Australian federal election, 1955

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Australian federal election, 1955

← 1954 10 December 1955 1958 →

All 122 seats of the House of Representatives
62 seats were needed for a majority in the House
30 (of the 60) seats of the Senate

  First party Second party
  Portrait Menzies 1950s.jpg Herbert V. Evatt.jpg
Leader Robert Menzies H. V. Evatt
Party Liberal/Country coalition Labor
Leader since 23 September 1943 13 June 1951
Leader's seat Kooyong (Vic.) Barton (NSW)
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

Subsequent 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. An early election was called to bring the House and Senate elections back in line; the previous election in 1954 had been House-only. The incumbent Liberal–Country coalition led by Prime Minister Robert Menzies increased its majority over the opposition Labor Party, led by H. V. Evatt.

Future Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser and future opposition leader Billy Snedden both entered parliament at this election.

Results[edit]

House of Representatives[edit]

  Labor: 47 seats
  Liberal: 56 seats
  Country: 18 seats
House of Reps (IRV) — 1955–58—Turnout 95.00% (CV) — Informal 2.88%
Party Votes % Swing Seats Change
  Liberal–Country coalition 2,093,430 47.67 +0.10 75 +11
  Liberal  1,745,985 39.75 +0.75 57 +10
  Country  347,445 7.91 –0.66 18 +1
  Labor 1,961,359 44.65 –5.42 47 –10
  Anti-Communist Labor 227,083 5.17 +5.17 0 0
  Communist 51,001 1.16 –0.09 0 0
  Independents 60,042 1.37 +0.26 0 0
  Total 4,392,915     122 +1
Two-party-preferred (estimated)
  Liberal–Country coalition WIN 54.20 +4.90 75 +11
  Labor 45.80 −4.90 47 −10
  • Ten members were elected unopposed – five Liberal and five Country. This would be the last federal election where any seat attracted only one candidate.
Popular Vote
Labor
44.65%
Liberal
39.75%
Country
7.91%
ALP AC
5.17%
Independent
1.37%
Communist
1.16%
Two Party Preferred Vote
Coalition
54.20%
Labor
45.80%
Parliament Seats
Coalition
61.48%
Labor
38.52%

Senate[edit]

Senate (STV) — 1955–58—Turnout 95.01% (CV) — Informal 9.63%
Party Votes % Swing Seats Won Seats Held Change
  Liberal–Country coalition 2,161,460 48.68 +4.25 17 30 –1
  Liberal–Country joint ticket 1,748,878 39.38 +12.93 8 N/A N/A
  Liberal 384,732 8.66 –9.32 8 24 –2
  Country 27,850 0.63 +0.63 1 6 +1
  Labor 1,803,335 40.61 –10.00 12 28 –1
  Anti-Communist Labor 271,067 6.10 +6.10 1 2 +2
  Communist 161,869 3.64 +0.59 0 0 0
  Henry George Justice 3,366 0.08 –0.22 0 0 0
  Independents 39,928 0.90 +0.36 0 0 0
  Total 4,441,025     30 60

Seats changing hands[edit]

Seat Pre-1955 Swing Post-1955
Party Member Margin Margin Member Party
Ballaarat, 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  

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.