Australian federal election, 1998

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Australian federal election, 1998

← 1996 3 October 1998 (1998-10-03) 2001 →

All 148 seats in the House of Representatives
75 seats were needed for a majority in the House
40 (of the 76) seats in the Senate

  First party Second party
  John howard.jpg Kim Beazley crop.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 (NSW) Brand (WA)
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

Subsequent Prime Minister

John Howard
Liberal/National coalition

The 1998 Australian federal election was held to determine the members of the 39th Parliament of Australia. It was held on 3 October 1998. All 148 seats of the House of Representatives and 40 seats of the 76-seat Senate were up for election. The incumbent centre-right Liberal/National Coalition government led by Prime Minister John Howard of the Liberal Party and coalition partner Tim Fischer of the National Party defeated the centre-left Australian Labor Party opposition led by Opposition Leader Kim Beazley.

Future Prime Ministers Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard both entered parliament at this election.

Results[edit]

House of Representatives results[edit]

Government (80)
Coalition
     Liberal (64)
     National (16)

Opposition (67)
     Labor (67)

Crossbench (1)
     Independent (1)
House of Reps (IRV) – 1998–2001 – Turnout 94.99% (CV) — Informal 3.78%
Party Votes % Swing Seats Change
  Labor 4,454,306 40.10 +1.35 67 +18
  Liberal–National coalition 4,388,809 39.51 –7.74 80 –14
  Liberal  3,764,707 33.89 −4.80 64 −11
  National  588,088 5.29 −2.91 16 −2
  Country Liberal  36,014 0.32 −0.03 0 −1
  One Nation 936,621 8.43 +8.43 0 0
  Democrats 569,875 5.13 −1.63 0 0
  Greens 290,709 2.62 −0.30 0 0
  Unity 87,279 0.79 +0.79 0 0
  Christian Democrats 64,916 0.58 +0.18 0 0
  Australia First 28,069 0.25 +0.25 0 0
  Natural Law 18,425 0.17 −0.21 0 0
  Shooters 12,675 0.11 +0.11 0 0
  Democratic Socialist 8,446 0.08 +0.08 0 0
  Citizens Electoral Council 8,295 0.07 +0.07 0 0
  Progressive Labour 6,122 0.06 +0.06 0 0
  No Aircraft Noise 5,298 0.05 –0.12 0 0
  Tasmania First 4,551 0.04 +0.04 0 0
  Reform 4,221 0.04 +0.04 0 0
  Abolish Child Support 2,312 0.02 +0.02 0 0
  Women's 1,426 0.01 –0.05 0 0
  Socialist Equality 531 0.00 +0.00 0 0
  Independent EFF 513 0.00 +0.00 0 0
  Republican 403 0.00 +0.00 0 0
  Independents 215,201 1.94 –0.47 1 −4
  Total 11,109,063     148  
Two-party-preferred vote
  Liberal–National coalition WIN 49.02 −4.61 80 −14
  Labor   50.98 +4.61 67 +18
Popular Vote
Labor
40.10%
Liberal
33.89%
One Nation
8.43%
National
5.29%
Democrats
5.13%
Greens
2.14%
CLP
0.32%
Independents
1.76%
Other
2.94%
Two-party-preferred vote
Labor
50.98%
Coalition
49.02%
Parliament Seats
Coalition
54.05%
Labor
45.27%
Independents
0.68%

Senate results[edit]

Government (35)
Coalition
     Liberal (31)
     National (3)
     CLP (1)

Opposition (29)
     Labor (29)

Crossbench (12)
     Democrats (9)
     Greens (1)
     One Nation (1)
     Independent (1)
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
  Democratic Socialist Electoral League 24,158 0.22 * 0 0
  Australian Women's Party 20,495 0.18 −0.27 0 0
  Abolish Child Support/Family Court Party 15,276 0.14 * 0 0
  Queensland First 11,554 0.10 * 0 0
  Natural Law Party 11,152 0.10 −0.06 0 0
  Nuclear Disarmament Party 9,685 0.09 * 0 0
  Citizens Electoral Council 9,403 0.08 * 0 0
  Reclaim Australia: Reduce Immigration 8,019 0.07 −0.34 0 0
  One Australia Party 7,572 0.07 −0.34 0 0
  Other 58,577 0.5 ≤0 0 0
  Total 11,211,903     40 76

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.

Background[edit]

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 Gallagher Index result: 11.33

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.

The election-eve Newspoll reported Labor on a 53 percent two-party-preferred vote.[2]

On election night of 3 October, the exit poll showed Labor on a 53 percent two-party-preferred vote. Labor made the single biggest gain by an Opposition party following an election defeat; the Coalition's majority was cut from 40 to 12. It was only when the first returns trickled in from Western Australia that the Coalition was assured of another term. The swing across all states would have normally been sufficient for a change of government, but the uneven nature of the swing left Kim Beazley eight seats short of becoming Prime Minister.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "The AEC has recently restructured our content". Aec.gov.au. 8 June 2007. Retrieved 2010-06-13. 
  2. ^ "Newspoll archive since 1987". Polling.newspoll.com.au.tmp.anchor.net.au. Retrieved 2016-07-30. 

References[edit]