Australian federal election, 1931

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Australian federal election, 1931
Australia
1929 ←
19 December 1931
→ 1934

All 75 seats of the Australian House of Representatives
38 seats were needed for a majority in the House
18 (of the 36) seats of the Australian Senate
  First party Second party
  Joseph Lyons 1.jpg JScullin.jpg
Leader Joseph Lyons James Scullin
Party UAP/Country coalition Labor
Leader since 7 May 1931 26 April 1928
Leader's seat Wilmot Yarra
Last election 24 seats 46 seats
Seats won 50 seats 14 seats
Seat change Increase26 Decrease32
Percentage 48.35% 27.10%
Swing Increase4.18 Decrease21.74

Prime Minister before election

James Scullin
Labor

Elected Prime Minister

Joseph Lyons
UAP/Country coalition

Federal elections were held in Australia on 19 December 1931. All 75 seats in the House of Representatives, and 18 of the 36 seats in the Senate were up for election. The incumbent Australian Labor Party led by Prime Minister of Australia James Scullin was defeated by the newly formed opposition United Australia Party (descended from the Nationalist Party of Australia) led by ex-Labor Joseph Lyons. The UAP fought the election in the traditional non-Labor Coalition with the Country Party, led by Earle Page, but won enough seats to form an exclusively UAP government.

Results[edit]

House of Reps (IRV) — 1931–34—Turnout 95.04% (CV) — Informal 3.48%
  Party Votes % Swing Seats Change
  United Australia Party 1,145,083 36.10 +2.20 34 +20 (1 elected
unopposed)
  Australian Labor Party 859,513 27.10 −21.74 14 −32
  Country Party 388,544 12.25 +1.98 16 +6 (3 elected
unopposed)
  Australian Labor Party (NSW) 335,309 10.57 * 4 +4
  Emergency Committee (SA) 174,288 5.49 * 6 +6
  Independents 260,786 8.22 +6.09 1 −3
  Other 8,511 0.27 0 −1
  Total 3,172,034     75
  UAP/Country coalition WIN 50 +26
  Australian Labor Party 14 −32

Independent: Littleton Groom (Darling Downs, Qld)

Senate (P BV) — 1931–34—Turnout 95.02% (CV) — Informal 9.60%
  Party Votes % Swing Seats Won Seats Held
  UAP/Country (Joint Ticket) 945,741 30.16 * 6
  Australian Labor Party 917,218 29.25 −19.70 3 10
  United Australia Party 791,870 25.26 −14.02 9 21
  Australian Labor Party (NSW) 379,870 12.12 * 0 0
  Communist Party of Australia 29,443 0.94 * 0 0
  Country Party * * −11.18 0 5
  Independents 71,181 2.27 +1.68 0 0
  Total 3,135,323     18 36

Seats changing hands[edit]

Seat Pre-1931 Swing Post-1931
Party Member Margin Margin Member Party
Adelaide, SA   Labor Edwin Yates 11.4 21.0 9.6 Fred Stacey Emergency Committee  
Angas, SA   Labor Moses Gabb 4.7 31.5 26.8 Moses Gabb Emergency Committee  
Ballaarat, Vic   Labor Charles McGrath 7.4 20.7 13.3 Charles McGrath United Australia  
Barton, NSW   Labor James Tully 17.6 20.8 3.2 Albert Lane United Australia  
Bass, Tas   Labor Allan Guy 10.4 24.9 14.5 Allan Guy United Australia  
Batman, Vic   Labor Frank Brennan 25.8 26.6 0.8 Samuel Dennis United Australia  
Bendigo, Vic   Labor Richard Keane 5.1 14.6 9.5 Eric Harrison United Australia  
Boothby, SA   Labor John Price 5.6 29.6 24.0 John Price Emergency Committee  
Brisbane, Qld   United Australia Donald Charles Cameron 2.4 3.1 0.7 George Lawson Labor  
Calare, NSW   Labor George Gibbons 1.6 11.7 10.1 Harold Thorby Country  
Corangamite, Vic   Labor Richard Crouch 2.1 15.0 12.9 William Gibson Country  
Corio, Vic   Labor Arthur Lewis 6.0 16.6 10.6 Richard Casey United Australia  
Dalley, NSW   Labor Ted Theodore N/A 8.9 14.0 Sol Rosevear Labor (NSW)  
Darling Downs, Qld   United Australia Arthur Morgan N/A 17.7 9.8 Littleton Groom Independent  
Denison, Tas   Labor Charles Culley 9.2 14.2 5.0 Arthur Hutchin United Australia  
East Sydney, NSW   Labor (NSW) Eddie Ward 5.7 11.7 1.7 John Clasby United Australia  
Eden-Monaro, NSW   Labor John Cusack 0.1 13.7 13.6 John Perkins United Australia  
Fawkner, Vic   Independent Nationalist George Maxwell N/A 21.7 20.3 George Maxwell United Australia  
Flinders, Vic   Labor Jack Holloway 0.2 18.5 18.3 Stanley Bruce United Australia  
Franklin, Tas   Labor Charles Frost 1.9 13.0 17.9 Archibald Blacklow United Australia  
Fremantle, WA   Labor John Curtin 7.0 13.5 5.5 William Watson United Australia  
Grey, SA   Labor Andrew Lacey 9.6 17.1 7.5 Philip McBride Emergency Committee  
Gwydir, NSW   Labor Lou Cunningham 3.7 13.5 9.8 Aubrey Abbott Country  
Hume, NSW   Labor Parker Moloney 6.6 14.1 7.5 Thomas Collins Country  
Hunter, NSW   Labor Rowley James 100.0 57.2 7.2 Rowley James Labor (NSW)  
Indi, Vic   Labor Paul Jones 1.4 14.4 13.0 William Hutchinson United Australia  
Lang, NSW   Labor William Long 16.2 20.4 4.2 Dick Dein United Australia  
Macquarie, NSW   Labor Ben Chifley 15.6 16.2 0.6 John Lawson United Australia  
Maribyrnong, Vic   Labor James Fenton 23.2 23.6 0.4 James Fenton United Australia  
Martin, NSW   Labor John Eldridge 6.4 22.7 16.3 William Holman United Australia  
North Sydney, NSW   Independent Nationalist Billy Hughes 16.1 23.6 7.5 Billy Hughes United Australia  
Oxley, Qld   United Australia James Bayley 0.1 5.9 5.8 Francis Baker Labor  
Parramatta, NSW   Labor Albert Rowe 3.3 19.5 16.2 Frederick Stewart United Australia  
Reid, NSW   Labor Percy Coleman N/A 55.3 5.3 Joe Gander Labor (NSW)  
South Sydney, NSW   Labor Edward Riley 16.3 21.4 5.1 John Jennings United Australia  
Wannon, Vic   Labor John McNeill 2.0 14.3 12.3 Thomas Scholfield United Australia  
Wentworth, NSW   Independent Nationalist Walter Marks 8.3 58.3 15.8 Eric Harrison United Australia  
Werriwa, NSW   Labor Bert Lazzarini 15.4 17.1 1.7 Walter McNicoll Country  
West Sydney, NSW   Labor Jack Beasley 36.5 11.4 15.1 Jack Beasley Labor (NSW)  
Wimmera, Vic   Country Progressive Percy Stewart N/A 21.8 11.8 Hugh McClelland Country  
Wilmot, Tas   Labor Joseph Lyons 2.9 25.0 22.1 Joseph Lyons United Australia  
  • Members in italics did not contest their seat at this election.

Issues[edit]

The election was dominated by the Great Depression in Australia, which was at its height. As the Labor Government had come to office two days before the Wall Street Crash of 1929, it was seen as being responsible for many of the economic and social problems Australia faced. Lang Labor also split from the Labor Party, the result was Labor's primary vote dropping to its lowest level since 1901.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]