1919 Australian federal election

Federal elections were held in Australia on 13 December 1919. All 75 seats in the House of Representatives, and 19 of the 36 seats in the Senate were up for election. The incumbent Nationalist Party, led by Prime Minister Billy Hughes, defeated the opposition Labor Party led by Frank Tudor.

The government changed the lower-house voting system from first-past-the-post to full-preference preferential voting after the 1918 Swan by-election saw a split in the vote between Nationalist and Country Party candidates, causing Labor with the largest primary vote to unexpectedly win the by-election. Full-preference preferential voting has remained in place since, allowing the non-Labor parties to safely contest the same seats.[1]

The election was held in conjunction with two referendum questions, neither of which was carried.

Future Prime Minister Earle Page entered parliament at this election. This was the first federal election that future Prime Minister Stanley Bruce contested as a member of parliament, having entered parliament at the 1918 Flinders by-election.

Australian federal election, 1919

13 December 1919

All 75 seats in the House of Representatives
38 seats were needed for a majority in the House
19 (of the 36) seats in the Senate
  Billy Hughes 1919 Franktudor
Leader Billy Hughes Frank Tudor
Party Nationalist Labor
Leader since 14 November 1916 14 November 1916
Leader's seat Bendigo (Vic.) Yarra (Vic.)
Last election 53 seats 22 seats
Seats won 37 seats 26 seats
Seat change Decrease16 Increase4
Percentage 54.10% 45.90%

Prime Minister before election

Billy Hughes

Subsequent Prime Minister

Billy Hughes


House of Representatives

Australian House of Representatives, 1919
  Labour: 25 seats
  Nationalist: 37 seats
  Country: 11 seats
  Independent: 2 seats
House of Reps (IRV) — 1919–22—Turnout 71.59% (Non-CV) — Informal 3.47%
Party Votes % Swing Seats Change
  Nationalist 860,519 45.07 −9.15 37 −16
  Labor 811,244 42.49 −1.45 25 +3
  Country Party (state-based) 176,884 9.26 +9.26 11 +11
  Industrial Socialist Labor 3,637 0.19 +0.19 0 0
  Independents 56,947 2.98 +1.13 2 +2
  Total 1,909,231     75
Two-party-preferred (estimated)
  Nationalist WIN 54.10 N/A 37 −16
  Labor 45.90 N/A 26 +4
Popular Vote
Two Party Preferred Vote
Parliament Seats


Senate (P BV) — 1919–22—Turnout 71.33% (Non-CV) — Informal 8.61%
Party Votes % Swing Seats Won Seats Held Change
  Nationalist 861,990 46.40 −8.97 18 35 +11
  Labor 795,858 42.84 −0.89 1 1 −11
  Country (state-based) 163,293 8.79 +8.79 0 0 0
  Socialist 10,508 0.57 +0.06 0 0 0
  Independent 26,374 1.42 +1.03 0 0 0
  Total  1,857,823     19 36

Seats changing hands

Seat Pre-1919 Swing Post-1919
Party Member Margin Margin Member Party
Adelaide, SA   Labor George Edwin Yates 100.0 50.8 0.8 Reginald Blundell Nationalist  
Angas, SA   Nationalist Paddy Glynn 0.8 1.5 0.7 Moses Gabb Labor  
Ballaarat, Vic   Labor Charles McGrath 100.0 50.0 0.0 Edwin Kerby Nationalist  
Barrier, NSW   Labor Michael Considine N/A 53.8 3.8 Michael Considine Independent  
Brisbane, Qld   Labor William Finlayson 0.0 1.0 1.0 Donald Charles Cameron Nationalist  
Calare, NSW   Nationalist Henry Pigott 1.8 4.1 2.3 Thomas Lavelle Labor  
Cowper, NSW   Nationalist John Thomson 100.0 71.6 21.6 Earle Page Farmers & Settlers  
Grampians, Vic   Nationalist Edmund Jowett 4.8 N/A 8.2 Edmund Jowett Victorian Farmers  
Gwydir, NSW   Nationalist William Webster 6.5 9.7 3.2 Lou Cunningham Labor  
Henty, Vic   Nationalist James Boyd 20.6 23.2 2.9 Frederick Francis Independent  
Hindmarsh, SA   Nationalist William Archibald 5.8 7.2 1.4 Norman Makin Labor  
Hume, NSW   Nationalist Franc Falkiner 1.9 9.4 7.5 Parker Moloney Labor  
Indi, Vic   Nationalist John Leckie 6.2 6.4 12.6 Robert Cook Victorian Farmers  
Kalgoorlie, WA   Nationalist Edward Heitmann 1.3 3.4 2.1 Hugh Mahon Labor  
Swan, WA   Labor Edwin Corboy 1.5 N/A 8.0 John Prowse Farmers & Settlers  
Werriwa, NSW   Nationalist John Lynch 2.8 3.8 1.0 Bert Lazzarini Labor  
Wimmera, Vic   Nationalist Sydney Sampson 100.0 59.5 9.5 Percy Stewart Victorian Farmers  
  • Members in italics did not contest their seat at this election.

Post-election pendulum

Nationalist Party of Australia
Ballaarat (Vic) Edwin Kerby NAT 00.0
Adelaide (SA) Reginald Blundell NAT 00.8
Brisbane (Qld) Donald Charles Cameron NAT 01.0
Eden-Monaro (NSW) Austin Chapman NAT 01.2
Riverina (NSW) John Chanter NAT 01.3
Fawkner (Vic) George Maxwell NAT 01.5
Grey (SA) Alexander Poynton NAT 01.8
Herbert (Qld) Fred Bamford NAT 02.4
Illawarra (NSW) Hector Lamond NAT 03.1
Robertson (NSW) William Fleming NAT 03.5
Oxley (Qld) James Bayley NAT 03.8
Denison (Tas) William Laird Smith NAT 03.9
Darwin (Tas) George Bell NAT 04.0
Wannon (Vic) Arthur Rodgers NAT 04.1
Wide Bay (Qld) Edward Corser NAT 04.3
Bendigo (Vic) Billy Hughes NAT 05.0
Gippsland (Vic) George Wise NAT 05.2 v VFU
Moreton (Qld) Arnold Wienholt NAT 05.2
Bass (Tas) Syd Jackson NAT 05.8
Fairly safe
Nepean (NSW) Eric Bowden NAT 07.1
New England (NSW) Alexander Hay NAT 07.3
Lang (NSW) Elliot Johnson NAT 07.3
Corio (Vic) John Lister NAT 07.5
Darling Downs (Qld) Littleton Groom NAT 07.7
Wakefield (SA) Richard Foster NAT 08.4
Wilmot (Tas) Llewellyn Atkinson NAT 10.2 v NAT
Fremantle (WA) Reginald Burchell NAT 10.8
Perth (WA) James Fowler NAT 11.0
Parkes (NSW) Walter Marks NAT 11.5
Franklin (Tas) William McWilliams NAT 12.1 v NAT
Lilley (Qld) George Mackay NAT 13.3
Wentworth (NSW) Charles Marr NAT 13.6
Barker (SA) John Livingston NAT 14.1
Kooyong (Vic) Robert Best NAT 14.3 v IND
Dampier (WA) Henry Gregory NAT 14.6
Balaclava (Vic) William Watt NAT 14.9
Flinders (Vic) Stanley Bruce NAT 15.5
Boothby (SA) William Story NAT 16.6
Very safe
Richmond (NSW) Walter Massy-Greene NAT 22.5
Parramatta (NSW) Joseph Cook NAT 22.6
North Sydney (NSW) Granville Ryrie NAT 25.5
Australian Labor Party and Country Party
Angas (SA) Moses Gabb ALP 00.7
Werriwa (NSW) Bert Lazzarini ALP 01.0
Hindmarsh (SA) Norman Makin ALP 01.4
Kalgoorlie (WA) Hugh Mahon ALP 02.1
Maribyrnong (Vic) James Fenton ALP 02.1
Calare (NSW) Thomas Lavelle ALP 02.3
Maranoa (Qld) Jim Page ALP 02.7 v PPU
Capricornia (Qld) William Higgs ALP 02.8
Gwydir (NSW) Lou Cunningham ALP 03.2
Macquarie (NSW) Samuel Nicholls ALP 03.2
Bourke (Vic) Frank Anstey ALP 03.2
Fairly safe
Batman (Vic) Frank Brennan ALP 07.1
Hume (NSW) Parker Moloney ALP 07.5
East Sydney (NSW) John West ALP 07.8
Swan (WA) John Prowse F&SA 08.0 v ALP
Grampians (Vic) Edmund Jowett VFU 08.2 v ALP
Hunter (NSW) Matthew Charlton ALP 08.9
Wimmera (Vic) Percy Stewart VFU 09.5 v NAT
Dalley (NSW) William Mahony ALP 09.7
Corangamite (Vic) William Gibson VFU 10.4 v ALP
Kennedy (Qld) Charles McDonald ALP 11.7
Darling (NSW) Arthur Blakeley ALP 11.8
Indi (Vic) Robert Cook VFU 12.6 v ALP
Echuca (Vic) William Hill VFU 14.0 v NAT
Melbourne (Vic) William Maloney ALP 15.6
Cook (NSW) James Catts ALP 15.7
South Sydney (NSW) Edward Riley ALP 18.3
Very safe
Yarra (Vic) Frank Tudor ALP 20.3
Cowper (NSW) Earle Page F&SA 21.6 v ALP
West Sydney (NSW) T. J. Ryan ALP 22.2
Melbourne Ports (Vic) James Mathews ALP unopposed
Newcastle (NSW) David Watkins ALP unopposed
Henty (Vic) Frederick Francis IND 02.9 v NAT
Barrier (NSW) Michael Considine IND 03.8 v IND

See also


  1. ^ The Origin of Senate Group Ticket Voting, and it didn't come from the Major Parties: Antony Green ABC 23 September 2015


Candidates of the 1919 Australian federal election

This article provides information on candidates who stood for the 1919 Australian federal election. The election was held on 13 December 1919.

Edwin Corboy

Edwin Wilkie "Ted" Corboy (24 August 1896 – 6 August 1950) was an Australian politician. From 1918 to 2010, he held the record as the youngest ever Australian Member of Parliament.

List of elections in 1919

The following elections occurred in the year 1919.

Armenian parliamentary election, 1919


de:Landtagswahl in Niederösterreich 1919

de:Landtagswahl in Oberösterreich 1919

de:Landtagswahl in Salzburg 1919

de:Landtagswahl in der Steiermark 1919

de:Landtagswahl in Tirol 1919

de:Landtagswahl in Vorarlberg 1919

Belgian general election, 1919

Brazilian presidential election, 1919

Estonian Constituent Assembly election, 1919

Finnish parliamentary election, 1919

French legislative election, 1919

German federal election, 1919

Free State of Prussia: constitutional convention elected on 26 January 1919

Republic of Baden: constitutional convention elected 12 January 1919

Freistaat Bremen:

election of an 'Arbeiter- und Soldatenrat' on 6 January 1919

election of a constitutional convention on 9 March 1919

Hamburg: election of the Hamburg Parliament on 16 March 1919

People's State of Hesse: election of a constitutional convention on 26 January 1919

Honduran general election, 1919 (October)

Italian general election, 1919

Liberian general election, 1919

Luxembourgian legislative election, 1919

Newfoundland general election, 1919

Norwegian local elections, 1919

Philippine House of Representatives elections, 1919

Philippine Senate elections, 1919

Philippine legislative election, 1919

Polish legislative election, 1919

Salvadoran presidential election, 1919

Results of the 1919 Australian federal election (House of Representatives)

This is a list of electoral division results for the Australian 1919 federal election.

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