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Australian federal election, 1946

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Title: Australian federal election, 1946  
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Subject: Ben Chifley, Robert Menzies, List of Australian federal elections, Electoral results for the Division of Franklin, Liberal Party of Australia
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Australian federal election, 1946

Australian federal election, 1946

28 September 1946

All 76 seats of the Australian House of Representatives
39 seats were needed for a majority in the House
19 (of the 36) seats of the Australian Senate
  First party Second party
Leader Ben Chifley Robert Menzies
Party Labor Liberal/Country coalition
Leader since 13 July 1945 23 September 1943
Leader's seat Macquarie Kooyong
Last election 49 seats 19 seats
Seats won 43 seats 26 seats
Seat change Decrease6 Increase7
Percentage 54.10% 45.90%
Swing Decrease4.10 Increase4.10

Prime Minister before election

Ben Chifley

Elected Prime Minister

Ben Chifley

Federal elections were held in Australia on 28 September 1946. All 74 seats in the House of Representatives, and 19 of the 36 seats in the Senate were up for election. The incumbent Australian Labor Party led by Prime Minister of Australia Ben Chifley defeated the newly formed opposition Liberal Party of Australia (descended from the United Australia Party) led by its founder Robert Menzies with coalition partner the Country Party led by Arthur Fadden, with Labor also retaining control of the Senate.

The election was held in conjunction with three referendum questions, one of which was carried.

The radical reforming nature of Chifley's government was such that between 1946 and 1949, the Australian Parliament passed 299 Acts, a record up until then, well beyond Labor's Andrew Fisher's 113 Acts from 1910 to 1913.

House of Reps (IRV) — 1946–49—Turnout 93.97% (CV) — Informal 2.45%
  Party Votes % Swing Seats Change
  Australian Labor Party 2,159,953 49.71 −0.22 43 −6
  Liberal Party of Australia 1,241,650 28.58 +12.53 15 +3
  Country Party 464,737 10.70 +3.73 11 +4
  Liberal & Country League (SA) 161,170 3.71 * 2 +2
  Lang Labor 69,138 1.59 +0.87 1 +1
  Liberal Country Party (VIC) 28,999 0.67 −2.87 1 0
  Independents 79,452 1.83 −10.33 1 0
  Other 139,645 3.21 0 −4
  Total     74
  Australian Labor Party WIN 54.10 −4.10 43 −6
  Liberal/Country coalition 45.90 +4.10 26 +7
Independent: Doris Blackburn
Senate (P BV) — 1946–49—Turnout 93.97% (CV) — Informal 8.01%
  Party Votes % Swing Seats Won Seats Held Change
  Australian Labor Party 2,133,272 52.06 −3.02 16 33 +11
  Liberal/Country (Joint Ticket) 1,561,718 38.12 +12.47 3
  Liberal Party of Australia 213,304 5.21 * 0 2 −10
  Country Party * * −0.96 0 1 −1
  Other 189,032 4.61 0 0 0
  Total 4,097,326     19 36


  • Seats changing hands 1
  • See also 2
  • References 3

Seats changing hands

Seat Pre-1946 Swing Post-1946
Party Member Margin Margin Member Party
Bourke, Vic   Labor Bill Bryson 3.6 4.7 1.1 Doris Blackburn Independent  
Calare, NSW   Labor John Breen 9.9 11.7 1.8 John Howse Liberal  
Capricornia, Qld   Labor Frank Forde 5.9 8.8 2.9 Charles Davidson Liberal  
Franklin, Tas   Labor Charles Frost 9.9 10.0 0.1 Bill Falkinder Liberal  
Henty, Vic   Independent Arthur Coles 5.5 9.8 4.3 Jo Gullett Liberal  
Reid, NSW   Labor Charles Morgan N/A 7.4 4.2 Jack Lang Lang Labor  
Swan, WA   Labor Don Mountjoy 3.0 3.2 0.2 Len Hamilton Country  
Wakefield, SA   Labor Albert Smith 1.2 3.9 2.7 Philip McBride Liberal  
Wilmot, Tas   Liberal Allan Guy 1.7 3.4 1.7 Gil Duthie Labor  
  • Members in italics did not contest their seat at this election.

See also


  • University of WA election results in Australia since 1890
  • Two-party-preferred vote since 1937
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