votes recorded
3,884,321
2,954,846
2,066,569
974,240

WA
Tas.
NT
ACT
Aust.

Australian Labor Party
368,878
128,377
38,259
83,867
4,182,963
Liberal-National Party
-
-
-
-
2,452,407
Liberal Party
408,748
104,268
-
61,385
1,528,730
National Party
13,429
-
-
-
208,536
Country Liberal Party
-
-
36,063
-
36,063
Pauline Hanson’s One Nation
110,294
11,655
8,657
9,621
1,007,439
Australian Democrats
68,095
12,107
5,119
32,833
947,940
The Greens
61,063
17,905
4,232
6,385
305,228
Christian Democratic Party
10,264
945
-
923
122,516
Unity - Say No to Hanson
2,271
-
-
-
93,968
Senator Harradine Group
-
24,254
-
-
24,254
Other
21,036
8,866
672
2,021
301,859
Formal votes
1,064,078
308,377
93,002
197,035
11,211,903
Informal votes
29,354
9,704
1,887
3,952
375,462
Total votes recorded
1,093,432
318,081
94,889
200,987
11,587,365

Source: Department of the Parliamentary Library.


The numbers of electors enrolled for the 1998 election are shown in table 2.6.

2.6 COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION OF 3 OCTOBER 1998, Electors Enrolled

State/Territory
no.

New South Wales
4,076,081
Victoria
3,081,632
Queensland
2,188,024
South Australia
1,013,989
Western Australia
1,149,619
Tasmania
330,121
Northern Territory
105,048
Australian Capital Territory
209,536
Australia
12,154,050

Source: Department of the Parliamentary Library.


The state of the parties in the Commonwealth Parliament at October 2001 is shown in table 2.7.

2.7 STATE OF THE PARTIES, Commonwealth Parliament - October 2001

no.

House of Representatives
Australian Labor Party
67
Liberal Party
63
National Party
15
Independent
3
Total
148
Senate

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