Australian federal election, 1980

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Australian federal election, 1980
Australia
1977 ←
18 October 1980 → 1983

All 125 seats in the Australian House of Representatives
63 seats were needed for a majority in the House
34 (of the 64) seats in the Australian Senate
  First party Second party
  MalcolmFraser1982.JPEG Bill Hayden on 29.5.1990.jpg
Leader Malcolm Fraser Bill Hayden
Party Liberal/National coalition Labor
Leader since 21 March 1975 22 December 1977
Leader's seat Wannon Oxley
Last election 86 seats 38 seats
Seats won 74 seats 51 seats
Seat change Decrease12 Increase13
Percentage 50.40% 49.60%
Swing Decrease4.20 Increase4.20

Prime Minister before election

Malcolm Fraser
Liberal/National coalition

Elected Prime Minister

Malcolm Fraser
Liberal/National coalition

Federal elections were held in Australia on 18 October 1980. All 125 seats in the House of Representatives, and 34 of the 64 seats in the Senate, were up for election. The incumbent Liberal Party of Australia led by Malcolm Fraser with coalition partner the National Country Party led by Doug Anthony was elected to a third term in government, defeating the Australian Labor Party led by Bill Hayden.

Results[edit]

House of Reps (IRV) — 1980–83—Turnout 94.35% (CV) — Informal 2.45%
  Party Votes % Swing Seats Change
  Australian Labor Party 3,749,565 45.15 +5.50 51 +13
  Liberal Party of Australia 3,108,512 37.43 −0.66 54 −13
  National Country Party 745,037 8.97 −1.04 20 +1
  Australian Democrats 546,032 6.57 −2.81 0 0
  Other 156,411 1.88 −0.98 0 0
  Total 8,305,557     125 +1
  Liberal/National coalition WIN 50.40 −4.20 74 −12
  Australian Labor Party   49.60 +4.20 51 +13
Senate (STV) — 1980–83—Turnout 94.35% (CV) — Informal 9.65%
  Party Votes % Swing Seats Won Seats Held Change
  Australian Labor Party 3,250,187 42.25 +5.49 15 27 0
  Liberal/National (Joint Ticket) 1,971,528 25.63 −8.63 4
  Liberal Party of Australia 1,011,289 13.15 +2.55 9 27 0
  Australian Democrats 711,805 9.25 −1.88 3 5 +3
  National Country Party 341,978 4.45 +3.95 1 3 −3
  Country Liberal Party 19,129 0.25 +0.04 1 1 0
  Independents 86,770 1.13 −0.60 1 1 0
  Other 299,678 3.90 −0.92 0 0 0
  Total 7,692,364     34 64

Independent: Brian Harradine

Seats changing hands[edit]

Seat Pre-1980 Swing Post-1980
Party Member Margin Margin Member Party
Ballarat, Vic   Liberal Jim Short 7.5 8.2 0.7 John Mildren Labor  
Brisbane, Qld   Liberal Peter Johnson 3.2 5.0 1.8 Manfred Cross Labor  
Canberra, ACT   Liberal John Haslem 1.0 6.7 5.7 Ros Kelly Labor  
Henty, Vic   Liberal Ken Aldred 2.7 5.5 2.8 Joan Child Labor  
Holt, Vic   Liberal William Yates 1.8 8.7 6.9 Michael Duffy Labor  
Hotham, Vic   Liberal Roger Johnston 1.7 5.7 4.0 Lewis Kent Labor  
Isaacs, Vic   Liberal William Burns 7.3 9.1 1.8 David Charles Labor  
Kalgoorlie, WA   Liberal Mick Cotter 8.5 8.1 0.6 Graeme Campbell Labor  
La Trobe, Vic   Liberal Marshall Baillieu 0.8 3.1 2.3 Peter Milton Labor  
Lilley, Qld   Liberal Kevin Cairns 6.0 6.8 0.8 Elaine Darling Labor  
Macquarie, NSW   Liberal Reg Gillard 1.7 4.5 2.8 Ross Free Labor  
McMillan, Vic   Liberal Barry Simon 4.8 6.2 1.4 Barry Cunningham Labor  
Riverina, NSW   Labor John FitzPatrick 0.1 0.6 0.5 Noel Hicks National Country  
St George, NSW   Liberal Maurice Neil 2.0 8.1 6.1 Bill Morrison Labor  
Swan, WA   Liberal John Martyr 0.5 8.1 7.6 Kim Beazley Labor  
  • Members in italics did not contest their seat at this election.

Issues and significance[edit]

The Fraser Government had lost a degree of popularity within the electorate by 1980. The economy had been performing poorly since the 1973 oil shock. However, Hayden was not seen as having great electoral prospects.[1] Perhaps as evidence of this, then ACTU President Bob Hawke (elected to Parliament in the election as the Member for Wills) and then Premier of New South Wales Neville Wran featured heavily in the campaign, almost as heavily as Hayden.

In the election, Labor finished only 0.8 percent behind the Coalition on the two-party vote—a four-percent swing from 1977. However, due to the uneven nature of the swing, Labor came up 12 seats short of a majority, giving the Coalition a third term in government. Hayden, however, did manage to regain much of what Labor had lost in the previous two elections. Notably, he managed to more than halve Fraser's majority, from 48 seats at dissolution to 21.

In the subsequent term, the government delivered budgets significantly in deficit, and Fraser was challenged for the Liberal leadership by Andrew Peacock. The Australian Democrats made further gains, winning the balance of power in the Senate. From July 1981 (when those senators elected at the 1980 election took up their positions) no Federal Government in Australia had a Senate majority until the Howard Government won such a majority in 2004.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  • AustralianPolitics.com 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.