ID 0761

Commonwealth Parliament, Senate election

Election of 10 December 1949

Show only vote and seat summary details

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General election for the Senate
Commonwealth of Australia
Date of election
10 December 1949
Type of Senate election
Half Senate (enlarged) with House of Representatives

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)
Prime Minister's party affiliation
Australian Labor Party
Government majority in Senate at date of election
Change of government
Government majority in new Senate
If coalition, coalition partner(s)

Senate enrolment and voting

Total number of voters on the roll
Total ballots cast (may differ from number of votes in multiple voting systems)
Turnout (rate of voting in contested seats)
Total valid votes
Rate of informal (invalid) voting

Electoral composition of the Senate for this election

Total number of seats in the Senate
Total number of seats for each state
Number of seats for each territory
Seats to be filled at this Senate election
Casual vacancies/additional seats included in seats to be filled
Electoral System
Adult franchise at 21 years; multimember districts; proportional representation by the single transferable vote method (STV); compulsory preferences; compulsory voting

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

Display Chart

Election held on 10 December 1949
Criteria for the inclusion of parties in this table are set out in the Glossary under 'listed party'

* to view table drag left or right.
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   1,881,956  44.89  -7.18  19  45.24  19  45.24  34  56.67 
Liberal Party - Country Party (joint ticket)  1,871,849  44.65  +6.53  16  38.10         
Liberal Party  241,598  5.76  +0.56  16.67  19  45.24  21  35.00 
Communist Party   87,958  2.10           
Country Party            9.52  8.33 
Votes for other than listed parties 109,164 2.60 -2.01             
Totals 4,192,525  100.00    42  100.00  42  100.00  60  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.


In the table above, see the Glossary distinctions between Seats won by ticket and Seats won by party, and between Seats won by party and Seats held by party.

The increase in the membership of the Senate from 36 to 60 members (an increase from 6 to 10 senators from each state) required the election of 7 senators from each state at the 1949 election (3 existing Senate vacancies in each state and an additional 4 vacancies to bring each state delegation of senators to 10). Regular half Senate elections from 1951 until the Senate was enlarged again in 1984 would be for 5 senators from each state (not including any casual vacancies until the method for fill such vacancies was changed by constitutional amendment in 1977).

The 1949 election was the first to use proportional representation by the single transferable vote method for the election of senators.


Colin A Hughes and B D Graham, A Handbook of Australian Government and Politics 1890-1964, Canberra; Australian National University Press, 1968 (SBN 708102700); Gerard Newman, Federal Election Results 1949-2001, Canberra: Commonwealth Parliament, Department of the Parliamentary Library, Information and Research Services, Research Paper 9 2001-02, 2002 (ISSN 1328 7478).