Election held on 16 December 1922
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||715,219||45.70||+2.86||11||57.89||11||57.89||12||33.33|
|Nationalist Party (Nationalists)||567,084||36.23||-10.16||8||42.11||8||42.11||24||66.67|
|Liberal Party (SA)||43,706||2.79||*||0|
|Votes for other than listed parties||3,813||0.24||-0.22|
* 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 1922 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 1922 House of Representatives results can be seen here.
An additional senator had to be elected for Queensland to fill a casual vacancy; note Narelle Miragliotta & Campbell Sharman, 'Managing Midterm Vacancies: Institutional Design and Partisan Strategy in the Australian Parliament 1901–2013', Australian Journal of Political Science, 52(3) 2017: 351-366.
Electoral system: A preferental voting system had been adopted for Senate elections under the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1919 (No.31 of 1919) with each state being a multimember district. Section 7 provided that, for a valid ballot paper, voters had to rank at least one more than twice as many candidates as there were vacancies to be filled, and could rank more if they wished. This was a form of optional preferential voting; for the half-Senate election of 1922, it meant each voter had to rank at least 7 candidates (9 for Queensland voters).
Ballot design: Important changes were made to the Senate ballot papers for this election by the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1922 (No.14 of 1922). The previous single list of candidates had made it hard for voters to vote for a party ticket unless they knew the surnames of the relevant candidates. In the 1922 Electoral Act, section 4 permitted candidates to be grouped, implicitly by party, although the basis of the grouping was not specified. Candidates within each group were listed alphabetically. Those candidates who ran as Independents were in a separate, unmarked, group at the bottom of the ballot paper.
Section 11 of the 1922 Act stipulated that the groups were to be printed in the order of the average alphabetical value of the surnames in each group (see section 11(c)(i)-(iii) for the method of calculation). The groups were then printed on the ballot paper as groups A, B, C, ... so that the ballot paper looked like the model set out in section 28 Form E. Again, there was no explicit reference to party names so that voters had to rely on election publicity and party how-to-vote cards to find out the party affiliation of the groups.
Parties: The perceived urban bias of the existing federal parties reinforced the belief of some rural groups that neither the Labor Party nor the Nationalists represented the interests of many non-metropolitan voters. This movement led to the creation of the Country Party; the prospect of third party competition at federal elections had prompted the adoption of preferental voting systems for the House of Representatives and the Senate (see preceding note).
In the national summary for this Senate election in 1922, the Country Party increased its share of the Senate vote but was unsuccessful in winning a seat in the Senate; for the emergence of the Country Party, see B D Graham, The Formation of the Australian Country Parties, (Canberra: Australian National University Press, 1966), available for download here.
The votes listed for the Liberal Party (SA) in the table above were the result of a split in the Nationalist Party in that state: 'In South Australia the Liberal Party broke with the ex-National Labor-dominated Nationalists to run its own candidates.' Hughes and Graham, p.325 (see 'Sources', below).
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.