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The 2019 Australian federal election was held on Saturday 18 May 2019 to elect members of the 46th Parliament of Australia. The election had been called following the dissolution of the 45th Parliament as elected at the 2016 double dissolution federal election. All 151 seats in the House of Representatives (lower house) and 40 of the 76 seats in the Senate (upper house) were up for election.

2019 Australian federal election

← 2016 18 May 2019 Next →

All 151 seats in the House of Representatives
76 seats are needed for a majority
40 (of the 76) seats in the Senate
Opinion polls
Registered16,419,543
Turnout91.89%
  First party Second party Third party
  Scott Morrison Bill Shorten Richard Di Natale
Leader Scott Morrison Bill Shorten Richard Di Natale
Party Liberal/National coalition Labor Greens
Leader since 24 August 2018 (2018-08-24) 13 October 2013 (2013-10-13) 6 May 2015 (2015-05-06)
Leader's seat Cook (NSW) Maribyrnong (Vic.) Senator for Victoria
Last election 76 seats, 50.36% 69 seats, 49.64% 1 seat, 10.23%
Seats before 74 69 1
Seats won 77 seats 68 seats 1 seat
Seat change Increase 1[n 1] Decrease 1 Steady
Percentage 41.44% 33.34% 10.40%
Swing Decrease 0.60 Decrease 1.39 Increase 0.17
TPP 51.53% 48.47%
TPP swing Increase 1.17 Decrease 1.17

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
  Bob Katter
Leader Bob Katter No leader N/A
Party Katter's Australian Centre Alliance Independents
Leader since 3 June 2011 (2011-06-03) N/A
Leader's seat Kennedy (Qld)
Last election 1 seat, 0.54% 1 seat, 1.85% 2 seats, 2.81%
Seats won 1 seat 1 seat 3 seats
Seat change Steady Steady Increase 1
Percentage 0.49% 0.33% 3.37%
Swing Decrease 0.05 Decrease 1.52 Increase 0.56

Australia general election 2019 - Results by Division.svg
Winning party by division for the House of Representatives.

Prime Minister before election

Scott Morrison
Liberal/National coalition

Subsequent Prime Minister

Scott Morrison
Liberal/National coalition

The second-term incumbent minority Coalition Government, led by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, won a third three-year term against the Labor opposition, led by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten. Minor parties and independents also contested the election, the most popular of which were the Greens, One Nation, and the United Australia Party, according to nationwide opinion polls. The Greens, Centre Alliance, and Katter's Australian Party successfully defended one House of Representatives seat each.

Australia enforces compulsory voting and uses full-preference instant-runoff voting in single-member seats for the House of Representatives and optional preferential single transferable voting in the proportionally represented Senate.[1] The election was administered by the Australian Electoral Commission.

On the evening of the election, Antony Green and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation calculated that the Coalition had won at least 74 seats, while Labor had won at least 66, with five seats still undecided.[2] As this meant there was no possibility for Labor to form government, the Coalition was assured of a third term in government.[3] On the morning of 20 May, the ABC projected that the Coalition had won enough seats for a majority government.[4] All results are provisional until the Australian Electoral Commission returns writs, which must occur by 28 June 2019.[5]

The result was considered an upset as polling had placed the Coalition consistently behind for almost three years. It was the first time since 2001 that a Federal government in Australia won a third consecutive term in office. The Coalition benefited from a stronger-than-expected showing in Queensland. The Liberal National Party, which contests elections in Queensland for the Coalition, benefited from the preference flows of other minor parties. The LNP was projected to win as many as 25 of the state's 30 seats due in part to One Nation and UAP preferences.[6]

On election night, Morrison declared victory and Shorten conceded defeat and declared his intention to stand down as leader of his party, but to remain in parliament.[7]

Contents

ResultsEdit

House of RepresentativesEdit

House of Representatives (IRV) – Turnout 91.89% (CV)
Party Votes % Swing (pp) Seats Change (seats)
  Liberal/National Coalition
  Liberal 3,989,404 27.99 −0.68 44   1
  Liberal National (Qld) 1,236,401 8.67 +0.15 23   2
  National 642,233 4.51 −0.10 10  
  Country Liberal (NT) 38,837 0.27 +0.03 0  
Coalition total 5,906,875 41.44 −0.60 77   1
  Labor 4,752,110 33.34 −1.39 68   1
  Greens 1,482,923 10.40 +0.17 1  
  United Australia 488,817 3.43 +3.43 0  
  One Nation 438,587 3.08 +1.79 0  
  Katter's Australian 69,736 0.49 −0.05 1  
  Centre Alliance 46,931 0.33 −1.52 1  
  Independents 479,836 3.37 +0.56 3   1
  Other 587,528 4.12 −2.38 0  
Total 14,253,343 100.00 151   1
Two-party-preferred vote
  Liberal/National Coalition 7,344,813 51.53 +1.17
  Labor 6,908,530 48.47 −1.17
Invalid/blank votes 835,171 5.54 +0.49
Registered voters[8]/turnout 16,419,543 91.89 +0.89
Source: AEC Tally Room

Independents: Andrew Wilkie (Clark), Helen Haines (Indi), Zali Steggall (Warringah).


Popular vote
Labor
33.34%
Liberal
27.99%
Greens
10.40%
LNP (QLD)
8.67%
National
4.51%
UAP
3.43%
One Nation
3.08%
Katter's
0.49%
Centre Alliance
0.33%
CLP (NT)
0.27%
Independents
3.37%
Other
4.12%
Two-party-preferred vote
Coalition
51.53%
Labor
48.47%
Seats
Coalition
50.99%
Labor
45.03%
Greens
0.66%
Centre Alliance
0.66%
Katter's
0.66%
Independents
1.99%

Divisions changing partyEdit

Members in italics did not re-contest their House of Representatives seats at this election.[2]

Seat Pre-2019 Swing Post-2019
Party Member Margin Margin Member Party
Bass, TAS Labor Ross Hart 5.42 5.83 0.41 Bridget Archer Liberal
Braddon, TAS Labor Justine Keay 1.73 4.82 3.09 Gavin Pearce Liberal
Chisholm, VIC Independent Julia Banks[1] 2.91 −2.34 0.57 Gladys Liu Liberal
Corangamite, VIC Liberal[2] Sarah Henderson −0.03 1.04 1.07 Libby Coker Labor
Dunkley, VIC Liberal[2] Chris Crewther −1.03 1.71 2.74 Peta Murphy Labor
Gilmore, NSW Liberal Ann Sudmalis 0.73 3.34 2.61 Fiona Phillips Labor
Herbert, QLD Labor Cathy O'Toole 0.02 8.38 8.36 Phillip Thompson Liberal National
Lindsay, NSW Labor Emma Husar 1.11 6.15 5.04 Melissa McIntosh Liberal
Indi, VIC Independent Cathy McGowan 5.10 −4.13 1.39 Helen Haines Independent
Longman, QLD Labor Susan Lamb 0.79 4.07 3.28 Terry Young Liberal National
Warringah, NSW Liberal Tony Abbott 11.09 N/A 7.24 Zali Steggall Independent
Wentworth, NSW Independent Kerryn Phelps 1.22 N/A 1.31 Dave Sharma Liberal

Notes

1 Julia Banks was elected as the Liberal member for Chisholm in 2016, but resigned from the party in November 2018 and sat as an independent. She retired from Chisholm to contest the seat of Flinders.

2 As a result of the 2018 boundary redistribution, the Victorian Liberal-held seats of Corangamite and Dunkley became notionally marginal Labor seats.

SenateEdit

Out of 40 Senate seats up for election, the Coalition won 19, while Labor won 13 seats. The Greens have won 6 seats, while the only other minor party candidates elected were former senator Malcolm Roberts for One Nation in Queensland, and Jacqui Lambie (JLN) in Tasmania. The Senate crossbench became substantially smaller, with incumbent senators Derryn Hinch, Duncan Spender, Peter Georgiou, Brian Burston, and Fraser Anning, as well as former parliamentarians Clive Palmer and Skye Kakoschke-Moore, failing in their bids to win Senate seats.[9]

Senate (STV) – Turnout 92.48% (CV)
Party Votes % ± Seats
Seats
won
Not
up
New
total
Seat
change
  Liberal/National Coalition
  Liberal/National joint ticket 3,152,483 21.59 +1.57 6 6 12   2
  Liberal 1,204,039 8.24 +0.53 9 7 16   2
  Liberal National (Qld) 1,128,730 7.73 +0.79 3 3 6   1
  Country Liberal (NT) 38,513 0.26 −0.00 1 0 1  
  National 24,377 0.17 −0.08 0 0 0  
Coalition total 5,548,142 37.99 +2.80 19 16 35   5
  Labor 4,204,313 28.79 −1.01 13 13 26  
  Greens 1,488,427 10.19 +1.54 6 3 9  
  One Nation 788,203 5.40 +1.12 1 1 2   2
  United Australia 345,199 2.36 +1.86 0 0 0  
  Liberal Democrats 169,735 1.16 −1.00 0 0 0   1
  Justice 105,459 0.72 −1.20 0 0 0   1
  Conservatives 102,769 0.70 +0.70 0 1 1  
  Lambie Network 31,383 0.21 −0.28 1 0 1  
  Centre Alliance 28,416 0.19 −3.10 0 2 2   1
  Other 1,792,879 12.28 +0.70 0 0 0 0
Total 14,604,925 100.00 40 36 76
Invalid/blank votes 579,160 3.81 −0.13
Registered voters/turnout 16,419,543 92.48 +0.55
Source: AEC Tally Room

BackgroundEdit

Previous electionEdit

The outcome of the 2016 federal election could not be predicted on election night, with too many seats in doubt.[10][11][12] After a week of vote counting, neither the incumbent Turnbull Government led by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull of the Liberal/National Coalition nor the Shorten Opposition led by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten of the Australian Labor Party had won enough seats in the 150-seat House of Representatives to form a majority government.[13][14][15][16]

During the uncertain week following the election, Turnbull negotiated with the crossbench and secured confidence and supply support from Bob Katter and from independents Andrew Wilkie and Cathy McGowan in the event of a hung parliament and resulting minority government.[17] During crossbench negotiations, Turnbull pledged additional staff and resources for crossbenchers, and stated "It is my commitment to work in every way possible to ensure that the crossbenchers have access to all of the information they need and all of the resources they need to be able to play the role they need in this parliament".[18]

On 10 July, eight days after the election took place and following Turnbull's negotiations with the crossbench where he secured sufficient confidence and supply support, Shorten conceded defeat, acknowledging that the incumbent Coalition had enough seats to form either a minority or majority government. Turnbull claimed victory later that day.[19] In the closest federal majority result since the 1961 election, the ABC declared on 11 July that the incumbent Coalition would be able to form a one-seat majority government.[20]

It was the first election result since federation where the post-election opposition won more seats than the post-election government in both of Australia's two most populous states, New South Wales and Victoria.[21]

ResultEdit

In the 150-seat House of Representatives, the one-term incumbent Liberal/National Coalition government suffered a 14-seat swing, reducing it to 76 seats—a bare one-seat majority. With a national three-point two-party swing against the government, the Labor opposition picked up a significant number of previously government-held seats to gain a total of 69 seats. On the crossbench, the Greens, the Nick Xenophon Team, Katter's Australian Party, and independents Wilkie and McGowan won a seat each. On 19 July, the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) announced a re-count for the Coalition-held but provisionally Labor-won Division of Herbert. At the start of the Herbert re-count, Labor led by eight votes.[22][23] The AEC announced on 31 July that Labor had won Herbert by 37 votes.[24][25]

The final outcome in the 76-seat Senate took more than four weeks to determine, despite significant voting changes. Earlier in 2016, legislation changed the Senate voting system from a full-preference single transferable vote with group voting tickets to an optional-preferential single transferable vote.[26] The final Senate result was announced on 4 August: Liberal/National Coalition 30 seats (−3), Labor 26 seats (+1), Greens 9 seats (−1), One Nation 4 seats (+4) and Nick Xenophon Team 3 seats (+2). Derryn Hinch won a seat, while Jacqui Lambie, Liberal Democrat David Leyonhjelm and Family First's Bob Day retained their seats. The number of crossbenchers increased by two to a record 20. The Liberal/National Coalition will require at least nine additional votes to reach a Senate majority, an increase of three.[27][28][29] The Liberal and Labor parties agreed to support a motion in the parliament that the first six senators elected in each state would serve a six-year term, while the last six elected would serve a three-year term.[30][31]

Changes in parliamentary compositionEdit

Since the 2016 election, a number of parliamentarians resigned from their seats, while some were disqualified by the High Court of Australia in the parliamentary eligibility crisis as a result of the dual citizenship of some MPs. However, in the cases of disqualified House of Representatives MPs, most of these were returned in resulting by-elections. Some MPs changed their party affiliation or their independent status.

Changes in parliamentary composition
Seat Before Change After
Member Party Type Date Date Member Party
Vic (Senate) Stephen Conroy Labor Resignation 30 September 2016 25 October 2016 Kimberley Kitching Labor
SA (Senate) Bob Day Family First Resignation, disqualification 1 November 2016 19 April 2017 Lucy Gichuhi Family First
WA (Senate) Rod Culleton One Nation Departure from party 18 December 2016 Rod Culleton Independent
Independent Disqualification 11 January 2017 27 March 2017 Peter Georgiou One Nation
SA (Senate) Cory Bernardi Liberal Formation of new party 7 February 2017 Cory Bernardi Conservatives
SA (Senate) Lucy Gichuhi Family First Refusal to join party merger 3 May 2017 Lucy Gichuhi Independent
WA (Senate) Scott Ludlam Greens Resignation, disqualification 14 July 2017 10 November 2017 Jordon Steele-John Greens
Qld (Senate) Larissa Waters Greens 18 July 2017 10 November 2017 Andrew Bartlett Greens
WA (Senate) Chris Back Liberal Resignation 31 July 2017 16 August 2017 Slade Brockman Liberal
Qld (Senate) Malcolm Roberts One Nation Disqualification 27 October 2017 10 November 2017 Fraser Anning One Nation
New England Barnaby Joyce National 2 December 2017 Barnaby Joyce
(re-elected)
National
NSW (Senate) Fiona Nash National 22 December 2017 Jim Molan Liberal
SA (Senate) Nick Xenophon Xenophon Team Resignation 31 October 2017 14 November 2017 Rex Patrick Xenophon Team
Tas (Senate) Stephen Parry Liberal Resignation, disqualification 2 November 2017 9 February 2018 Richard Colbeck Liberal
Bennelong John Alexander Liberal Resignation 11 November 2017 16 December 2017 John Alexander
(re-elected)
Liberal
Tas (Senate) Jacqui Lambie Lambie Network Resignation, disqualification 14 November 2017 9 February 2018 Steve Martin Independent
SA (Senate) Skye Kakoschke-Moore Xenophon Team 22 November 2017 16 February 2018 Tim Storer Independent
Qld (Senate) Fraser Anning One Nation Departure from party 15 January 2018 Fraser Anning Independent
NSW (Senate) Sam Dastyari Labor Resignation 25 January 2018 14 February 2018 Kristina Keneally Labor
Batman David Feeney Labor Resignation 1 February 2018 17 March 2018 Ged Kearney Labor
SA (Senate) Lucy Gichuhi Independent Party membership 2 February 2018 Lucy Gichuhi Liberal
Qld (Senate) George Brandis LNP Resignation 8 February 2018 21 March 2018 Amanda Stoker LNP
ACT (Senate) Katy Gallagher Labor Disqualification 9 May 2018 23 May 2018 David Smith Labor
Perth Tim Hammond Labor Resignation 10 May 2018 28 July 2018 Patrick Gorman Labor
Braddon Justine Keay Labor Resignation Justine Keay
(re-elected)
Labor
Fremantle Josh Wilson Labor Josh Wilson
(re-elected)
Labor
Longman Susan Lamb Labor Susan Lamb
(re-elected)
Labor
Mayo Rebekha Sharkie Centre Alliance 11 May 2018 Rebekha Sharkie
(re-elected)
Centre Alliance
Tas (Senate) Steve Martin Independent Party membership 28 May 2018 Steve Martin National
Qld (Senate) Fraser Anning Independent Party membership 4 June 2018 Fraser Anning Katter's Australian
NSW (Senate) Brian Burston One Nation Departure from party 14 June 2018 Brian Burston Independent
Independent Party membership 18 June 2018 United Australia
NSW (Senate) Lee Rhiannon Greens Resignation 15 August 2018 Mehreen Faruqi Greens
Qld (Senate) Andrew Bartlett Greens Resignation 27 August 2018 6 September 2018 Larissa Waters Greens
Wentworth Malcolm Turnbull Liberal Resignation 31 August 2018 20 October 2018 Kerryn Phelps Independent
Qld (Senate) Fraser Anning Katter's Australian Departure from party 25 October 2018 Fraser Anning Independent
Chisholm Julia Banks Liberal Departure from party 27 November 2018 Julia Banks Independent
Tas (Senate) David Bushby Liberal Resignation 21 January 2019 6 March 2019 Wendy Askew Liberal
Vic (Senate) Jacinta Collins Labor Resignation 15 February 2019 Raff Ciccone Labor
NSW (Senate) David Leyonhjelm Liberal Democrats Resignation 1 March 2019 20 March 2019 Duncan Spender Liberal Democrats
Qld (Senate) Fraser Anning Independent Formation of new party 4 April 2019 Fraser Anning Conservative National Party
ACT (Senate) David Smith Labor Resignation 11 April 2019 vacant

Following the parliamentary eligibility crisis, the AEC's form for nomination was updated to ask detailed questions on whether candidates are disqualified under Section 44 of the Constitution of Australia. Three Victorian Liberal candidates had to withdraw based on section 44 issues.[32]

Change of Prime MinisterEdit

Following the Liberal Party leadership spill on 24 August 2018, Malcolm Turnbull was replaced as Prime Minister by Scott Morrison. Turnbull resigned from parliament on 31 August, triggering a by-election in his former seat of Wentworth.[33] The by-election was won by independent Kerryn Phelps. This, combined with National MP Kevin Hogan's move to the crossbench and the resignation of MP Julia Banks from the Liberal Party, reduced the government to 73 seats going into the election; a net three-seat deficit.

Further dissatisfaction within the Liberal Party saw a number of centrist and economically-liberal candidates announce that they would nominate as independents in wealthy electorates, with a specific focus on "addressing climate change".[34][35]

CandidatesEdit

The nomination of candidates closed on 23 April 2019.

There are 1,514 candidates in total (1,056 for the House of Representatives and 458 for the Senate).

State of electoratesEdit

After effects of boundary redistributions for the next election,[36][37] and the 2018 Wentworth by-election, the Mackerras pendulum has the Liberal/National Coalition government on 73 of 151 seats with the Labor opposition on 72 seats and a crossbench of six seats.[37]

Assuming a theoretical nationwide uniform swing, the Labor opposition would need at least 50.7% of the two-party vote (at least a 1.1-point two-party swing) to win 76 seats and majority government. The incumbent Coalition government no longer holds a majority, and would require at least 51.1% of the two-party vote (at least a 0.7-point two-party swing) to regain it.

The key marginal seats are as follows:

Marginal Coalition seats
Capricornia (Qld) Michelle Landry LNP 50.63
Forde (Qld) Bert van Manen LNP 50.63
Gilmore (NSW) Ann Sudmalis[b] LIB 50.73
Flynn (Qld) Ken O'Dowd LNP 51.04
^^^ Opposition wins majority on a uniform swing ^^^
Robertson (NSW) Lucy Wicks LIB 51.14
Banks (NSW) David Coleman LIB 51.44
Petrie (Qld) Luke Howarth LNP 51.65
Dickson (Qld) Peter Dutton LNP 51.69
Hasluck (WA) Ken Wyatt LIB 52.05
Page (NSW) Kevin Hogan NAT 52.30
Boothby (SA) Nicolle Flint LIB 52.71
Chisholm (Vic) Julia Banks (IND) LIB 52.91
La Trobe (Vic) Jason Wood LIB 53.22
Dawson (Qld) George Christensen LNP 53.37
Bonner (Qld) Ross Vasta LNP 53.39
Swan (WA) Steve Irons LIB 53.59
Pearce (WA) Christian Porter LIB 53.63
Leichhardt (Qld) Warren Entsch LNP 53.95
Casey (Vic) Tony Smith LIB 54.54
Cowper (NSW) Luke Hartsuyker[b] NAT v IND 54.56
Reid (NSW) Craig Laundy LIB 54.69
Sturt (SA) Christopher Pyne[b] LIB 55.39
Marginal Labor seats
Herbert (Qld) Cathy O'Toole ALP 50.02
Corangamite (Vic) Sarah Henderson (LIB)[a] ALP 50.03
Cooper (Vic) Ged Kearney ALP 50.6 v GRN[c]
Cowan (WA) Anne Aly ALP 50.68
^^^ Government regains majority on a uniform swing ^^^
Longman (Qld) Susan Lamb ALP 50.79[c]
Dunkley (Vic) Chris Crewther (LIB)[a] ALP 51.03
Lindsay (NSW) Emma Husar ALP 51.11
Macnamara (Vic) Michael Danby[b] ALP 51.21
Griffith (Qld) Terri Butler ALP 51.43
Braddon (Tas) Justine Keay ALP 51.73[c]
Macquarie (NSW) Susan Templeman ALP 52.19
Eden-Monaro (NSW) Mike Kelly ALP 52.93
Isaacs (Vic) Mark Dreyfus ALP 52.98
Perth (WA) Patrick Gorman ALP 53.33[c]
Lyons (Tas) Brian Mitchell ALP 53.83
Bendigo (Vic) Lisa Chesters ALP 53.87
Richmond (NSW) Justine Elliot ALP 53.96
Hotham (Vic) Clare O'Neil ALP 54.21
Dobell (NSW) Emma McBride ALP 54.81
Wills (Vic) Peter Khalil ALP 54.9 v GRN
Bass (Tas) Ross Hart ALP 55.42
Jagajaga (Vic) Jenny Macklin[b] ALP 55.60
Lilley (Qld) Wayne Swan[b] ALP 55.68
Marginal Crossbench Seats
Wentworth (NSW) Kerryn Phelps IND 51.2 v LIB[c]
Indi (Vic) Cathy McGowan[b] IND 54.1 v LIB
Mayo (SA) Rebekha Sharkie CA 55.5 v LIB[c]
Notes

a Although the seats of Corangamite and Dunkley were Liberal wins at the previous election, the redistribution in Victoria changed them to notionally marginal Labor seats. b Members with names in italics retired at the 2019 election. c Margin as of the previous by-election (which may apply to older boundaries).

Retiring membersEdit

Members of Parliament and Senators who chose not to renominate for the 2019 election are as follows:

LaborEdit

LiberalEdit

NationalsEdit

IndependentEdit

Opinion pollsEdit

Graphical summaryEdit

Aggregate data of voting intention from all opinion polling since the last election. Local regression trends for each party are shown as solid lines.

Assessment of polling accuracyEdit

The result of the 2019 election was in stark contrast to the aggregation of opinion polls conducted over the period of the 45th parliament and the 2019 election campaign. Apart from a few outliers, Labor had been ahead for the entire period, by as much as 56% on a two-party-preferred basis after Scott Morrison took over the leadership of the Liberal Party in August 2018—although during the campaign, Labor's two-party estimate was between 51 and 52%.[63]

During the ABC's election coverage, election analyst Antony Green stated, "at the moment, on these figures, it's a bit of a spectacular failure of opinion polling", with the election results essentially a mirror image of the polls with the Coalition's two-party vote at around 51%.[63]

The former director of Newspoll, Martin O'Shannessy, cited changes in demographics and telephone habits which have changed the nature of polling from calling random samples of landlines to calling random mobile numbers and automated "robocalls"—with the ensuing drop in response rates resulting in lower quality data due to smaller samples and bias in the sample due to who chooses to respond.[64]

Several analysts and statisticians found the lack of variance of the two-party preferred estimates concerning—truly random poll sampling would see the results "bounce around" within each poll's margin of error, but the differences between figures in the final few weeks of the campaign were so consistently small as to be highly improbable to happen under random chance. Some analysts suspected the phenomenon of "herding" had occurred—as polling companies attempted to adjust for bias, they had "massaged" their results to be similar to other polls, resulting in an artificial closeness.[65][66]

Election dateEdit

An election for the House of Representatives can be called at any time during the maximum three-year parliamentary term. The term of the House of Representatives starts on the first sitting day of the House following its election, which in the case of the 45th Parliament was 30 August 2016. The House therefore would expire on 29 August 2019, unless it were dissolved earlier. In this case, the Parliament was dissolved on 11 April and an election called for 18 May 2019.[67] This occurred after Prime Minister Scott Morrison visited the Governor-General advising him to prorogue Parliament and dissolve the House of Representatives. The Governor-General accepted Morrison's recommendations, as is the custom in Australia's Westminster system of government.[68][69]

The Constitution of Australia does not require simultaneous elections for the Senate and the House of Representatives, but it has long been preferred that elections for the two houses take place simultaneously. The most recent House-only election took place in 1972, and the most recent Senate-only election took place in 1970. However, the writs for a half-Senate election could not be issued earlier than 1 July 2018. Section 13 of the Constitution requires that the election of senators must take place within one year before the terms expire for half-Senate elections. Since the previous election was a double dissolution, half of the senators were allocated three-year terms that end on 30 June 2019, while the other half were allocated six-year terms that end on 30 June 2022. Senators from the territories serve terms timed with House elections. Since campaigns are for a minimum of 33 days, the earliest possible date for a simultaneous House/half-Senate election was 4 August 2018.[70] The latest that a half-Senate election could be held must allow time for the votes to be counted and the writs to be returned before the newly elected senators take office on 1 July 2019. This took over a month in 2016, so practically the last possible date for a half-Senate election to take place before the three-year terms expire is 18 May 2019.

An election for the House of Representatives needed to be held on or before 2 November 2019.[70] The latest date for the election is calculated from the Constitution and the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (CEA). Section 28 of the Constitution provides that a term of the House of Representatives expires three years from the first sitting of the House, unless dissolved earlier. The last federal election was held on 2 July 2016. The 45th Parliament opened on 30 August 2016[71] and its term would expire on 29 August 2019.[72] Writs for election can be issued up to ten days after a dissolution or expiry of the House.[73] Up to 27 days can be allowed for nominations,[74] and the actual election can be set for a maximum of 31 days after close of nominations,[75] resulting in the latest election date for the House of Representatives of Saturday, 2 November 2019.

A double dissolution cannot take place within six months before the date of the expiry of the House of Representatives.[76] That meant that any double dissolution of the 45th Parliament had to have been granted by 28 February 2019. Allowing for the same stages indicated above, the last possible date for a double dissolution election would have been 4 May 2019.[70] This could only have occurred if a bill that had passed the House of Representatives was rejected by the Senate twice, at least three months apart.

Constitutional and legal provisionsEdit

The constitutional and legal provisions which impact on the choice of election dates include:[77]

  • Section 12 of the Constitution says: "The Governor of any State may cause writs to be issued for the election of Senators for that State"
  • Section 13 of the Constitution provides that the election of senators shall be held in the period of twelve months before the places become vacant.
  • Section 28 of the Constitution says: "Every House of Representatives shall continue for three years from the first sitting of the House, and no longer, but may be sooner dissolved by the Governor-General."[78] Since the 45th Parliament of Australia opened on 30 August 2016, it will expire on 29 August 2019.
  • Section 32 of the Constitution says: "The writs shall be issued within ten days from the expiry of a House of Representatives or from the proclamation of a dissolution thereof." Ten days after 29 August 2019 is 8 September 2019.
  • Section 156 (1) of the CEA says: "The date fixed for the nomination of the candidates shall not be less than 10 days nor more than 27 days after the date of the writ".[74] Twenty-seven days after 8 September 2019 is 5 October 2019.
  • Section 157 of the CEA says: "The date fixed for the polling shall not be less than 23 days nor more than 31 days after the date of nomination".[75] Thirty-one days after 5 October 2019 is 5 November 2019, a Tuesday.
  • Section 158 of the CEA says: "The day fixed for the polling shall be a Saturday".[79] The Saturday before 5 November 2019 is 2 November 2019. This is therefore the latest possible date for the lower house election.

Election timelineEdit

On 11 April 2019, the office of the Governor-General released documents relating to the calling of the election. The documents set out a timeline of key dates for the election.[68]

  • 11 April – 8:29 am: Prorogation of the 45th Parliament[68]
  • 11 April – 8:30 am: Dissolution of the House of Representatives[68]
  • 11 April – Issue of writs[68]
  • 18 April – Close of electoral rolls. At this time, enrolment is at 96.8% of the eligible population.[80]
  • 23 April – Close of candidate nominations[68]
  • 24 April – Declaration of nominations
  • 29 April – Early voting commences[81]
  • 18 May – Polling day[68]; commencement of terms for territory senators
  • 28 June – Return of writs[68] (last day)
  • 1 July – Commencement of terms for state senators

The election period included three national public holidays: Good Friday (19 April), Easter Monday (22 April) and Anzac Day (25 April), as well as May Day and Labour Day in Northern Territory and Queensland, respectively, both falling on 6 May.

RedistributionsEdit

Since the last election, there has been a reapportionment of seats of the House of Representatives, as well as three scheduled redistributions of electoral boundaries. On 31 August 2017, the Australian Electoral Commission announced a reapportionment of seats based on calculation of each state and territory's entitlement determination: Victoria gained one seat to 38, the Australian Capital Territory gained a seat to 3, and South Australia lost one seat to 10.[82] The total number of members of the House of Representatives increased from 150 to 151.[82]

Following the reapportionment, which applies to the 2019 election, the allocation of seats were:

State Seats Change
New South Wales 47  
Victoria 38   1
Queensland 30  
Western Australia 16  
South Australia 10   1
Tasmania 5  
Australian Capital Territory 3   1
Northern Territory 2  
Total 151   1

Northern TerritoryEdit

On 7 December 2016, the Electoral Commission for the Northern Territory announced the results of its deliberations into the boundaries of Lingiari and Solomon, the two federal electoral divisions in the Northern Territory. New boundaries gazetted from 7 February 2017 will see the remainder of the Litchfield Municipality and parts of Palmerston (the suburbs of Farrar, Johnston, Mitchell, Zuccoli and part of Yarrawonga) transferred from Solomon to Lingiari.[83]

TasmaniaEdit

A scheduled redistribution began in Tasmania on 1 September 2016, to be finalised by November 2017.[84] The determinations were announced on 27 September 2017. In addition to boundary changes, the Division of Denison will be renamed the Division of Clark after Andrew Inglis Clark.[85]

QueenslandEdit

A scheduled redistribution began in Queensland on 6 January 2017, and was finalised on 27 March 2018. Changes were made to the boundaries of 18 of Queensland's 30 electoral divisions, and no division names were changed.[86]

Australian Capital TerritoryEdit

A redistribution of federal electoral divisions in the Australian Capital Territory commenced on 4 September 2017, due to changes in the territory's representation entitlement. The AEC released a proposed redistribution on 6 April 2018, and the final determination on 3 July 2018.[87] The redistribution resulted in the creation of a third ACT electoral division named Bean (notionally fairly safe Labor), after historian Charles Bean.[88][89]

VictoriaEdit

A redistribution of federal electoral divisions in Victoria commenced on 4 September 2017, due to changes in the state's representation entitlement. The determinations were announced on 20 June 2018, and created a 38th electoral division named Fraser (notionally safe Labor), named after prime minister Malcolm Fraser.[90]

The commission also renamed several divisions: Batman to Cooper (after William Cooper), McMillan to Monash (after Sir John Monash), Melbourne Ports to Macnamara (after Dame Jean Macnamara) and Murray to Nicholls (after Sir Douglas and Lady Nicholls). A proposal to rename Corangamite to Cox (after swimming instructor May Cox) did not proceed.[91]

The Coalition notionally lost the seat of Dunkley and Corangamite to Labor in the redistribution.[37]

South AustraliaEdit

A South Australian seat was abolished due to population changes having occurred since the state's last redistribution in 2011. Although South Australia's population was still increasing, faster increases in other states saw a reduction in South Australia's representation from 11 to 10 seats in the 151-seat House of Representatives. This was the third time South Australia lost a seat since the 1984 enlargement of the parliament, with Hawker abolished in 1993 and Bonython in 2004. South Australia is the least-populated state where the current number of seats can decrease, as Tasmania's current representation is the minimum guaranteed by the Constitution.[92][93][94]

A redistribution of federal electoral divisions in South Australia commenced on 4 September 2017, due to changes in the state's representation entitlement. The proposed redistribution report was released on 13 April 2018, and the final determination on 26 June 2018. The commission abolished the division of Port Adelaide.[95] The hybrid urban-rural seat of Wakefield became the entirely urban seat of Spence, after Catherine Helen Spence.[96][97] The more rural portions of Wakefield transferred to Grey and Barker.[98]

Newspaper endorsementsEdit

The Sunday and daily editions of Australian newspapers traditionally provide editorial endorsement for parties contending both federal and state elections. Alternative newspapers have in recent times also provided backing for minor parties.

Sunday editionsEdit

Newspaper Endorsement
The Sunday Age   No endorsement[99]
Sunday Herald Sun Coalition
Sunday Mail (Adelaide) Coalition[100]
The Sunday Mail (Brisbane) Coalition[101]
The Sunday Telegraph Coalition[102]
The Sunday Times   No endorsement[103]
The Sun-Herald   No endorsement[104]

All four newspapers published by News Corp Australia (Melbourne's Sunday Herald Sun, Adelaide's Sunday Mail, Brisbane's The Sunday Mail and Sydney's The Sunday Telegraph) endorsed the Coalition.[105] The Sunday Telegraph compared the major parties as a choice between Labor, which "seeks to present an agenda for social change, a generational correction for people doing it tough: pensioners, the unemployed, the working poor" and a Coalition "government that presents itself as being responsible in its spending, determined to return the budget to the black, eliminate waste and take a forward but steady approach to the broader social issues, such as ­climate change", ultimately describing Morrison a "safer pair of hands".[102]

Both the Nine Publishing newspapers (Melbourne's The Sunday Age and Sydney's The Sun-Herald) stopped short of endorsing a party, with The Sunday Age calling for bipartisan action on climate change.[99] The Sun-Herald praised Morrison as "the former advertising executive has come into his own, appearing more sure-footed and on message than in the early days of his as leader" but warned that "his single-focus strategy needs some enhancement if he has a chance of pulling off victory", while contrasting it with Labor which has "overwhelmed us with its vision and plans. The party presents itself as a viable alternative government, with bold policy announcements across a variety of sectors, but they carry some risk for the disadvantage they may cause to some sections of the electorate. It runs the risk of hubris should reality not conform with voter expectations".[104]

Seven West Media's newspaper (Perth's The Sunday Times) also made no endorsement, but urged readers not to give the balance of power to "micro parties with wacky, divisive and extreme agendas".[103]

Daily editionsEdit

Newspaper Endorsement
The Advertiser Coalition[106]
The Age Labor[107]
The Australian Coalition[108]
Australian Financial Review Coalition[109]
The Canberra Times No endorsement[110]
The Courier-Mail Coalition
The Daily Telegraph Coalition[111]
Geelong Advertiser Coalition[112]
The Guardian Australia Labor[113]
Herald Sun Coalition[114]
The Mercury No endorsement[115]
NT News Labor[116]
The Sydney Morning Herald Labor[117]
The West Australian Coalition[118]

The majority of News Corp Australia's daily mastheads – The Australian, Sydney's The Daily Telegraph, Melbourne's Herald Sun, Brisbane's The Courier-Mail, Adelaide's The Advertiser and the Geelong Advertiser – endorsed the Coalition.[119] The Australian wrote that "Mr Morrison’s plan errs on the side of being safe but deliverable; his policies, consistent with traditional values, do not unduly raise expectations as Mr Shorten has done".[108] Hobart's The Mercury stopped short of endorsing a party, remarking that with "polls indicating that a hung Parliament remains a possible scenario ... having [Independent candidate for Clark, Andrew] Wilkie advocating for Tasmania in Canberra would not be a terrible outcome".[115] In Darwin, the NT News endorsed Labor, arguing the Morrison Government had "shown little to no interest" in Aboriginal affairs, an issue "which seriously threatens the future prosperity of the Northern Territory and Australia".[116]

Two of Nine Publishing's mastheads – The Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne's The Age endorsed Labor.[119] The Sydney Morning Herald called for voters to bring an end to the "cycle of instability". It emphasised Shorten's "united team that looks like it will stick together", and contrasted this with the "blood feuds" within the Coalition cabinet, stating that "the ALP has used its time in the wilderness of opposition to sort out its factional differences and produce an unusually detailed agreed program". It expressed doubts with some aspects of Labor's economic policy, warning that "with the economy facing headwinds, people want solid, sensible government – not a revolution." It concluded that if Labor could overcome economic challenges and deliver "three years of normal government... it will be better than a continuation of instability under the Coalition".[117] While critical of its stance on climate change and energy policy, its broadsheet The Australian Financial Review endorsed the Coalition, arguing the party "does at least grasp that Australia needs a growth policy in order to lift incomes and sustainably pay for the services government provides".[109]

The Guardian Australia also endorsed Labor, arguing that "the climate emergency is the most pressing issue of our time" and that "the Coalition appears deaf to the rising clamour from the electorate...[while] it clings to an obviously deficient emissions reduction target". Concluding that "the Coalition has neither credible policies nor a competent team", it finds that "Labor is the only party with a credible climate policy and a chance of forming government", but also giving qualified support to The Greens as its "climate policy is more ambitious than Labor’s and its tax and spending policies more redistributive". It also wrote positively of "credible independent candidates who could make positive contributions in the parliament".[113]

In Perth, the Seven West Media-owned The West Australian endorsed the Coalition as having "proved they will listen to Western Australia with their historic shakeup of the GST", and commending the Western Australian Liberal Party for "a proven track record of being powerful advocates for [the] state".[118] The Canberra Times provided no endorsement, but concluded that the choice between the two major parties was "for changes that may benefit [Canberrans] personally" or "for change that has the potential to benefit those less fortunate than they are".[110]

Alternative newspapersEdit

Newspaper Endorsement
Green Left Weekly Socialist Alliance[120][121]
Victorian Socialists[120][121]

Alternative publication Green Left Weekly endorsed socialist parties candidates, particularly the Victorian Socialists and Socialist Alliance. It argued that "the escalating climate crisis and rampant and growing inequality are two major symptoms of the bankruptcy of capitalism" and that preferential voting "makes it possible to send Labor a message that it needs to do better".[121] Where socialist candidates are not standing, they endorsed preferencing The Greens above Labor.[120]

Aftermath and reactionsEdit

Domestic reactionsEdit

Morrison said that "the quiet Australians ... have won a great victory tonight".[122] Shorten conceded defeat and announced his resignation as leader of the Labor Party, triggering the 2019 Australian Labor Party leadership election. Former Deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who ran against Shorten in the October 2013 spill, announced his candidacy, and was elected unopposed to the role later that month.[123] Albanese's path to the leadership was cleared after Chris Bowen, Shadow Treasurer in the Shorten Ministry and a member of the more fiscally-conservative Labor Right, withdrew his candidacy shortly after nominating.[124]

International reactionsEdit

  •   Brazil: President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro using his official Twitter account expressed: "I congratulate Prime Minister Scott Morrison on his re-election, refuting the left-leaning polls with the Labor Party. Great victory!".[125]
  •   India: Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi congratulated Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on his victory in the elections. In a tweet, Mr Modi wished the people of Australia all success under Mr Morrison's dynamic leadership. He said, as strategic partners, he is looking forward to continue working together closely to further strengthen the relationship between India and Australia.[126]
  •   Singapore: Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong congratulated Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison over his victory and invited him to visit Singapore in conjunction with the annual Singapore–Australia Leader's summit to discuss strengthening the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.[127]
  •   United States: US President Donald Trump has tweeted his congratulations to Prime Minister Scott Morrison on his "miracle" election win, "Congratulations to Scott on a Great Win!".[128]

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Seat change calculated from the previous election result of 76 seats.

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit