ID 1298

Commonwealth Parliament, House of Representatives election

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General election for the House of Representatives Commonwealth of Australia 
Date of election 21 August 2010

Government in office and parliamentary support before and after the election

Government in office at election

Prime Minister in office at date of election. (check notes to see if change of Prime Minister since previous election) Julia Eileen Gillard
Prime Minister's party affiliation Australian Labor Party 
House of Representatives support for government at election Majority 
If coalition, coalition partner(s)  

Government in office after election

Prime Minister in office after election. Julia Eileen Gillard
Prime Minister's party affiliation Australian Labor Party
House of Representatives support for government after election Minority 
If coalition, coalition partner(s)  
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Enrolment and voting

Total number of voters on the roll 14,088,260 
Number of House of Representatives seats 150 
Number of uncontested seats
If uncontested seats, number of voters on the roll in uncontested seats  
Number of voters on the roll in contested seats 14,088,260 
Total ballots cast (may differ from number of votes in multiple voting systems) 13,131,667 
Turnout (rate of voting in contested seats) 93.21% 
Total valid votes 12,402,363 
Rate of informal (invalid) voting 5.55%
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system Not applicable
Electoral system Adult franchise at 18 years (from 1974); single member districts, preferential voting (AV); compulsory preferences; compulsory voting 

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House of Representatives votes and seats won, national summary

Election held on 21 August 2010
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 n Uncontested seats held n Seat share %
Australian Labor Party 4,711,363  37.99  -5.40     72  48.00 
Liberal Party 3,777,383  30.46  -5.83     44  29.33 
Australian Greens 1,458,998  11.76  +3.97     0.67 
Liberal National Party (Qld) 1,130,525  9.12  *     21  14.00 
National Party 462,387  3.73  -1.77     4.67 
Independents 315,004  2.54  +0.31     2.67 
Family First 279,330  2.25  +0.27        
Country Liberal Party (NT) 38,335  0.31  -0.02     0.67 
Votes for other than listed parties 229,038  1.85  +0.06          
Totals 12,402,363  100.00    150  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.

Notes

Government in office after election: At this general election for the House of Representatives, the Gillard Australian Labor Party government lost its majority in the 150 member House, retaining only 72 seats. The Liberal Party and National Party opposition and related parties secured 73 seats. After two weeks for the completion of counting in closely contested seats and negotiations with the five minor party and independent members elected to the House, all but one of these members chose to support a minority Labor Party government under Prime Minister Gillard.

Support for the Gillard Labor Party minority government came from Adam Brandt, a member of the Australian Greens elected from the electoral district of Melbourne, and Independents Andrew Wilkie (Denison), Robert Oakeshott (Lyne), and Tony Windsor (New England). The remaining independent, Bob Katter (Kennedy), declined to sign an undertaking to support the Labor Party government.

Liberal Party and National Party: These parties have usually formed a coalition to gain enough seats to form a government, together with the members of Liberal National Party elected from Queensland (see note, below), and the Country Liberal Party members elected from the Northern Territory. These parties have often been referred to as 'the Coalition' and their total vote and seat shares treated as a single party grouping; at this election the parties won 73 seats.

Note that the National Party in Western Australia at this election had distanced itself from the National Party in other states. The member of the National Party elected from Western Australia at this election, Tony Crook (O'Connor) indicated that, while he might caucus with other members of the National Party, he would sit on the cross benches in the House of Representatives at the first meeting of Parliament after the election.

Liberal National Party (Qld): In July 2008, the Liberal Party and the National Party in Queensland agreed to merge to form a new party to contest state and federal elections, the Liberal National Party. The apparent decline in the Liberal and National parties' vote share in the table above reflects the emergence of the new party in Queensland which is listed as a separate party (see note above).

In spite of campaigning under the same party label, 5 of the 21 candidates elected in Queensland as members of the Liberal National Party chose to sit as members of the National Party caucus, the remaining 16 sitting as members of the parliamentary Liberal Party.

Independents and non-affiliated: The vote shown for Independents at this election is the sum of votes cast for all candidates registered as Independents (312,496 votes) and those candidates who ran for office without any registered party name (2508 votes). Four Independents were elected at this election and played a critical role in the formation of the government after the election; for details, see the note for 'Government in office after election', above.

Sources

Voting figures were calculated from the Australian Electoral Commission 'Virtual Tally Room' web page 'First Preferences by Party', on line at:
http://results.aec.gov.au/15508/Website/HouseStateFirstPrefsByParty-15508-NAT.htm [accessed 20 November 2013]



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