All 150 seats in the House of Representatives
76 seats were needed for a majority in the House
40 (of the 76) seats in the Senate
The 2010 Australian federal election was held on Saturday, 21 August 2010 to elect members of the 43rd Parliament of Australia. The incumbent centre-left Australian Labor Party led by Prime Minister Julia Gillard won a second term against the opposition centre-right Liberal Party of Australia led by Opposition Leader Tony Abbott and Coalition partner the National Party of Australia, led by Warren Truss, after Labor formed a minority government with the support of three independent MPs and one Australian Greens MP. As of 2020 this remains the last federal election victory for the Labor party.
Labor and the Coalition each won 72 seats in the 150-seat House of Representatives, four short of the requirement for majority government, resulting in the first hung parliament since the 1940 election. Six crossbenchers held the balance of power. Greens MP Adam Bandt and independent MPs Andrew Wilkie, Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor declared their support for Labor on confidence and supply. Independent MP Bob Katter and National Party of Western Australia MP Tony Crook declared their support for the Coalition on confidence and supply. The resulting 76–74 margin entitled Labor to form a minority government. The Prime Minister, government ministers and parliamentary secretaries were sworn in on 14 September 2010 by the Governor-General Quentin Bryce. In November 2011, Coalition MP and Deputy Speaker Peter Slipper replaced Labor MP Harry Jenkins as Speaker of the House of Representatives, increasing Labor's parliamentary majority from 76–74 to 77–73.
In the 76-seat Senate, the Greens won one seat in each of the six states, gaining the sole balance of power with a total of nine seats, after previously holding a shared balance of power with the Family First Party and independent Nick Xenophon. The Coalition was reduced from 37 to 34 and Labor was reduced from 32 to 31. The two remaining seats were occupied by Xenophon and Victoria's new Democratic Labor Party Senator John Madigan. Family First Party Senator Steve Fielding was defeated. These changes took effect in the Senate on 1 July 2011.
More than 13 million Australians were enrolled to vote at the time of the election. Australia has compulsory voting (since 1925) and uses preferential ballot (since 1919) in single-member seats for the House of Representatives and single transferable vote (since 1949) with optional group voting tickets (since 1984) in the proportionally represented Senate. The election was conducted by the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC).
|Australian Labor Party||4,711,363||37.99||−5.40||72||−11|
|Liberal Party of Australia||3,777,383||30.46||+0.76||44||−11|
|Liberal National Party (QLD)||1,130,525||9.12||+0.60||21||+21|
|National Party of Australia||419,286||3.43||−0.04||6||−4|
|Country Liberal Party (NT)||38,335||0.31||−0.01||1||+1|
|National Party (WA)[nb 1]||43,101||0.34||+0.20||1||+1|
|Australian Labor Party||6,216,445||50.12||−2.58||72||−11|
Labor and the Coalition each won 72 seats in the 150-seat House of Representatives, a loss of eleven and a gain of seven respectively. Labor retained a majority of seats in a majority of states against the Coalition − New South Wales (26 to 20), Victoria (22 to 14), South Australia (6 to 5), and Tasmania (4 to 0), but fell sharply in Queensland (8 to 21) with a pre-existing minority in Western Australia (3 to 11). Labor won their largest two-party preferred vote in Victoria and Tasmania since official two-party records began in 1949, and in South Australia, their fourth-largest.
On the crossbench, one member of the Australian Greens, one member of the National Party of Western Australia and four independent members held the balance of power. After gaining the support of four crossbenchers Labor was able to form a minority government.
On the crossbenches:
A year after the election, The Age summarised the collective positions of the crossbenchers as one of "no regrets". On 24 November 2011, the Coalition's Peter Slipper replaced Labor's Harry Jenkins as Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives, increasing Labor's parliamentary majority from 75–74 to 76–73. On 21 January 2012 Andrew Wilkie withdrew his support for Labor, changing the majority to 75–73.
|Party||Votes||%||Swing||Seats won||Continuing senators||Total seats||Change|
|Australian Labor Party||4,469,734||35.13||–5.17||15||16||31||–1|
|Family First Party||267,493||2.10||+0.48||0||–||0||–1|
|Democratic Labor Party||134,987||1.06||+0.14||1||–||1||+1|
The Senate has 76 seats. Forty seats were up for election; six in each of the six states and two in each of the two territories. The terms of the four senators from the territories commenced on election day, all other terms took effect from 1 July 2011. The Coalition holds 34 seats and Labor holds 31 seats, with the balance of power shifting solely to the Australian Greens with nine seats, after previously holding a shared balance of power with the Family First Party and independent Nick Xenophon. The Labor government requires the support of at least eight non-Labor Senators to pass legislation.
Labor and the Coalition incurred swings against them in votes and seats. The Greens received a four percent swing and won a seat in each of the six states at the election, a first for an Australian minor party. John Madigan (Victoria) of the Democratic Labor Party won a seat, while Steve Fielding (Victoria) of the Family First Party lost his seat. Xenophon was not required to stand at this election but will be up for re-election at the next. Minor parties not winning a seat but receiving a notable swing include the Australian Sex Party (+2.0), the Liberal Democratic Party (+1.7) and the Shooters and Fishers Party (+1.4).
Members in italics did not re-contest their House of Representatives seats at this election. Six notional boundary redistributed seats were contested at this election. Based on booths contested at the previous election, the seats redistributed by the AEC from being marginal Coalition seats to marginal Labor seats – Dickson, Gilmore, Herbert, Macarthur and Swan – were all retained by the Coalition. Greenway was redistributed to become a marginal to fairly safe Labor seat, and was retained by Labor.
|Bennelong, NSW||Labor||Maxine McKew||1.40||4.52||3.12||John Alexander||Liberal|
|Bonner, Qld||Labor||Kerry Rea||5.47||7.35||2.82||Ross Vasta||Liberal National|
|Brisbane, Qld||Labor||Arch Bevis||4.60||5.73||1.13||Teresa Gambaro||Liberal National|
|Dawson, Qld||Labor||James Bidgood||2.59||5.02||2.43||George Christensen||Liberal National|
|Denison, Tas||Labor||Duncan Kerr||15.29||N/A||1.21||Andrew Wilkie||Independent|
|Flynn, Qld||Labor||Chris Trevor||2.24||5.82||3.58||Ken O'Dowd||Liberal National|
|Forde, Qld||Labor||Brett Raguse||3.36||4.99||1.63||Bert van Manen||Liberal National|
|Hasluck, WA||Labor||Sharryn Jackson||0.85||1.42||0.57||Ken Wyatt||Liberal|
|La Trobe, Vic||Liberal||Jason Wood||0.51||1.42||0.91||Laura Smyth||Labor|
|Leichhardt, Qld||Labor||Jim Turnour||4.06||8.61||4.55||Warren Entsch||Liberal National|
|Longman, Qld||Labor||Jon Sullivan||1.87||3.79||1.92||Wyatt Roy||Liberal National|
|Macquarie, NSW||Labor||Bob Debus||0.28||1.49||1.21||Louise Markus||Liberal|
|Melbourne, Vic||Labor||Lindsay Tanner||4.71||10.75||6.04||Adam Bandt||Greens|
|McEwen, Vic||Liberal||Fran Bailey||0.02||5.34||5.32||Rob Mitchell||Labor|
|O'Connor, WA||Liberal||Wilson Tuckey||12.76||N/A||3.56||Tony Crook||Nationals WA|
|Solomon, NT||Labor||Damian Hale||0.19||1.94||1.75||Natasha Griggs||Country Liberal|
The Labor Party, led by Julia Gillard, and the Liberal Party, led by Tony Abbott, were the predominant parties to contest the election. The smaller National Party led by Warren Truss is in a coalition with the Liberal Party. Following the 2007 federal election, the 150-member Australian House of Representatives consisted of 83 Labor-held seats, 65 Coalition seats (55 Liberal and 10 National), and two seats held by independents. The Australian Greens won 8 per cent of the 2007 vote, and the Family First Party won 2 per cent, with the Greens winning 1 seat in the lower house.
The coalition total was reduced to 64 seats when Rob Oakeshott, former state Nationals turned independent MP, won the seat of Lyne at the September 2008 Lyne by-election, resulting from the resignation of former Howard minister and Nationals leader Mark Vaile. The April 2008 Gippsland by-election, resulting from the resignation of the former Howard minister and Nationals MP Peter McGauran, saw the Nationals' Darren Chester retain the seat, receiving a swing of 6%. The Liberals suffered a swing in the September 2008 Mayo by-election resulting from the resignation of former Howard minister and Liberal leader Alexander Downer, and came close to losing the seat to the Greens candidate. The Liberals retained seats at the Bradfield and Higgins by-elections in December 2009. The member for Ryan, Michael Johnson, was expelled from the Liberal National Party on 20 May 2010, reducing the Coalition to 63 seats.
Since the previous national election in 2007 there were a number of redistributions. These realignments of electorate boundaries are regularly undertaken by the Australian Electoral Commission and they maintain similar voter numbers in each electorate. They saw Labor's notional number of seats increase to 88 with the coalition's notional number decreased to 59, with independents in three. The swing required by the opposition to win majority government had decreased by approximately 0.1 percent.
The redistribution of electoral divisions for Western Australia made the Liberal held Swan notionally Labor, and vastly changed Kalgoorlie and O'Connor, with the former being safer for the Liberals, and the latter becoming more marginal. Kalgoorlie was also renamed Durack. The redistribution also damaged the WA Nationals' chances of a House of Representatives seat. Tasmania was also redistributed but, while there were some changes to boundaries, little changed in terms of seat margins.
New South Wales lost a seat to Queensland due to population changes for the second election in a row. The Labor Party suggested the abolition of the marginal Liberal seat of Macarthur, while the Liberal Party suggested that Liberal-held Hume and National-held Riverina be merged to create a new seat called "Bradman" in honour of Sir Donald Bradman. The National Party suggested the abolition of the Labor-held city seat of Banks. The draft New South Wales redistribution, published in August 2009, proposed that Reid be abolished and that Lowe be renamed "McMahon" in honour of former Prime Minister Sir William McMahon. In response to widespread criticism of the abolition of the name "Reid", the finalised redistribution, published in October 2009, instead had Lowe renamed "Reid" and Prospect replaced with McMahon. Boundary changes also resulted in the Liberal seats of Macarthur, Greenway and Gilmore becoming notionally Labor-held, with major changes to other seats, including Calare, Parkes and Macquarie.
In Queensland, the seat of Wright was created as a Liberal-held seat based on the Gold Coast hinterland. The redistribution saw the status of Blair change from marginal Labor to a safe Labor seat. The status of marginal Liberal seats Dickson and Herbert also changed to marginal Labor seats.
In the 76-member Australian Senate, from July 2008 to June 2011, the Labor and Liberal parties hold 32 seats each, and the Liberals' coalition partner, the National Party (including one CLP), five seats. The balance of power rests with the crossbench, consisting of:
For a majority, the government requires an additional seven votes from non-Labor senators. If the Liberal Party chooses to vote with the Labor Party, support from the crossbench is not required.
Forty seats in the Senate were up for election:
The party composition of these 40 senators whose terms will expire is:
These seats are listed in order of election for the six states and two territories:
|Bill Heffernan (Lib)
Steve Hutchins (ALP)
Concetta F.-Wells (Lib)
John Faulkner (ALP)
Fiona Nash (Nat)
Michael Forshaw (ALP)
|Michael Ronaldson (Lib)
Kim Carr (ALP)
Julian McGauran (Lib)
Stephen Conroy (ALP)
Judith Troeth (Lib)
Steve Fielding (FFP)
|Brett Mason (Lib)
Jan McLucas (ALP)
George Brandis (Lib)
Joe Ludwig (ALP)
Barnaby Joyce (Nat)
Russell Trood (Lib)
|Chris Back (Lib)
Chris Evans (ALP)
Mathias Cormann (Lib)
Glenn Sterle (ALP)
Judith Adams (Lib)
Rachel Siewert (Grn)
|Nick Minchin (Lib)
Anne McEwen (ALP)
Mary Jo Fisher (Lib)
Annette Hurley (ALP)
Alan Ferguson (Lib)
Dana Wortley (ALP)
|Eric Abetz (Lib)
Kerry O'Brien (ALP)
Guy Barnett (Lib)
Helen Polley (ALP)
Stephen Parry (Lib)
Christine Milne (Grn)
|Kate Lundy (ALP)
Gary Humphries (Lib)
|Trish Crossin (ALP)|
Nigel Scullion (CLP)
The election-eve Newspoll of over 2000 voters reported Labor on a 50.2 percent two-party-preferred vote. A post-election Newspoll taken 27–29 August 2010 of 1134 voters revealed 47 percent wanted a Gillard Labor government, to 39 percent for an Abbott Coalition government, while 14 percent were uncommitted. There was no difference between male and female voters. Ages 18–34 and 34–49 were even stronger for Labor, while those above 50 bucked the trend preferring the Coalition 45 percent to 40 percent.
A JWS Research "mega-poll" was conducted by robocall late in the campaign and published by Fairfax. It polled an Australian record of 22,000 voters in 54 marginal seats and a further 6,000 in safe seats. It revealed a national two-party-preferred vote for Labor of 51.6 percent. Losses in Queensland and New South Wales were offset by the gains of Dunkley, McEwen (both 57 percent for Labor), and Cowper and Boothby (both 54 percent for Labor), finishing with a total of 79 Labor, 68 coalition, 3 independent.
The graph shows a timeline of the estimates by three main polling companies – Roy Morgan (green), Nielsen (blue), and Newspoll (red) – of the two-party-preferred vote for Labor from January 2008 to 20 July 2010. The pink dot on the left side represents the actual 2PP vote for Labor in the November 2007 election.
The graph shows a timeline of Newspoll's estimates of the primary vote for Labor (red), the Coalition (blue), the Greens (green), and other parties or independent candidates (magenta) from 2007 to 2010. The four dots on the left side represent the actual vote for each party in the November 2007 election.
|17–19 Aug 2010||50%||37%|
|13–15 Aug 2010||50%||35%|
|6–8 Aug 2010||49%||34%|
|30 Jul – 1 August 2010||50%||35%|
|23–25 Jul 2010||50%||34%|
|16–18 Jul 2010||57%||27%|
|25–27 Jun 2010||53%||29%|
|18–20 Jun 2010||46%||37%|
|28–30 May 2010||49%||33%|
|14–16 May 2010||49%||33%|
|30 Apr – 2 May 2010||50%||32%|
|16–18 Apr 2010||56%||29%|
|26–28 Mar 2010||59%||27%|
|12–14 Mar 2010||55%||30%|
|26–28 Feb 2010||55%||30%|
|12–14 Feb 2010||55%||27%|
|29–31 Jan 2010||58%||26%|
|15–17 Jan 2010||57%||25%|
|4–6 Dec 2009||60%||23%|
|27–29 Nov 2009||65%||14%|
|13–15 Nov 2009||63%||22%|
|30 Oct – 1 November 2009||63%||19%|
|16–18 Oct 2009||65%||19%|
|28 Sep – 1 October 2009||67%||18%|
|Polling conducted by Newspoll and published in The Australian.|
^Remainder were "uncommitted".
|17–19 Aug 2010||44%||43%||42%||50%|
|13–15 Aug 2010||44%||38%||43%||46%|
|6–8 Aug 2010||43%||41%||41%||49%|
|30 Jul – 1 August 2010||42%||40%||44%||46%|
|23–25 Jul 2010||41%||37%||40%||46%|
|16–18 Jul 2010||48%||29%||36%||51%|
|25–27 Jun 2010||N/A (new)||N/A (new)||42%||41%|
|18–20 Jun 2010||36%||55%||38%||49%|
|28–30 May 2010||36%||54%||37%||49%|
|14–16 May 2010||39%||51%||42%||45%|
|30 Apr – 2 May 2010||39%||50%||45%||43%|
|16–18 Apr 2010||50%||41%||46%||40%|
|26–28 Mar 2010||51%||39%||44%||43%|
|12–14 Mar 2010||48%||41%||47%||38%|
|26–28 Feb 2010||51%||40%||48%||38%|
|12–14 Feb 2010||50%||40%||44%||37%|
|29–31 Jan 2010||50%||38%||41%||39%|
|15–17 Jan 2010||52%||34%||40%||35%|
|4–6 Dec 2009||58%||32%||N/A (new)||N/A (new)|
|27–29 Nov 2009||56%||34%||36%||50%|
|13–15 Nov 2009||56%||34%||34%||50%|
|30 Oct – 1 November 2009||59%||32%||32%||51%|
|16–18 Oct 2009||63%||28%||32%||54%|
|28 Sep – 1 October 2009||67%||21%||33%||48%|
|Polling conducted by Newspoll and published in The Australian.|
^Remainder were "uncommitted".
|The Age||Labor||The Sunday Age||Labor|
|The Australian||Liberal||The Weekend Australian||Liberal|
|The Australian Financial Review||Liberal|
|The Canberra Times||Labor|
|The Courier-Mail||Liberal National||The Sunday Mail||Liberal National|
|The Daily Telegraph||Liberal||The Sunday Telegraph||Labor|
|The Herald Sun||Liberal||Sunday Herald Sun||Labor|
|The Mercury||Labor|
|Northern Territory News||Labor|
|The Sydney Morning Herald||Labor|
|The West Australian||Liberal|
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