Australian federal election, 1998

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Australian federal election, 1998
Australia
1996 ←
3 October 1998 (1998-10-03) → 2001

All 148 seats in the Australian House of Representatives
75 seats were needed for a majority in the House
40 (of the 76) seats in the Australian Senate
  First party Second party
  Image-Howard2003upr.JPG Kim Beazley.jpg
Leader John Howard Kim Beazley
Party Liberal/National coalition Labor
Leader since 30 January 1995 (1995-01-30) 19 March 1996 (1996-03-19)
Leader's seat Bennelong Brand
Last election 94 seats 49 seats
Seats won 80 seats 67 seats
Seat change Decrease14 Increase18
Popular vote 5,413,431 5,630,409
Percentage 49.02% 50.98%
Swing Decrease4.61 Increase4.61

Prime Minister before election

John Howard
Liberal/National coalition

Elected Prime Minister

John Howard
Liberal/National coalition

Federal elections were held in Australia on 3 October 1998. All 148 seats in the House of Representatives and 40 seats in the 76-member Senate were up for election. The incumbent Liberal Party of Australia led by Prime Minister of Australia John Howard and coalition partner the National Party of Australia led by Tim Fischer defeated the opposition Australian Labor Party led by Kim Beazley.

Results[edit]

House of Reps (IRV) – 1998–2001 – Turnout 94.99% (CV) — Informal 3.78%
  Party Votes % Swing Seats Change
  Australian Labor Party 4,454,306 40.10 +1.34 67 +18
  Liberal Party of Australia 3,764,707 33.89 −4.80 64 −11
  One Nation 936,621 8.43 * 0 0
  National Party of Australia 588,088 5.29 −2.91 16 −3
  Australian Democrats 569,875 5.13 −1.63 0 0
  Australian Greens 238,035 2.14 −0.78 0 0
  Country Liberal Party 36,014 0.32 −0.03 0 −1
  Independents 195,180 1.76 −0.51 1 −4
  Other 326,237 2.94 0 0
  Total 11,109,063     148  
  Liberal/National coalition WIN 49.02 −4.61 80 −14
  Australian Labor Party   50.98 +4.61 67 +18

Independents: Peter Andren

Senate (STV GV) — 1999–2002—Turnout 95.34% (CV) — Informal 3.24%
  Party Votes % Swing Seats Won Seats Held
  Australian Labor Party 4,182,963 37.31 +1.16 17 29
  Liberal/National (Joint Ticket) 2,452,407 21.87 −2.62 5  
  Liberal Party of Australia 1,528,730 13.63 −2.61 11 31
  One Nation 1,007,439 8.99 * 1 1
  Australian Democrats 947,940 8.45 −2.37 4 9
  Australian Greens 244,165 2.17 −0.23 0 1
  National Party of Australia 208,536 1.86 −1.01 0 3
  Christian Democratic Party 122,516 1.09 +0.01 0 0
  Unity Party 93,968 0.83 * 0 0
  Greens Western Australia 61,063 0.54 +0.02 0 0
  Australia First Party 46,765 0.41 * 0 0
  Australian Shooters Party 38,188 0.34 −0.71 0 0
  Country Liberal Party 36,063 0.32 −0.05 1 1
  Democratic Labor Party 29,893 0.27 −0.06 0 0
  Harradine Group 24,254 0.22 −0.08 1 1
  Other 187,013 1.70 0 0
  Total 11,211,903     40 76

The election returned the Member of the House of Representatives for its 1998–2001 term and half of Australia's senators, who then served in the 1999–2002 Senate.

Despite winning almost 51 percent of the two-party-preferred vote and regaining much of what it had lost in its severe defeat of two years earlier, Labor fell short of forming government. The government was re-elected with 49.02% of the two-party-preferred vote, compared to 50.98% for the Australian Labor Party, the largest difference of six election results where the winner did not gain a two-party preferred majority, since 2PP results first estimated from 1937.

The election on 3 October 1998 was held six months earlier than required by the Constitution. Prime Minister John Howard made the announcement following the launch of the coalition's Goods and Services Tax (GST) policy launch and a five-week advertising campaign. The ensuing election was almost entirely dominated by the proposed 10% GST and proposed income tax cuts.

In reaction to One Nation's policies, the other significant parties all agreed to preference against One Nation. One Nation lost its lone house seat when founder and leader Pauline Hanson lost on preferences to Liberal candidate Cameron Thompson in the Queensland electorate of Blair. In Queensland, One Nation polled 14.83% of the Senate vote, sufficient to elect one senator without the need for preferences.[1] The seat initially went to Heather Hill, but she was subsequently disqualified under Section 44 of the Constitution, and replaced by Len Harris.

On election night of 3 October, the exit poll showed Labor leading the Coalition with 53%–47%. The ALP made the single biggest gain by an Opposition party following an election defeat; the Coalition's majority was cut from 40 to 12. The swing was sufficient in all states to deliver government to the ALP, but the uneven nature of the swing left Kim Beazley eight seats short of becoming Prime Minister. It was only when the first returns trickled in from Western Australia that the Coalition was assured of another term.

House of Representatives preference flows[edit]

  • The Nationals had candidates in 13 seats where three-cornered-contests existed, with 88.89% of preferences favouring the Liberal Party.
  • One Nation contested 135 electorates with preferences slightly favouring the Liberal/National Coalition (53.66%)
  • The Democrats contested 144 electorates with preferences slightly favouring Labor (56.72%)
  • The Greens contested 120 electorates with preferences strongly favouring Labor (73.28%)

Seats changing hands[edit]

Seat Pre-1998 Swing Post-1998
Party Member Margin Margin Member Party
Bass, Tas   Liberal Hon Warwick Smith 4.57 4.63 0.06 Michelle O'Byrne Labor  
Bendigo, Vic   Liberal Bruce Reid 0.88 4.35 3.47 Steve Gibbons Labor  
Bowman, Qld   Liberal Andrea West 0.89 4.18 3.29 Hon Con Sciacca Labor  
Braddon, Tas   Liberal Hon Chris Miles 5.69 10.02 4.33 Sid Sidebottom Labor  
Canning, WA   Liberal Ricky Johnston 1.64 5.16 3.52 Jane Gerick Labor  
Capricornia, Qld   National Paul Marek 3.46 8.75 5.29 Kirsten Livermore Labor  
Chisholm, Vic   Liberal Michael Wooldridge 2.60 4.67 2.07 Anna Burke Labor  
Cowan, WA   Liberal Richard Evans 4.06 7.62 3.56 Graham Edwards Labor  
Curtin, WA   Independent Allan Rocher 7.28 N/A** 13.28 Julie Bishop Liberal  
Dickson, Qld   Liberal Tony Smith* 3.90 4.02 0.12 Cheryl Kernot Labor  
Griffith, Qld   Liberal Graeme McDougall 1.50 3.93 2.43 Kevin Rudd Labor  
Hume, NSW   National John Sharp 4.35 3.71 8.06 Alby Schultz Liberal  
Kingston, SA   Liberal Susan Jeanes 2.01 2.48 0.47 David Cox Labor  
Kalgoorlie, WA   Independent Graeme Campbell 10.35 N/A** 2.10 Barry Haase Liberal  
Lilley, Qld   Liberal Elizabeth Grace 0.80 3.93 3.13 Wayne Swan Labor  
Lowe, NSW   Liberal Paul Zammit* 2.46 7.09 4.63 John Murphy Labor  
McMillan, Vic   Liberal Russell Broadbent 2.07 2.64 0.57 Christian Zahra Labor  
Moore, WA   Independent Paul Filing 13.28 N/A** 4.13 Mal Washer Liberal  
Northern Territory, NT   Country Liberal Nick Dondas 0.37 0.94 0.57 Warren Snowdon Labor  
Oxley, Qld   One Nation Pauline Hanson* 0.35 7.85 8.20 Bernie Ripoll Labor  
Paterson, NSW   Liberal Bob Baldwin 0.43 1.65 1.22 Bob Horne Labor  
Stirling, WA   Liberal Eoin Cameron 3.22 4.26 1.04 Jann McFarlane Labor  
Swan, WA   Liberal Don Randall 3.63 6.33 2.70 Kim Wilkie Labor  
  • *Paul Zammit contested his seat as an independent. The figures shown are against Liberal. Tony Smith contested his seat as an independent. The figures shown are against Labor. Pauline Hanson, a member of One Nation Party, contested the seat of Blair in this election after a redistribution, and lost to Liberal Cameron Thompson. The figures shown are a two-party-preferred basis between Labor and Liberal.
  • **Allan Rocher, Graeme Campbell and Paul Filing all fell out of two-party-preferred; the second figures are against Labor.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "The AEC has recently restructured our content". Aec.gov.au. 8 June 2007. Retrieved 2010-06-13. 

References[edit]