Australian federal election, 1966
All 124 seats of the Australian House of Representatives
63 seats were needed for a majority
Federal elections were held in Australia on 26 November 1966. All 124 seats in the House of Representatives were up for election. The incumbent Liberal Party of Australia, led by Prime Minister of Australia Harold Holt, with coalition partner the Country Party, led by John McEwen, was elected to an eighth term in government, defeating the Australian Labor Party led by Arthur Calwell.
The election was a landslide win for the Coalition, which won twice as many seats as Labor. Holt's victory was greater than any of Menzies', and it was seen as the high point of both his Prime Ministership and the 23 years of continuous Coalition rule.
|Liberal Party of Australia||2,291,964||40.14||+3.05||61||+9|
|Australian Labor Party||2,282,834||39.98||−5.49||41||−9|
|Democratic Labor Party||417,411||7.31||−0.13||0||0|
|Australian Labor Party||43.10||−4.30||41||−9|
Independents: Sam Benson
Seats changing hands
|Adelaide, SA||Labor||Joe Sexton||7.2||10.0||2.8||Andrew Jones||Liberal|
|Barton, NSW||Labor||Len Reynolds||0.7||2.9||2.2||Bill Arthur||Liberal|
|Batman, Vic||Labor||Sam Benson||N/A||8.7||7.8||Sam Benson||Independent|
|Eden-Monaro, NSW||Labor||Allan Fraser||2.7||3.4||0.7||Dugald Munro||Liberal|
|Grey, SA||Labor||Jack Mortimer||4.8||7.8||3.0||Don Jessop||Liberal|
|Griffith, Qld||Labor||Wilfred Coutts||5.8||6.9||1.1||Don Cameron||Liberal|
|Herbert, Qld||Labor||Ted Harding||3.2||4.3||1.1||Robert Bonnett||Liberal|
|Hughes, NSW||Labor||Les Johnson||2.7||4.7||2.0||Don Dobie||Liberal|
|Kennedy, Qld||Labor||Bill Riordan||13.5||15.0||1.5||Bob Katter||Country|
|Kingston, SA||Labor||Patrick Galvin||4.5||12.7||8.2||Kay Brownbill||Liberal|
|Lalor, Vic||Labor||Reg Pollard||7.0||7.7||0.7||Mervyn Lee||Liberal|
|Northern Territory, NT||Labor||Jock Nelson||100.0||51.7||1.7||Sam Calder||Country|
- Members in italics did not contest their seat at this election.
The new Prime Minister, Harold Holt, was stylish, debonair and popular with the electorate. He cast a sharp contrast with the much rougher figure of Arthur Calwell, who had already lost two elections. Calwell held to the beliefs that had been central to the last Labor Government of 1941–1949, many of which were seen as being old-fashioned in 1966. For example, he was a defender of the White Australia Policy, nationalization. He also came across poorly on television compared to Holt, and looked and sounded older than his 70 years.
In addition, a strong economy and initial enthusiasm for Australia's involvement in the Vietnam War virtually guaranteed the Coalition the election who campaigned with the slogan "Keep Australia secure and prosperous – play it safe". Calwell retired a month after the election and was succeeded by Deputy Labor leader Gough Whitlam.
- Australian Senate election, 1964
- Australian Senate election, 1967
- Candidates of the Australian federal election, 1966
- Members of the Australian House of Representatives, 1966–1969
- 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.