Australian federal election, 1987

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Australian federal election, 1987
Australia
1984 ←
11 July 1987 (1987-07-11) → 1990

All 148 seats in the Australian House of Representatives
75 seats were needed for a majority in the House
All 76 seats in the Australian Senate
  First party Second party
  Bob Hawke in Moscow, cropped.PNG Image-Howard2003upr.JPG
Leader Bob Hawke John Howard
Party Labor Liberal/National coalition
Leader since 3 February 1983 (1983-02-03) 5 September 1985 (1985-09-05)
Leader's seat Wills Bennelong
Last election 82 seats 66 seats
Seats won 86 seats 62 seats
Seat change Increase4 Decrease4
Percentage 50.83% 49.17%
Swing Decrease0.94 Increase0.94

Prime Minister before election

Bob Hawke
Labor

Elected Prime Minister

Bob Hawke
Labor

Federal elections were held in Australia on 11 July 1987, following the granting of a double dissolution on 5 June by the Governor-General Sir Ninian Stephen. Consequently, all 148 seats in the House of Representatives as well as all 76 seats in the Senate were up for election. The incumbent Australian Labor Party led by Prime Minister Bob Hawke defeated the opposition Liberal Party of Australia led by John Howard and the National Party of Australia led by Ian Sinclair.

House of Reps (IRV) — 1987–90 – Turnout 93.84% (CV) — Informal 4.94%
  Party Votes % Swing Seats Change
  Australian Labor Party 4,222,431 45.76 −1.79 86 +4
  Liberal Party of Australia 3,175,262 34.41 +0.35 43 −2
  National Party of Australia 1,060,976 11.50 +0.87 19 −2
  Australian Democrats 554,017 6.00 +0.55 0 0
  Country Liberal Party 21,668 0.23 −0.09 0 0
  Other 189,975 2.06 +0.07 0 0
  Total 9,227,772     148  
  Australian Labor Party WIN 50.83 −0.94 86 +4
  Liberal/National coalition   49.17 +0.94 62 −4
Senate (STV GV) — 1987–90 – Turnout 93.84% (CV) — Informal 3.54%
  Party Votes % Swing Seats Won Seats Held Change
  Australian Labor Party 4,013,860 42.83 +0.66 32 32 −2
  Liberal Party of Australia 1,965,180 20.97 +0.38 23 26 −1
  Liberal/National (Joint Ticket) 1,289,888 13.76 +1.05 5  
  Australian Democrats 794,107 8.47 +0.85 7 7 0
  National Party of Australia 664,394 7.09 +1.16 5 7 +2
  Call to Australia Party 136,825 1.46 −0.36 0 0 0
  Nuclear Disarmament Party 102,480 1.09 −6.14 1 1 0
  Vallentine Peace Group 40,048 0.43 * 1 1 +1
  Harradine Group 37,037 0.40 +0.14 1 1 0
  Country Liberal Party 19,970 0.21 −0.10 1 1 0
  Other 307,892 3.29 +1.93 0 0 0
  Total 9,371,681     76 76


Note: As this was a double-dissolution election, all Senate seats were contested.

Seats changing hands[edit]

Seat Pre-1987 Swing Post-1987
Party Member Margin Margin Member Party
Chisholm, Vic   Labor Helen Mayer 0.2 0.9 0.7 Michael Wooldridge Liberal  
Denison, Tas   Liberal Michael Hodgman 1.0 4.8 3.8 Duncan Kerr Labor  
Fisher, Qld   National Peter Slipper 2.3 2.8 0.5 Michael Lavarch Labor  
Forde, Qld   Liberal David Watson 0.0 1.0 1.0 Mary Crawford Labor  
Hinkler, Qld   National Bryan Conquest 0.2 1.3 1.1 Brian Courtice Labor  
Lowe, NSW   Labor Michael Maher 2.2 3.8 1.6 Bob Woods Liberal  
Northern Territory, NT   Country Liberal Paul Everingham 1.4 3.6 2.2 Warren Snowdon Labor  
Petrie, Qld   Liberal John Hodges 0.6 2.0 1.4 Gary Johns Labor  
  • Members in italics did not contest their seat at this election.

The 1987 federal election was called 6 months early by Labor Prime Minister Bob Hawke to capitalise on disunity in the opposition. The trigger for the double dissolution was legislation for the Australia Card, although it did not figure prominently in the campaign. Opposition Leader John Howard had dismissed his predecessor Andrew Peacock from the shadow ministry in March, following unfortunate remarks by Peacock to Victorian state opposition leader Jeff Kennett in an infamous car phone conversation.[1] Howard, who had succeeded Peacock in 1985, was fighting a war on two fronts – the origin of his oft-repeated remark that, in politics, "disunity is death".

This election was the last time the Liberals and Nationals competed directly against each other in a federal election. This was due to the abortive Joh for Canberra campaign of Queensland premier Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen. Although Bjelke-Petersen did not run, the resulting schism between the Nationals and Liberals led to several three-cornered contests. Labor campaigned strongly on the disunity among the opposition parties. The Labor result of 86 seats was the party's highest ever (the total number of seats was expanded by 23 in 1984).

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Kennett-Peacock Car Phone Conversation. Retrieved 5 May 2006.

References[edit]