Australian federal election, 1993

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Australian federal election, 1993
1990 ←
13 March 1993 (1993-03-13) → 1996

All 147 seats in the Australian House of Representatives
74 seats were needed for a majority in the House
40 (of the 76) seats in the Australian Senate
  First party Second party
  Paul Keating - 2007-crop.jpg
Leader Paul Keating John Hewson
Party Labor Liberal/National coalition
Leader since 19 December 1991 (1991-12-19) 3 April 1990 (1990-04-03)
Leader's seat Blaxland Wentworth
Last election 78 seats 69 seats
Seats won 80 seats 65 seats
Seat change Increase2 Decrease4
Popular vote 5,436,421 5,133,033
Percentage 51.44% 48.56%
Swing Increase1.54% Decrease1.54%

Prime Minister before election

Paul Keating

Elected Prime Minister

Paul Keating

Federal elections were held in Australia on 13 March 1993. All 147 seats in the House of Representatives, and 40 seats in the 76-member Senate, were up for election. The incumbent Australian Labor Party government led by Prime Minister of Australia Paul Keating defeated the opposition Liberal Party of Australia led by John Hewson with coalition partner the National Party of Australia led by Tim Fischer.


House of Reps (IRV) – 1993–36 – Turnout 95.75% (CV) — Informal 2.97%
Party Votes % Swing Seats Change
  Australian Labor Party 4,751,390 44.92 +5.49 80 +2
  Liberal Party of Australia 3,923,786 37.10 +2.06 49 -6
  National Party of Australia 758,036 7.17 -1.25 16 +2
  Australian Democrats 397,060 3.75 -7.51 0 0
  Australian Greens 196,702 1.86 * 0 0
  Independents 328,084 3.10 +0.56 2 +1
  Other 221,721 2.10 -1.21 0 0
  Total 10,576,779     147 -1
Two-party-preferred vote
  Australian Labor Party WIN 51.44 +1.54 80 +2
  Liberal/National coalition   48.56 -1.54 65 -4

Independents: Ted Mack, Phil Cleary

Senate (STV GV) — 1993–96 – Turnout 96.22% (CV) — Informal 2.55%
Party Votes % Swing Seats Won Seats Held
  Australian Labor Party 4,643,871 43.50 +5.10 17 30
  Liberal/National (Joint Ticket) 2,605,157 24.40 -0.06 6  
  Liberal Party of Australia 1,664,204 15.59 +1.03 11 29
  Australian Democrats 566,944 5.31 -7.32 2 7
  National Party of Australia 290,382 2.72 +0.12 1 6
  Australian Greens 263,106 2.46 +0.43 0 0
  WA Greens 53,757 0.50 -0.27 1 2
  Country Liberal Party 35,405 0.33 +0.04 1 1
  Harradine Group 32,202 0.30 -0.10 1 1
  Other 519,777 4.87 +0.62 0 0
  Total 10,674,805     40 76

Seats changing hands[edit]

Seat Pre-1993 Swing Post-1993
Party Member Margin Margin Member Party
Adelaide, SA   Labor Bob Catley 3.7 3.0 1.3 Trish Worth Liberal  
Bass, Tas   Liberal Warwick Smith 4.3 4.5 0.0 Silvia Smith Labor  
Corinella, Vic   Liberal Russell Broadbent 0.7 4.4 3.7 Alan Griffin Labor  
Cowan, WA   Labor Carolyn Jakobsen 0.9 1.8 0.9 Richard Evans Liberal  
Dunkley, Vic   Liberal Frank Ford 1.2 1.6 0.6 Bob Chynoweth Labor  
Franklin, Tas   Liberal Bruce Goodluck 2.1 9.5 7.4 Harry Quick Labor  
Gilmore, NSW   National John Sharp 4.4 1.1 0.5 Peter Knott Labor  
Grey, SA   Labor Lloyd O'Neil 6.5 4.3 2.1 Barry Wakelin Liberal  
Hindmarsh, SA   Labor John Scott 5.3 2.8 1.6 Christine Gallus Liberal  
Hinkler, Qld   Labor Brian Courtice 4.0 4.2 0.2 Paul Neville National  
Kennedy, Qld   Labor Rob Hulls 1.4 4.8 2.6 Bob Katter National  
Lowe, NSW   Liberal Bob Woods 0.6 4.5 5.0 Mary Easson Labor  
Lyons, Tas   Liberal Max Burr 2.1 5.6 3.8 Dick Adams Labor  
Macquarie, NSW   Liberal Alasdair Webster 3.6 2.2 0.1 Maggie Deahm Labor  
McEwen, Vic   Liberal Fran Bailey 3.2 3.9 0.7 Peter Cleeland Labor  
McMillan, Vic   Liberal John Riggall 4.4 4.8 0.4 Barry Cunningham Labor  
Paterson, NSW   Liberal notional – new seat 0.1 3.4 3.1 Bob Horne Labor  
Stirling, WA   Labor Ron Edwards 0.1 1.7 1.5 Eoin Cameron Liberal  
  • Members in italics did not contest their seat at this election


The Gallagher Index result: 8.46

This was the first election after the full totality of the late 80s/early 90s recession. The opposition Liberal Party was led by John Hewson, a Professor of Economics who succeeded Liberal leader Andrew Peacock in 1990. In November 1991 the opposition launched the 650-page Fightback! policy document − a radical collection of "dry", economic liberal measures including the introduction of a Goods and Services Tax (GST), various changes to Medicare including the abolition of bulk billing for non-concession holders, the introduction of a nine-month limit on unemployment benefits, various changes to industrial relations including the abolition of awards, a $13 billion personal income tax cut directed at middle and upper income earners, $10 billion in government spending cuts, the abolition of state payroll taxes and the privatisation of a large number of government owned enterprises − representing the start of a very different future direction to the keynesian economic conservatism practiced by previous Liberal/National Coalition governments. The 15 percent GST was the centerpiece of the policy document. Through 1992, Labor Prime Minister Paul Keating mounted a campaign against the Fightback package, and particularly against the GST, which he described as an attack on the working class in that it shifted the tax burden from direct taxation of the wealthy to indirect taxation as a broad-based consumption tax. Pressure group activity and public opinion was relentless, which led Hewson to exempt food from the proposed GST − leading to questions surrounding the complexity of what food was and wasn't to be exempt from the GST. Hewson's difficulty in explaining this to the electorate was exemplified in the infamous birthday cake interview, considered by some as a turning point in the election campaign. Keating won a record fifth consecutive Labor term and a record 13 years in government at the 1993 election, a level of political success not previously seen by federal Labor. A number of the proposals were later adopted in to law in some form, to a small extent during the Keating Labor government, and to a larger extent during the Howard Liberal government (most famously the GST), while unemployment benefits and bulk billing were re-targeted for a time by the Abbott Liberal government.

For the first time since the 1966 election, an incumbent government had increased their two-party preferred vote.

There was an unusual circumstance in the seat of Dickson. One of the candidates, an independent, died very shortly before the election, making it necessary to hold a supplementary election on 17 April. Following the return of the Labor Party to government, Keating announced the makeup of his new ministry to be sworn in on 24 March, but kept the portfolio of Attorney-General open for Michael Lavarch subject to him winning Dickson on 17 April. He won the seat, and was appointed to the ministry on 27 April.

See also[edit]