Australian federal election, 1958

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Australian federal election, 1958

← 1955 22 November 1958 1961 →

All 122 seats of the House of Representatives
62 seats were needed for a majority in the House
32 (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 75 seats 47 seats
Seats won 77 seats 45 seats
Seat change Increase2 Decrease2
Percentage 54.10% 45.90%
Swing Decrease0.10 Increase0.10

Prime Minister before election

Robert Menzies
Liberal/Country coalition

Subsequent Prime Minister

Robert Menzies
Liberal/Country coalition

Federal elections were held in Australia on 22 November 1958. All 122 seats in the House of Representatives and 32 of the 60 seats in the Senate were up for election. The incumbent Liberal–Country coalition led by Prime Minister Robert Menzies defeated the opposition Labor Party, led by H. V. Evatt.

Issues[edit]

In spite of a major global downturn in early 1958, the Coalition was returned to power and there was an even swing against the Labor Party. This was due largely to support for the breakaway Democratic Labor Party. This was the first Australian election campaign to be fought using television as a medium for communicating with voters. Menzies was interviewed on television, while opposition figures H. V. Evatt and Arthur Calwell took part in debates with ministers Harold Holt and William McMahon. Somewhat surprisingly Menzies emerged as a confident and effective television performer.[citation needed] This may have contributed to the better than expected result for the government.[citation needed]

Results[edit]

House of Representatives[edit]

House of Reps (IRV) — 1958–61—Turnout 95.48% (CV) — Informal 2.87%
Party Votes % Swing Seats Change
  Liberal–Country coalition 2,298,512 46.55 –1.12 77 +2
  Liberal  1,859,180 37.23 −2.52 58 +1
  Country  465,320 9.32 +1.41 19 +1
  Labor 2,137,890 42.81 −1.84 45 −2
  Democratic Labor 389,688 7.80 +2.63 0 0
  Queensland Labor 80,035 1.60 +1.60 0 0
  Communist 26,337 0.53 –0.63 0 0
  Nationalist 3,577 0.07 +0.07 0 0
  Independent 31,466 0.63 –0.74 0 0
  Total 4,993,493     122
Two-party-preferred (estimated)
  Liberal–Country coalition WIN 54.10 −0.10 77 +2
  Labor 45.90 +0.10 45 −2
Popular Vote
Labor
42.81%
Liberal
37.23%
DLP/QLP
9.41%
Country
9.32%
Other
1.23%
Two Party Preferred Vote
Coalition
54.10%
Labor
45.90%
Parliament Seats
Coalition
63.11%
Labor
36.89%

Senate[edit]

Senate (STV) — 1958–61—Turnout 95.48% (CV) — Informal 10.29%
Party Votes % Swing Seats Won Seats Held Change
  Liberal–Country coalition 2,084,193 45.19 –3.49 16 32 +2
  Liberal–Country joint ticket 1,077,586 23.36 –16.02 9 N/A N/A
  Liberal 953,856 20.68 +12.02 6 25 +1
  Country 52,751 1.14 +0.51 1 7 +1
  Labor 1,973,027 42.78 +2.17 15 26 –2
  Democratic Labor 314,755 6.82 +0.72 1 2 0
  Communist 134,263 2.91 −0.73 0 0 0
  Queensland Labor 73,037 1.66 +1.66 0 0 0
  Other 12,511 0.27 +0.27 0 0 0
  Independents 20,273 0.44 –0.46 0 0 0
  Total 4,612,059     32 60
Notes
  • The Democratic Labor Party was the renamed "Anti-Communist Labor Party" from the 1955 election.
  • "Other" includes 4,459 votes for "Loyalist" candidates, 4,337 for "True Democrat" candidates, and 3,715 for "Republican" candidates.

Seats changing hands[edit]

Seat Pre-1958 Swing Post-1958
Party Member Margin Margin Member Party
Braddon, Tas   Liberal Aubrey Luck 8.9 9.3 0.4 Ron Davies Labor  
Griffith, Qld   Labor Wilfred Coutts 1.3 1.4 0.1 Arthur Chresby Liberal  
Herbert, Qld   Labor Bill Edmonds 6.6 8.1 1.5 John Murray Liberal  
Indi, Vic   Liberal William Bostock N/A 28.6 6.5 Mac Holten Country  
Kalgoorlie, WA   Labor Herbert Johnson N/A 11.4 0.3 Peter Browne Liberal  
Moore, WA   Country Hugh Leslie 100.0 52.9 2.9 Hugh Halbert Liberal  
St George, NSW   Liberal Bill Graham 2.4 2.5 0.1 Lionel Clay Labor  
Stirling, WA   Labor Harry Webb 2.8 3.0 0.2 Doug Cash Liberal  
Wimmera, Vic   Liberal William Lawrence N/A 22.7 5.9 Robert King Country  
  • Members in italics did not contest their seat at this election.

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.