Election held on 13 April 1910
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||2,021,090||50.30||+11.57||18||100.00||18||100.00||22||61.11|
|Votes for other than listed parties||31,700||0.79||-0.63|
* Party did not contest previous election or did not meet criteria for listing, or contested previous election under a different party name.
This election in 1910 was a regular election for half the members of the Senate held at the same time as a general election for the House of Representatives; see terms of senators. The 1910 House of Representatives results can be seen here.
Electoral system: The Commonwealth Electoral Act 1902 (No.19 of 1902) provided for plurality (first past the post) voting in each state as a multimember electoral district for the selection of senators. Section 150 provided that each voter was required to cast as many votes as there were vacancies to be filled (block voting), selecting three candidates for half Senate elections (more if there were casual vacancies). The multiple voting system for the election of of senators from 1903 to 1917 meant that the number of valid votes was much larger than the number of ballot papers cast. This voting system precludes the usual calculation of the informal (invalid) vote for these elections in the table above.
Ballot design: The design of the Senate ballot paper for the election of senators from each state was set out in Form O of the Electoral Act (Section 131). Candidates were ranked in a single list in alphabetical order of surname; no party affiliation or additional information about candidates was provided unless there were two candidates with the same name and then a geographical location was provided to distinguish them.
At this half Senate election in 1910, the electoral system enabled the Australian Labor Party to win all 18 Senate seats available (see Table above).
Parties: Largely in response to the growing influence of the Australian Labor Party, Prime Minister Deakin formed a so-called 'Fusion' ministry in June 1909 as a way of combining all anti-Labor Commonwealth parliamentary representatives and likely candidates within a single party grouping called the Liberal Party (see party names).
Even though Deakin and he Liberal Party lost the 1910 elections, the success of this strategy can be seen as marking the emergence of the modern Australian party system; see generally, P Loveday, A W Martin, and R S Parker (editors), The Emergence of the Australian Party System, (Sydney: Hale & Iremonger, 1978, ISBN 09080940305), and note Paul Strangio and Nick Dyrenfurth (editors), Confusion: The Making of the Australian Two-Party System, (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 2009, ISBN 9780522856552).
References: J.R. Odgers, Australian Senate Practice, 5th edition (Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service, 1976); a more recent version is online here [accessed 20 May 2020]; and note Stanley Bach, Platypus and Parliament: The Australian Senate in Theory and Practice (Canberra: Department of the Senate, 2003), online here [accessed 21 May 2020].
Colin A Hughes and B D Graham, A Handbook of Australian Government and Politics 1890-1964, (Canberra; Australian National University Press, 1968 SBN 708112700); Commonwealth Parliament, Department of the Senate.