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Australian federal election, 1998: Wikis


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1996 Australia 2001
Australian federal election, 1998
All 148 seats in the Australian House of Representatives
and 40 (of the 76) seats in the Australian Senate
3 October 1998 (1998-10-03)
First party Second party
John Howard May 2006.jpg Ac.kimbeazleynew.jpg
Leader John Howard Kim Beazley
Party Liberal/National coalition Labor
Leader since 30 January 1995 (1995-01-30) March 19, 1996 (1996-03-19)
Leader's seat Bennelong Brand
Last election 94 seats 49 seats
Seats won 80 67
Seat change -14 +18
Popular vote 5,413,431 5,630,409
Percentage 49.02% 50.98%
Swing -4.61% +4.61%

Federal elections were held in Australia on 3 October 1998. All 148 seats in the House of Representatives and 40 seats in the 76-member Senate were up for election. The incumbent Liberal Party of Australia led by Prime Minister of Australia John Howard and coalition partner the National Party of Australia led by Tim Fischer defeated the opposition Australian Labor Party led by Kim Beazley.



House of Reps (IRV) — 1998-2001 — Turnout 94.99% (CV) — Informal 3.78%
  Party Votes % Swing Seats Change
  Australian Labor Party 4,454,306 40.10 +1.34 67 +18
  Liberal Party of Australia 3,800,721 34.21 -4.83 64 -11
  One Nation 936,621 8.43 * 0 0
  National Party of Australia 588,088 5.29 -2.91 16 -3
  Australian Democrats 569,935 5.13 -1.63 0 0
  Australian Greens 238,035 2.14 -0.78 0 0
  Independents 212,522 1.91 -0.42 1 -4
  Other 308,835 2.78 +0.79 0 0
  Total 11,109,063     148  
  Liberal/National coalition WIN 49.02 -4.61 80 -14
  Australian Labor Party   50.98 +4.61 67 +18

Independents: Peter Andren

Senate (STV GV) — 1999-2002 — Turnout 95.34% (CV) — Informal 3.24%
  Party Votes % Swing Seats Won Seats Held
  Australian Labor Party 4,182,963 37.31 +1.16 17 29
  Liberal/National (Joint Ticket) 2,452,407 21.87 -2.62 5  
  Liberal Party of Australia 1,528,730 13.63 -2.61 11 31
  One Nation 1,007,439 8.99 * 1 1
  Australian Democrats 947,940 8.45 -2.37 4 9
  Australian Greens 305,228 2.72 +0.32 0 1
  National Party of Australia 208,536 1.86 -1.01 0 3
  Country Liberal Party 36,063 0.32 -0.05 1 1
  Harradine Group 24,254 0.22 -0.08 1 1
  Other 518,343 4.62 -1.26 0 0
  Total 11,211,903     40 76

The election chose the Members of the Australian House of Representatives, 1998-2001 and half of the Members of the Australian Senate, 1999-2002.

Despite gaining almost 51 percent of the two party preferred vote, the Australian Labor Party fell short of forming government by 8 seats. The government was re-elected with 49.02% of the two-party-preferred vote, compared to 50.98% for the Australian Labor Party, the largest difference of five election results where the winner did not gain a two party preferred majority, since 2PP results were first estimated in 1949.

The election on 3 October 1998 was held six months earlier than required by the Constitution. Prime Minister John Howard made the announcement following the launch of the coalition's Goods and Services Tax (GST) policy launch and a 5-week advertising campaign. The ensuing election was almost entirely dominated by the proposed 10% GST and proposed income tax cuts.

In reaction to One Nation's policies, the other significant parties all agreed to preference against One Nation. One Nation won no lower house seats, with its founder and leader Pauline Hanson defeated on preferences by the Liberal candidate in the Queensland electorate of Blair. In Queensland, One Nation polled 14.83% of the Senate vote, sufficient to elect one senator without the need for preferences.[1] The seat initially went to Heather Hill, but she was subsequently disqualified under Section 44 of the Constitution, and replaced by Len Harris.

The ALP made the single biggest gain by an Opposition party following an election defeat; the Coalition's majority was cut from 40 to 12. The swing was sufficient in all states to deliver government to the ALP, but the uneven nature of the swing denied Kim Beazley the extra few seats necessary to command a majority in the House.

House of Representatives preference flows

  • The Nationals had candidates in 13 seats where three-cornered-contests existed, with 88.89% of preferences favouring the Liberal Party.
  • One Nation contested 135 electorates with preferences slightly favouring the Liberal/National Coalition (53.66%)
  • The Democrats contested 144 electorates with preferences slightly favouring Labor (56.72%)
  • The Greens contested 120 electorates with preferences strongly favouring Labor (73.28%)

Seats changing hands

Seat Party, pre-1998 Member, pre-1998 Margin, pre-1998 % Swing % Margin, post-1998 % Member, post-1998 Party, post-1998
Bass, Tas   Liberal Party of Australia Hon Warwick Smith 4.57 4.63 0.06 Michelle O'Byrne Australian Labor Party  
Bendigo, Vic   Liberal Party of Australia vacant 0.88 4.35 3.47 Steve Gibbons Australian Labor Party  
Bowman, Qld   Liberal Party of Australia Andrea West 0.89 4.18 3.29 Hon Con Sciacca Australian Labor Party  
Braddon, Tas   Liberal Party of Australia Hon Chris Miles 5.69 10.02 4.33 Sid Sidebottom Australian Labor Party  
Canning, WA   Liberal Party of Australia Ricky Johnston 1.64 5.16 3.52 Jane Gerick Australian Labor Party  
Capricornia, Qld   National Party of Australia Paul Marek 3.46 8.75 5.29 Kirsten Livermore Australian Labor Party  
Chisholm, Vic   Liberal Party of Australia vacant 2.60 4.67 2.07 Anna Burke Australian Labor Party  
Cowan, WA   Liberal Party of Australia Richard Evans 4.06 7.62 3.56 Graham Edwards Australian Labor Party  
Curtin, WA   Independent Allan Rocher 7.28 N/A** 13.28 Julie Bishop Liberal Party of Australia  
Dickson, Qld   Liberal Party of Australia Tony Smith* 3.90 4.02 0.12 Cheryl Kernot Australian Labor Party  
Griffith, Qld   Liberal Party of Australia Graeme McDougall 1.50 3.93 2.43 Kevin Rudd Australian Labor Party  
Hume, NSW   National Party of Australia vacant 4.35 3.71 8.06 Alby Schultz Liberal Party of Australia  
Kingston, SA   Liberal Party of Australia Susan Jeanes 2.01 2.48 0.47 David Cox Australian Labor Party  
Kalgoorlie, WA   Independent Graeme Campbell 10.35 N/A** 2.10 Barry Haase Liberal Party of Australia  
Lilley, Qld   Liberal Party of Australia Elizabeth Grace 0.80 3.93 3.13 Wayne Swan Australian Labor Party  
Lowe, NSW   Liberal Party of Australia Paul Zammit* 2.46 7.09 4.63 John Murphy Australian Labor Party  
McMillan, Vic   Liberal Party of Australia Russell Broadbent 2.07 2.64 0.57 Christian Zahra Australian Labor Party  
Moore, WA   Independent Paul Filing 13.28 N/A** 4.13 Mal Washer Liberal Party of Australia  
Northern Territory, NT   Country Liberal Party Nick Dondas 0.37 0.94 0.57 Warren Snowdon Australian Labor Party  
Oxley, Qld   One Nation Party Pauline Hanson* 0.35 7.85 8.20 Bernie Ripoll Australian Labor Party  
Paterson, NSW   Liberal Party of Australia Bob Baldwin 0.43 1.65 1.22 Bob Horne Australian Labor Party  
Stirling, WA   Liberal Party of Australia Eoin Cameron 3.22 4.26 1.04 Jann McFarlane Australian Labor Party  
Swan, WA   Liberal Party of Australia Don Randall 3.63 6.33 2.70 Kim Wilkie Australian Labor Party  
  • *Paul Zammit contested his seat as an independent. The figures shown are against Liberal. Tony Smith contested his seat as an independent. The figures shown are against Labor. Pauline Hanson, a member of One Nation Party, contested the seat of Blair in this election after a redistribution, and lost to Liberal Cameron Thompson. The figures shown are a two-party-preferred basis between Labor and Liberal.
  • **Allan Rocher, Graeme Campbell and Paul Filing all fell out of two-party-preferred; the second figures are against Labor.

See also





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