Australian federal election, 1937

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Australian federal election, 1937

← 1934 23 October 1937 1940 →

All 74 seats of the House of Representatives
38 seats were needed for a majority in the House
19 (of the 36) seats of the Senate
  First party Second party
  Joseph Lyons.jpg JohnCurtin.jpg
Leader Joseph Lyons John Curtin
Party UAP/Country coalition Labor
Leader since 7 May 1931 1 October 1935
Leader's seat Wilmot (Tas.) Fremantle (WA)
Last election 42 seats 18 seats
Seats won 43 seats 29 seats
Seat change Increase1 Increase11
Percentage 50.60% 49.40%
Swing Decrease2.90 Increase2.90

Prime Minister before election

Joseph Lyons
UAP/Country coalition

Subsequent Prime Minister

Joseph Lyons
UAP/Country coalition

Federal elections were held in Australia on 23 October 1937. All 74 seats in the House of Representatives, and 19 of the 36 seats in the Senate were up for election. The incumbent UAP–Country coalition government, led by Prime Minister Joseph Lyons, defeated the opposition Labor Party under John Curtin.

The election is notable in that the Country Party achieved its highest-ever primary vote in the lower house, thereby winning nearly a quarter of all lower-house seats. At the 1934 election nine seats in New South Wales had been won by Lang Labor. Following the reunion of the two Labor parties in February 1936, these were held by their members as ALP seats at the 1937 election. With the party's wins in Ballaarat and Gwydir (initially at a by-election on 8 March 1937), the ALP had a net gain of 11 seats compared with the previous election.

This was the first federal election that future Prime Ministers Harold Holt and Arthur Fadden contested as members of parliament, having entered parliament at the 1935 Fawkner by-election and 1936 Darling Downs by-election respectively.


Results

House of Representatives

  Labor: 29 seats
  United Australia: 28 seats
  Country: 15 seats
  Independent: 2 seats
House of Reps (IRV) — 1937–40—Turnout 96.13% (CV) — Informal 2.59%
Party Votes % Swing Seats Change
  UAP–Country coalition 1.774,805 49.26 –1.01 43 –4
  United Australia  1,214,526 33.71 +0.73 28 0
  Country 560,279 15.55 +2.93 15 +1
  Labor 1,555,737 43.17 +16.36 29 +11
  Social Credit 79,432 2.20 −2.49 0 0
  Communist 17,153 0.48 +0.48 0 0
  Independents 176,214 4.89 +2.38 2 +2
  Total 3,603,223     74
Two-party-preferred (estimated)
  UAP–Country coalition WIN 50.60 −2.90 43 +1
  Labor 49.40 +2.90 29 +11

Notes
Popular Vote
Labor
43.17%
United Australia
33.17%
Country
15.55%
Independent
5.56%
Social Credit
2.20%
Communist
0.48%
Two Party Preferred Vote
Coalition
50.60%
Labor
49.40%
Parliament Seats
Coalition
58.11%
Labor
38.19%
Independent
2.70%

Senate

Senate (P BV) — 1937–40—Turnout 94.75% (CV) — Informal 9.56%
Party Votes % Swing Seats Won Seats Held Change
  Labor 1,699,172 48.48 +20.40 16 16 +13
  UAP–Country coalition 1,636,889 46.71 –6.51 3 20 –13
  UAP–Country joint ticket 1,005,247 28.68 +10.44 0 N/A N/A
  United Australia 565,161 16.13 −4.54 3 16 −10
  Country 66,481 1.90 −12.41 0 4 −3
  Social Credit 49,801 1.42 −1.36 0 0 0
  Independent 118,768 3.39 +2.93 0 0 0
  Total 3,504,630     19 36

Seats changing hands

Seat Pre-1937 Swing Post-1937
Party Member Margin Margin Member Party
Ballaarat, Vic   United Australia Archibald Fisken 3.9 3.5 0.6 Reg Pollard Labor  
Bendigo, Vic   United Australia Eric Harrison N/A 0.3 6.9 George Rankin Country  
Grey, SA   United Australia Philip McBride N/A 2.9 7.1 Oliver Badman Country  
Warringah, NSW   United Australia Archdale Parkhill N/A 29.4 1.9 Percy Spender Independent UAP  
Wimmera, Vic   Country Hugh McClelland N/A 2.9 1.9 Alexander Wilson Independent  
  • Members in italics did not contest their seat at this election.

See also

Notes

References

  • University of WA election results in Australia since 1890
  • Two-party-preferred vote since 1937

External links

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