Australian federal election, 1975

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Australian federal election, 1975
Australia
1974 ←
13 December 1975
→ 1977

All 127 seats of the Australian House of Representatives
64 seats were needed for a majority in the House
All 64 seats of the Australian Senate
  First party Second party
  John Malcolm Fraser 1977.jpg Whitlam1955.jpg
Leader Malcolm Fraser Gough Whitlam
Party Liberal/National coalition Labor
Leader since 21 March 1975 8 February 1967
Leader's seat Wannon Werriwa
Last election 61 seats 66 seats
Seats won 91 seats 36 seats
Seat change Increase30 Decrease30
Percentage 55.70% 44.30%
Swing Increase7.40 Decrease7.40

Prime Minister before election

Malcolm Fraser
Liberal/National coalition

Elected Prime Minister

Malcolm Fraser
Liberal/National coalition

Federal elections were held in Australia on 13 December 1975. All 127 seats in the House of Representatives, and all 64 seats in the Senate were up for election following a double dissolution of both Houses.

Malcolm Fraser had been commissioned as caretaker prime minister following the dismissal of Gough Whitlam's three-year old Labor government by Governor-General Sir John Kerr, on 11 November 1975. The same day, Fraser advised the calling of the election, in accordance with Kerr's stipulated conditions (see 1975 Australian constitutional crisis). The Coalition of Fraser's Liberal Party of Australia and Doug Anthony's National Country Party secured government in its own right, winning the largest majority government in Australian history. Although Fraser had no need for the support of the National Country Party, the Coalition was retained. Labor suffered a 30-seat swing and saw its caucus cut almost in half, to 36 seats.

Results[edit]

House of Reps (IRV) — 1975–77—Turnout 95.39% (CV) — Informal 1.89%
  Party Votes % Swing Seats Change
  Australian Labor Party 3,313,004 42.84 −6.46 36 −30
  Liberal Party of Australia 3,232,159 41.80 +6.85 68 +28
  National Country Party 869,919 11.25 +1.29 23 +2
  Democratic Labor Party 101,750 1.32 −0.10 0 0
  Australia Party 33,630 0.43 −1.89 0 0
  Other 182,116 2.36 0 0
  Total 7,732,578     127  
  Liberal/National coalition WIN 55.70 +7.40 91 +30
  Australian Labor Party   44.30 −7.40 36 −30
Senate (STV) — 1975–77—Turnout 95.39% (CV) — Informal 9.10%
  Party Votes % Swing Seats Won Seats Held Change
  Australian Labor Party 2,931,310 40.91 −6.38 27 27 −2
  Liberal/National (Joint Ticket) 2,855,721 39.86 +5.09 17
  Liberal Party of Australia 793,772 11.08 +3.26 16 26 +3
  Democratic Labor Party 191,049 2.67 −0.89 0 0 0
  Liberal Movement 76,426 1.07 +0.11 1 1 0
  National Country Party 38,366 0.54 −0.76 1 8 +2
  Country Liberal Party 15,519 0.22 −0.01 1 1 +1
  Independents 114,310 1.60 −0.24 1 1 0
  Other 148,240 2.07 0 0 0
  Total 7,164,713     64 64 +4

Independent: Brian Harradine

Seats changing hands[edit]

Seat Pre-1975 Swing Post-1975
Party Member Margin Margin Member Party
Barton, NSW   Labor Len Reynolds 5.1 10.0 4.9 Jim Bradfield Liberal  
Bowman, Qld   Labor Len Keogh 1.3 8.4 7.1 David Jull Liberal  
Braddon, Tas   Labor Ron Davies 4.8 8.6 3.8 Ray Groom Liberal  
Brisbane, Qld   Labor Manfred Cross 1.1 5.0 3.9 Peter Johnson Liberal  
Canberra, ACT   Labor Kep Enderby 7.1 10.4 3.3 John Haslem Liberal  
Capricornia, Qld   Labor Doug Everingham 4.9 5.0 0.1 Colin Carige National Country  
Casey, Vic   Labor Race Mathews 1.5 9.0 7.5 Peter Falconer Liberal  
Cook, NSW   Labor Ray Thorburn 0.5 8.3 7.8 Don Dobie Liberal  
Dawson, Qld   Labor Rex Patterson 0.6 4.2 3.6 Ray Braithwaite National Country  
Denison, Tas   Labor John Coates 2.8 7.7 4.9 Michael Hodgman Liberal  
Diamond Valley, Vic   Labor David McKenzie 0.7 9.8 9.1 Neil Brown Liberal  
Eden-Monaro, NSW   Labor Bob Whan 0.1 5.6 5.5 Murray Sainsbury Liberal  
Evans, NSW   Labor Allan Mulder 4.9 6.9 2.0 John Abel Liberal  
Franklin, Tas   Labor Ray Sherry 12.9 14.7 1.8 Bruce Goodluck Liberal  
Henty, Vic   Labor Joan Child 1.5 6.7 5.2 Ken Aldred Liberal  
Holt, Vic   Labor Max Oldmeadow 6.9 8.5 1.6 William Yates Liberal  
Isaacs, Vic   Labor Gareth Clayton 0.6 7.5 6.9 David Hamer Liberal  
Kalgoorlie, WA   Labor Fred Collard 2.1 6.3 4.3 Mick Cotter Liberal  
Kingston, SA   Labor Richard Gun 6.1 12.7 6.6 Grant Chapman Liberal  
La Trobe, Vic   Labor Tony Lamb 4.6 8.9 4.3 Marshall Baillieu Liberal  
Leichhardt, Qld   Labor Bill Fulton 3.3 5.7 2.4 David Thomson National Country  
Macarthur, NSW   Labor John Kerin 4.4 8.5 4.1 Michael Baume Liberal  
Macquarie, NSW   Labor Tony Luchetti 8.7 10.3 1.6 Reg Gillard Liberal  
McMillan, Vic   National Country Arthur Hewson N/A 2.1 6.7 Barry Simon Liberal  
Perth, WA   Labor Joe Berinson 8.2 9.0 0.8 Ross McLean Liberal  
Phillip, NSW   Labor Joe Riordan 4.5 7.1 2.6 Jack Birney Liberal  
St George, NSW   Labor Bill Morrison 5.8 5.8 0.0 Maurice Neil Liberal  
Swan, WA   Labor Adrian Bennett 5.6 7.7 2.1 John Martyr Liberal  
Tangney, WA   Labor John Dawkins 3.1 9.7 6.6 Peter Richardson Liberal  
  • Members in italics did not contest their seat at this election.

Issues and significance[edit]

The election followed the controversial dismissal of the Whitlam government by Governor-General Sir John Kerr in the 1975 constitutional crisis. Labor campaigners hoped that the electorate would "maintain [its] rage" and punish the Coalition for its part in bringing down the government, proclaiming "Shame Fraser, Shame". However, the Coalition focused on economic issues, the so-called Loans Affair, alleged Labor mismanagement of inflation, and campaigned under the slogan "Turn on the lights, Australia" (drawing on a contemporary cynicism: "Would the last businessman leaving Australia please turn out the lights?").

The Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory received an entitlement to elect two senators each as a consequence of the 1974 Joint Sitting of the Australian Parliament.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • AustralianPolitics.com 1975 election details
  • 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.