Australian federal election, 1937

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Australian Federal Election, 1937
Australia
1934 ←
23 October 1937
→ 1940

All 74 seats of the Australian House of Representatives
38 seats were needed for a majority in the House
19 (of the 36) seats of the Australian Senate
  First party Second party
  Joseph Lyons 1.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 Fremantle
Last election 42 seats 18 seats
Seats won 44 seats 29 seats
Seat change Increase2 Increase11
Percentage 50.60% 49.40%

Prime Minister before election

Joseph Lyons
UAP/Country coalition

Elected 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 United Australia Party led by Prime Minister of Australia Joseph Lyons with coalition partner the Country Party led by Earle Page defeated the opposition Australian Labor Party led by John Curtin.

The election is notable in that the Country Party (later the National 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 win 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.

House of Reps (IRV) — 1937–40—Turnout 96.13% (CV) — Informal 2.59%
  Party Votes % Swing Seats Change
  Australian Labor Party 1,555,737 43.17 +16.36 29 +11 (4 elected
unopposed)
  United Australia Party 1,214,526 33.71 +0.73 28 0
  Country Party 560,279 15.55 +2.93 16 +1
  Social Credit Party 79,432 2.20 −2.49 0 0
  Independent UAP (NSW) 25,522 0.71 * 1 +1
  Independent 150,692 4.18 +1.00 1 +1
  Other 17,153 0.48 0 −14
  Total 3,603,341     74
  UAP/Country coalition WIN 50.60 * 44 +2
  Australian Labor Party 49.40 * 29 +11

Independent: Alexander Wilson (Wimmera, Vic)

The member for Northern Territory, Adair Blain (Independent), had voting rights only for issues relating to the Territory, and so is not included in the table.

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


Seats changing hands[edit]

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[edit]

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