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PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION SOCIETY OF AUSTRALIA

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www.prsa.org.au

2015-03-11

 

 

Lopsided Results of Senate Elections before Proportional Representation began in 1949:
Percentage of Votes for Largest Party, versus Percentage of Seats

 

The 2 most fatal flaws of the two non-PR systems used before 1949, as indicated by shading below, were:


  (a) 6 majorities of seats won with minorities of the national vote (1903, 1906, 1910, 1913, 1922 & 1937), &


  (b) 5 cases where a single party won all Senate vacancies Australia-wide, but never gained more than 56% of the national vote, shown in bold italics.

System

Year

Area

Largest Party or Group

% of  First Pref. Vote

% of Senate seats

Seats out of Total

Non-ALP Strength in Full Senate of 36 Senators

Mixed (State electoral laws applied)

1901

Australia

Non-ALP

89.4%

83%

30/36

30



MULTI-MEMBER

PLURALITY
(first-past-the-post)

bloc vote

1903

Australia

ALP

33.0%

56%

10/18

20

1906

Australia

Anti-socialist

47.4%

61%

11/18

21

1910

Australia

ALP

50.3%

100%

18/18

13

1910

VICTORIA

ALP

48.4%

100%

3/3

 -

1913

Australia

ALP

48.7%

61%

11/18

  7

1914

Australia

ALP

52.1%

86%

31/36

  5

1917

Australia

Nationalist

55.4%

100%

18/18

24

 






MULTI-MEMBER
MAJORITY-PREFERENTIAL
bloc vote

 

 

 

 

1919

Australia

Nationalist

46.5%

95%

17/18

  35*

1922

Australia

ALP

45.7%

61%

11/18

24

1925

Australia

Non-ALP

54.8%

100%

18/18

27

1928

Australia

Non-ALP

51.0%

63%

12/19

29

1931

Australia

Non-ALP

55.4%

83%

15/18

26

1934

Australia

Non-ALP

58.7%

100%

18/18

33

1937

Australia

ALP

48.5%

84%

16/19

20

1940

Australia

Non-ALP

50.4%

83%

15/18

19

1943

Australia

ALP

55.1%

100%

18/18

14

1946

Australia

ALP

52.1%

83%

15/18

  3

* The only ALP senator during 1920-23 was Senator Hon. Albert Gardiner, senator for New South Wales. All the other 35 senators
belonged to the Nationalist Party, led by the Prime Minister, the Right Honorable William Hughes MHR.

 

For voting summaries nationally, and by States, for each of the elections above, and later, click here.