Australian federal election, 1946

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Australian federal election, 1946

← 1943 28 September 1946 1949 →

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
  Benchifley.jpg Portrait Menzies 1950s.jpg
Leader Ben Chifley Robert Menzies
Party Labor Liberal/Country coalition
Leader since 13 July 1945 23 September 1943
Leader's seat Macquarie (NSW) Kooyong (Vic.)
Last election 49 seats 19 seats
Seats won 43 seats 26 seats
Seat change Decrease6 Increase7
Percentage 54.10% 45.90%
Swing Decrease4.10 Increase4.10

Prime Minister before election

Ben Chifley
Labor

Subsequent Prime Minister

Ben Chifley
Labor

Federal elections were held in Australia on 28 September 1946. All 74 seats in the House of Representatives and 19 of the 36 seats in the Senate were up for election. The incumbent Labor Party led by Prime Minister Ben Chifley defeated the opposition Liberal–Country coalition, led by Robert Menzies. It was the Liberal Party's first federal election since its creation.

The election was held in conjunction with three referendum questions, one of which was carried.

Results

House of Representatives

  Labor: 43 seats
  Liberal: 18 seats
  Country: 11 seats
  Lang Labor: 1 seat
  Independent: 1 seat
House of Reps (IRV) — 1946–49—Turnout 93.97% (CV) — Informal 2.45%
Party Votes % Swing Seats Change
  Labor 2,159,953 49.71 −0.22 43 −6
  Liberal–Country coalition 1,896,349 43.65 +13.20 29 +6
  Liberal  1,431,682 32.95 +11.05 18 +4
  Country  464,667 10.70 +2.16 11 +2
  Lang Labor 69,138 1.59 +0.87 1 +1
  Communist 64,811 1.49 +1.49 0 0
  Services 55,140 1.27 +1.27 0 0
  Protestant People's 20,111 0.46 +0.46 0 0
  Independents 79,040 1.82 −10.34 1 0
  Total 4,344,542     74
Two-party-preferred (estimated)
  Labor WIN 54.10 −4.10 43 −6
  Liberal–Country coalition 45.90 +4.10 29 +6

Notes
Popular Vote
Labor
49.71%
Liberal
32.95%
Country
10.70%
Lang Labor
1.59%
Independent/Other
1.83%
Two Party Preferred Vote
Labor
54.10%
Coalition
45.90%
Parliament Seats
Labor
58.11%
Coalition
35.14%

Senate

Senate (P BV) — 1946–49—Turnout 93.97% (CV) — Informal 8.01%
Party Votes % Swing Seats Won Seats Held Change
  Labor 2,133,272 52.06 −3.02 16 33 +11
  Liberal–Country coalition 1,775,022 43.33 N/A 3 3 –11
  Liberal–Country joint ticket 1,561,718 38.12 N/A 3 N/A N/A
  Liberal 213,304 5.21 N/A 0 2 –10
  Country N/A N/A N/A 0 1 –1
  Protestant People's 123,541 3.02 +3.02 0 0 0
  Services 37,724 0.92 +0.92 0 0 0
  Independents 27,767 0.68 –3.83 0 0 0
  Total 4,097,326     19 36

Notes
  • Of the three senators elected on Liberal–Country joint tickets, two were Liberal Party members and one was a Country Party member.

Seats changing hands

Seat Pre-1946 Swing Post-1946
Party Member Margin Margin Member Party
Bourke, Vic   Labor Bill Bryson 3.6 4.7 1.1 Doris Blackburn Independent  
Calare, NSW   Labor John Breen 9.9 11.7 1.8 John Howse Liberal  
Capricornia, Qld   Labor Frank Forde 5.9 8.8 2.9 Charles Davidson Liberal  
Franklin, Tas   Labor Charles Frost 9.9 10.0 0.1 Bill Falkinder Liberal  
Henty, Vic   Independent Arthur Coles 5.5 9.8 4.3 Jo Gullett Liberal  
Reid, NSW   Labor Charles Morgan N/A 7.4 4.2 Jack Lang Lang Labor  
Swan, WA   Labor Don Mountjoy 3.0 3.2 0.2 Len Hamilton Country  
Wakefield, SA   Labor Albert Smith 1.2 3.9 2.7 Philip McBride Liberal  
Wilmot, Tas   Liberal Allan Guy 1.7 3.4 1.7 Gil Duthie Labor  
  • Members in italics did not contest their seat at this election.

See also

References

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