Australian federal election, 1977


Australian federal election, 1977

Independent: Brian Harradine

Background and Issues

The election is remembered for the "fistful of dollars" advertisements run by the government, offering tax cuts to voters. The tax cuts were never delivered; instead a "temporary surcharge" was imposed in 1978. The election also coincided with the retirement of the Governor-General, Sir John Kerr. Kerr had disgraced himself by a drunken appearance at the Melbourne Cup in November. His appointment as Ambassador to UNESCO never took place due to a public outcry.

The 1977 election was held a year earlier than required. In part, it was necessary to bring elections for the House and Senate back into line. A half-Senate election had to be held by the middle of 1978, since the double dissolution election of 1975 had resulted in the terms of senators being backdated to July 1975.

ignificance

Socially progressive Liberal Don Chipp had been dropped from the ministry after the 1975 election. He had formed a new political party, the Australian Democrats, and had announced his intention to run for the Senate. Liberal Movement senator Steele Hall resigned and was replaced by Janine Haines but lost her seat, however the party gained Chipp in Victoria and Colin Mason in New South Wales, with Haines being re-elected at the next election as popularity grew.

The 1977 election had seen the ALP make gains, but they were limited. The Second Fraser Government still enjoyed the second-largest Parliamentary majority in Australian history after the majority it won in the 1975 election. Gough Whitlam resigned as the leader of the ALP in 1978.

Although there were a number of women candidates for the House of Representatives, no women were elected. Women have been elected at every general election from 1980 onwards.

References

* [http://australianpolitics.com/elections/1977/ AustralianPolitics.com election details]
* [http://elections.uwa.edu.au/ University of WA] election results in Australia since 1890
* [http://www.aec.gov.au/Elections/Australian_Electoral_History/House_of_Representative_1949_Present.htm AEC 2PP vote]
*Prior to 1984 the AEC did not undertake a full distribution of preferences for statistical purposes. The stored ballot papers for the 1983 election were put through this process prior to their destruction. Therefore the figures from 1983 onwards show the actual result based on full distribution of preferences.


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