Bass by-election, 1975

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A by-election was held for the Australian House of Representatives seat of Bass on 28 June 1975. This was triggered by the resignation of Labor Party MP and former Deputy Prime Minister Lance Barnard.

The by-election was won by Liberal Party candidate Kevin Newman. Newman's victory came as something of a surprise. Barnard had held the seat since 1954 and had usually skated to reelection. However, in the by-election, Labor's primary vote plummeted by more than 17 percent, and Newman took the seat off Labor with a resounding 60 percent of the two-party vote. The shock loss of Bass is widely reckoned as the beginning of the end for Gough Whitlam, whose government was dismissed from office only six months later.


Bass by-election, 1975[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Kevin Newman 24,638 57.6 +11.6
Labor John Macrostie 15,609 36.5 -17.5
United Tasmania Violet Petrovsky 1,272 3.0 +3.0
Independent Paul Kent 904 2.1 +2.1
Independent Marcus Aussie-Stone 243 0.6 +0.6
Independent Syd Negus 124 0.3 +0.3
Total formal votes 43,814 98.2 +0.2
Informal votes 773 1.8 -0.2
Turnout 43,563 93.2 -2.0
Two-party-preferred result
Liberal Kevin Newman 60.3 +14.3
Labor John Macrostie 39.7 -14.3
Liberal gain from Labor Swing +14.3

See also[edit]