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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2003  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/01/2003   
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Contents >> Government >> Commonwealth elections

Franchise

Any Australian citizen aged 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
Number of ParliamentDate of openingDate of dissolution

19 May 190123 November 1903
22 March 19045 November 1906
320 February 190719 February 1910
41 July 191023 April 1913
59 July 191330 July 1914(a)
68 October 191426 March 1917
714 June 19173 November 1919
826 February 19206 November 1922
928 February 19233 October 1925
1013 January 19269 October 1928
116 February 192916 September 1929
1220 November 192927 November 1931
1317 February 19327 August 1934
1423 October 193421 September 1937
1530 November 193727 August 1940
1620 November 19407 July 1943
1723 September 194316 August 1946
186 November 19461 October 1949
1922 February 195019 March 1951(a)
2012 June 195121 April 1954
214 August 19544 November 1955
2215 February 195614 October 1958
2317 February 19592 November 1961
2420 February 19621 November 1963
2525 February 196431 October 1966
2621 February 196729 September 1969
2725 November 19692 November 1972
2827 February 197311 April 1974(a)
299 July 197411 November 1975(a)
3017 February 19768 November 1977
3121 February 197819 September 1980
3225 November 19804 February 1983(a)
3321 April 198326 October 1984
3421 February 19855 June 1987(a)
3514 September 198719 February 1990
368 May 19908 February 1993
374 May 199329 January 1996
3830 April 199631 August 1998
3910 November 19988 October 2001
4012 February 2002. .

(a) 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 13th 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 following 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,
1999 Determination

State/territory
Seats

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

Source: Department of the Parliamentary Library.


2001 election

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 number of electors enrolled for the 2001 election are shown in table 2.5.

The state of the parties in the Commomnwealth Parliament at November 2002 is shown in table 2.6.

First preference votes cast for the major political parties in each state and territory at the 2001 election for each House of the Commonwealth Parliament are shown in table 2.7 and 2.8.


2.5 COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION OF 10 NOVEMBER 2001, Electors enrolled

State/territory

New South Wales
4,227,937
Victoria
3,234,874
Queensland
2,336,698
South Australia
1,039,025
Western Australia
1,206,422
Tasmania
331,675
Northern Territory
111,022
Australian Capital Territory
221,184
Australia
12,708,837

Source: Department of the Parliamentary Library.


2.6 STATE OF THE PARTIES, Commonwealth Parliament - November 2002

House of Representatives
Liberal Party
68
Australian Labor Party
64
National Party
13
Country Liberal Party
1
Independent
3
The Greens
1
Total
150
Senate
Liberal Party
31
Australian Labor Party
28
National Party
3
Australian Democrats
7
The Greens
2
Country Liberal Party
1
One Nation
1
Independent
3
Total
76

Source: Department of the Parliamentary Library.


2.7 COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS, House of Representatives votes - 10 Nov 2001

NSW
Vic.
Qld
SA
First preference votes
Liberal Party
1,272,208
1,154,493
767,959
430,441
National Party
349,372
91,048
192,454
. .
Country Liberal Party
. .
. .
. .
. .
Australian Labor Party
1,380,822
1,230,764
730,914
316,362
Australian Democrats
160,706
184,564
90,679
98,849
The Greens
180,079
174,396
73,467
34,141
Pauline Hanson’s One Nation
180,813
37,812
148,932
44,574
Others
264,460
81,938
101,847
13,340
Formal votes
3,788,460
2,955,015
2,106,252
937,707
Informal votes
217,169
122,575
106,995
55,040
Total votes recorded
4,005,629
3,077,590
2,213,247
992,747
WA
Tas.
NT
ACT
Aust.
First preference votes
Liberal Party
449,036
114,283
. .
65,651
4,254,071
National Party
11,052
. .
. .
. .
643,926
Country Liberal Party
. .
. .
36,961
. .
36,961
Australian Labor Party
402,927
145,305
39,111
95,215
4,341,420
Australian Democrats
50,581
13,785
4,795
16,266
620,225
The Greens
64,939
24,052
3,665
14,335
569,074
Pauline Hanson’s One Nation
67,992
8,847
3,486
5,576
498,032
Others
38,268
1,746
3,143
5,623
510,365
Formal votes
1,084,795
308,018
91,161
202,666
11,474,074
Informal votes
56,134
10,856
4,436
7,386
580,591
Total votes recorded
1,140,929
318,874
95,597
210,052
12,054,665

Source: Department of the Parliamentary Library.


2.8 COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS, Senate votes - 10 Nov 2001

NSW
Vic.
Qld
SA
First preference votes
Liberal-National Party
1,620,235
1,155,854
. .
. .
Liberal Party
. .
. .
750,416
440,431
National Party
. .
. .
196,845
. .
Country Liberal Party
. .
. .
. .
. .
Australian Labor Party
1,299,488
1,073,667
682,239
321,422
Australian Democrats
240,867
228,272
143,942
121,989
The Greens
216,522
71,605
215,400
44,055
Pauline Hanson's One Nation
169,139
174,817
71,102
33,385
Christian Democratic Party
72,697
17,162
22,703
. .
Others
260,495
196,890
67,430
5,733
Formal votes
3,879,443
2,918,267
2,150,077
967,015
Informal votes
142,281
173,592
65,450
30,556
Total votes recorded
4,021,724
3,091,859
2,215,527
997,571
WA
Tas.
NT
ACT
Aust.
First preference votes
Liberal-National Party
. .
. .
. .
. .
2,776,089
Liberal Party
443,597
119,720
. .
70,475
1,824,639
National Party
26,015
. .
. .
. .
222,860
Country Liberal Party
. .
. .
40,680
. .
40,680
Australian Labor Party
377,547
113,709
36,500
86,331
3,990,903
Australian Democrats
64,773
14,273
6,796
22,072
842,984
The Greens
77,757
10,169
4,353
4,485
644,346
Pauline Hanson's One Nation
64,736
42,568
3,978
14,825
574,550
Christian Democratic Party
13,809
. .
. .
3,602
129,973
Others
37,295
8,223
755
3,684
580,505
Formal votes
1,105,529
308,662
93,062
205,474
11,627,529
Informal votes
41,025
10,493
2,640
4,924
470,961
Total votes recorded
1,146,554
319,155
95,702
210,398
12,098,490

Source: Department of the Parliamentary Library.


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