ID 0760

Commonwealth Parliament, Senate election

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General election for the Senate Commonwealth of Australia 
Date of election 28 September 1946
Type of Senate election Half Senate with House of Representatives 
Related House of Representatives election (or previous House election if half-Senate election held without House of Representatives election) HoR 28 September 1946

Government in office at Senate election

Prime Minister in office at date of Senate election. (check notes to Senate national summary table to see if change of Prime Minister since previous election) Joseph Benedict Chifley
Prime Minister's party affiliation Australian Labor Party 
Government majority in Senate at date of election Yes
Change of government No
Government majority in new Senate Yes
If coalition, coalition partner(s)  

Senate enrolment and voting

Total number of voters on the roll 4,739,853 
Total ballots cast (may differ from number of votes in multiple voting systems) 4,453,941 
Turnout (rate of voting in contested seats) 93.97% 
Total valid votes 4,097,326 
Rate of informal (invalid) voting 8.01%


Electoral composition of the Senate for this election

Total number of seats in the Senate 36 
Total number of seats for each state
Number of seats for each territory  
Seats to be filled at this Senate election 19 
Casual vacancies/additional seats included in seats to be filled
Electoral System Adult franchise at 21 years; multimember districts; preferential voting (AV); compulsory preferences; compulsory voting 


Senate votes and seats won, and seats held, national summary

Election held on 28 September 1946
Criteria for the inclusion of parties in this table are set out in the Glossary under 'listed party'

Party Name First preference vote n First preference vote share % Change from previous election % Seats won by ticket n Seats won by ticket % Seats won by party n Seats won by party % Seats held by party n Seats held by party %
Australian Labor Party 2,133,272  52.06  -3.02     16  84.21  16  84.21  33  91.67 
Liberal Party - Country Party (joint ticket) 1,561,718  38.12  *     15.79         
Liberal Party 213,304  5.21  *         10.53  5.56 
Country Party     -0.96         5.26  2.78 
Votes for other than listed parties 189,032  4.61  +0.10                
Totals 4,097,326  100.00    19  100.00  19  100.00  36  100.00 

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* Party did not contest previous election or did not meet criteria for listing, or contested previous election under a different party name.


See the Glossary of this website for information on Senate elections and details of the distinction between Seats won by ticket and Seats won by party, and between Seats won and Seats held.

This was the first Senate election contested by the newly reconstituted Liberal Party as the major conservative opponent to the Australian Labor Party.


Colin A Hughes and B D Graham, A Handbook of Australian Government and Politics 1890-1964, Canberra; Australian National University Press, 1968 (SBN 7081 1270 0); Commonwealth Parliament, Department of the Senate.