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Australian federal election, 1943


Australian federal election, 1943

Australian federal election, 1943

21 August 1943

All 74 seats in the Australian House of Representatives
38 seats were needed for a majority in the House
19 (of the 36) seats in the Australian Senate
  First party Second party
Leader John Curtin Arthur Fadden
Party Labor Country/UAP coalition
Leader since 1 October 1935 (1935-10-01) 29 August 1941 (1941-08-29)
Leader's seat Fremantle Darling Downs
Last election 32 seats 37 seats
Seats won 49 seats 19 seats
Seat change Increase17 Decrease18
Percentage 58.20% 41.80%
Swing Increase7.90% Decrease7.90%

Prime Minister before election

John Curtin

Elected Prime Minister

John Curtin

Federal elections were held in Australia on 21 August 1943. 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 John Curtin defeated, in a still-existing record landslide by both two-party vote and swing, the opposition Country Party led by Arthur Fadden and coalition partner the United Australia Party led by Billy Hughes.

Although the UAP was the nominal senior partner in the Coalition, it found itself bereft of leadership following the forced resignation of its leader, Robert Menzies. Hughes succeeded him as UAP leader, but at the age of 77 was too old and frail to be a wartime Prime Minister. Country Party leader Fadden was thus forced to take over as Prime Minister, but only stayed in office for six weeks before two independents joined Labor in voting down his budget. Governor-General Lord Gowrie was reluctant to call an election for a Parliament barely a year old, especially considering the international situation. At his urging, the independents threw their support to Labor for the remainder of the parliamentary term.

Over the next two years, Curtin proved to be a very popular and effective leader, and the Coalition was unable to get the better of him. Labor thus went into the election in a strong position, and scored an 18-seat swing. Notably, the Coalition was completely shut out in Western Australia, and lost all but one of its seats in South Australia.

This election was significant in the fact that it resulted in the election of the first female member of the House of Representatives, Enid Lyons, and the first female Senator, Dorothy Tangney. The election remains Labor's greatest federal victory in terms of proportion of seats and two party preferred votes in the lower house, and primary vote in the Senate.

House of Reps (IRV) — 1943–46 — Turnout 96.32% (CV) — Informal 2.89%
  Party Votes % Swing Seats Change
  Australian Labor Party 2,058,578 49.94 +9.78 49 +17 (1 elected
  United Australia Party 661,750 16.05 −14.17 12 −11
  Country Party 287,000 6.96 −6.74 7 −7
  Country-National Party (QLD) 166,419 4.04 * 3 +3
  Liberal Country Party (VIC) 145,665 3.53 * 1 +1
  One Parliament for Australia 87,112 2.11 * 0 0
  Country Party (QLD) 61,196 1.48 * 1 +1
  State Labor Party 29,752 0.72 −1.89 0 0
  Independents 501,054 12.15 +4.08 1 0
  Other 123,965 3.01 0 −4
  Total 4,122,491     74
  Australian Labor Party WIN 58.20 +7.90 49 +17
  Country/UAP coalition 41.80 −7.90 19 −17
Independent: Arthur Coles (Henty, Vic)
Senate (PBV) — 1943–46 — Turnout 96.31% (CV) — Informal 9.73%
  Party Votes % Swing Seats Won Seats Held Change
  Australian Labor Party 2,139,164 55.09 +17.57 19 22 +5
  Country/UAP (Joint Ticket) 995,910 25.65 −18.05 0
  Country-National Party (QLD) 184,181 4.74 * 0 0 0
  Liberal & Country League (SA) 148,419 3.82 * 0 0 0
  Nationalist Country Party (WA) 101,738 2.62 * 0 0 0
  Christian New Order (NSW) 101,247 2.61 * 0 0 0
  Country Party 37,350 0.96 * 0 2 −2
  United Australia Party * * −6.71 0 12 −3
  Other 175,161 4.51 0 0 0
  Total 3,883,170     19 36


  • Seats changing hands 1
  • See also 2
  • Notes 3
  • References 4

Seats changing hands

Seat Pre-1943 Swing Post-1943
Party Member Margin Margin Member Party
Adelaide, SA   United Australia Fred Stacey 4.7 20.3 15.6 Cyril Chambers Labor  
Barker, SA   Country Archie Cameron* N/A 14.2 1.7 Archie Cameron United Australia  
Boothby, SA   United Australia Grenfell Price 6.6 16.1 0.9 Thomas Sheehy Labor  
Denison, Tas   United Australia Arthur Beck 1.1 10.1 9.0 John Gaha Labor  
Eden-Monaro, NSW   United Australia John Perkins 4.8 10.8 5.4 Allan Fraser Labor  
Grey, SA   Country Oliver Badman* 7.7 10.2 2.5 Edgar Russell Labor  
Hume, NSW   Country Thomas Collins 0.9 7.2 6.3 Arthur Fuller Labor  
Lilley, Qld   United Australia William Jolly 9.6 9.9 0.4 James Hadley Labor  
Maranoa, Qld   Labor Frank Baker 1.6 2.6 1.0 Charles Adermann Country  
Martin, NSW   United Australia William McCall 2.6 8.3 5.7 Fred Daly Labor  
Parkes, NSW   United Australia Charles Marr 7.4 10.3 2.9 Les Haylen Labor  
Perth, WA   United Australia Walter Nairn 14.5 20.5 6.0 Tom Burke Labor  
Robertson, NSW   United Australia Eric Spooner 0.3 9.2 8.9 Thomas Williams Labor  
Swan, WA   Country Thomas Marwick* 7.5 10.5 3.0 Don Mountjoy Labor  
Wakefield, SA   United Australia Jack Duncan-Hughes 3.4 4.6 1.2 Albert Smith Labor  
  • *Oliver Badman and Archie Cameron ran as candidates for the UAP, Thomas Marwick ran as an independent.

See also



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