Australian federal election, 1955

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Australian federal election, 1955
Australia
1954 ←
10 December 1955
→ 1958

All 122 seats of the Australian House of Representatives
62 seats were needed for a majority in the House
30 (of the 60) seats of the Australian Senate
  First party Second party
  RobertMenzies.jpg
Hvevatt.jpg
Leader Robert Menzies H.V. Evatt
Party Liberal/Country coalition Labor
Leader since 23 September 1943 13 June 1951
Leader's seat Kooyong Barton
Last election 64 seats 57 seats
Seats won 75 seats 47 seats
Seat change Increase11 Decrease10
Percentage 54.20% 45.80%
Swing Increase4.90 Decrease4.90

Prime Minister before election

Robert Menzies
Liberal/Country coalition

Elected Prime Minister

Robert Menzies
Liberal/Country coalition

Federal elections were held in Australia on 10 December 1955. All 122 seats in the House of Representatives, and 30 of the 60 seats in the Senate were up for election. The incumbent Liberal Party of Australia led by Prime Minister of Australia Robert Menzies with coalition partner the Country Party led by Arthur Fadden defeated the Australian Labor Party led by H. V. Evatt.

House of Reps (IRV) — 1955–58—Turnout 95.00% (CV) — Informal 2.88%
  Party Votes % Swing Seats Change
  Australian Labor Party 1,961,829 44.63 −5.40 47 −10
  Liberal Party of Australia 1,746,485 39.73 +1.43 57 +10 (5 elected unopposed)
  Country Party 347,445 7.90 −0.61 18 +1 (5 elected unopposed)
  Anti-Communist Labor Party 227,083 5.17 * 0 0
  Other 112,693 2.56 0 0
  Total 4,395,535     122 +1
  Liberal/Country coalition WIN 54.20 +4.90 75 +11
  Australian Labor Party 45.80 −4.90 47 −10

This would be the last federal election where any seat attracted only one candidate, who was elected unopposed.

Senate (STV) — 1955–58—Turnout 95.01% (CV) — Informal 9.63%
  Party Votes % Swing Seats Won Seats Held Change
  Australian Labor Party 1,803,335 40.61 −10.01 12 28 −1
  Liberal/Country (Joint Ticket) 1,748,878 39.38 +12.93 8 *
  Liberal Party of Australia 384,732 8.66 −9.32 8 24 −2
  Anti-Communist Labor Party 271,067 6.10 * 1 2 +2
  Communist Party of Australia 161,869 3.64 +0.59 0 0 0
  Country Party 27,850 0.63 +0.63 1 6 +1
  Other 43,294 0.97 0 0
  Total 4,612,059     30 60


Seats changing hands[edit]

Seat Pre-1955 Swing Post-1955
Party Member Margin Margin Member Party
Ballarat, Vic   Labor Bob Joshua* 2.6 10.7 7.9 Dudley Erwin Liberal  
Hume, NSW   Labor Arthur Fuller 2,2 3.5 2.2 Charles Anderson Country  
Maribyrnong, Vic   Labor Arthur Drakeford 16.1 7.5 0.1 Philip Stokes Liberal  
Perth, WA   Labor Tom Burke 2.3 3.8 1.5 Fred Chaney Liberal  
Philip, NSW   Labor Joe Fitzgerald 8.9 5.7 1.1 William Aston Liberal  
St George, NSW   Labor Nelson Lemmon 2.7 5.8 3.4 Bill Graham Liberal  

History[edit]

In 1949, Robert Menzies founded the Liberal Party of Australia (descended from the United Australia Party), which was led by Menzies for 16 years through successive elections with the traditional coalition in place with the Country Party. Labor stayed out of government for 23 years after the defeat of the Chifley government in 1949, largely due to the split of the Democratic Labor Party from Labor – also three times the party won the two-party-preferred vote (the 1954, 1961 and 1969 elections), but not enough seats to form government. The election saw the peak of the Communist Party Senate vote, with 161,869 at 3.64 percent.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  • University of WA election results in Australia since 1890
  • AEC 2PP vote
  • Prior to 1984 the AEC did not undertake a full distribution of preferences for statistical purposes. The stored ballot papers for the 1983 election were put through this process prior to their destruction. Therefore the figures from 1983 onwards show the actual result based on full distribution of preferences.