Electoral Newsfile 79: Federal Election 1998 Results Guide

Updated: 7 December 2007
State of the parties
House of Representatives 1996 1998
LP* 75 64
NP 18 16
CLP 1 -
ALP 49 67
IND 5 1
Total 148 148
Senate 3 October Election Full Senate
LP 15 31
NP 1 3
CLP 1 1
ALP 17 29
DEM 4 9
HAR 1 1
HAN 1 1
GRN - 1
Total 40 76
*Please note party abbreviations are listed below.
Key dates
Issue of writ 31 August 1998
Close of rolls 7 September 1998
Close of nominations 10 September 1998
Declaration of nominations 11 September 1998
Polling day 3 October 1998
Return of the writ
Writ Date Returned
House of Representatives 29 October 1998
(all States)  
Newcastle 1 December 1998
Senate  
New South Wales 29 October 1998
Victoria 29 October 1998
Queensland 23 October 1998
Western Australia 27 October 1998
South Australia 26 October 1998
Tasmania 29 October 1998
Australian Capital Territory 29 October 1998
Northern Territory 29 October 1998
Nominations
  1996 1998
Total number of candidates 1163 1435
House of Representatives 908 1106*
Senate 255 329
Female Candidates 342 400
House of Representatives 253 299
Senate 89 101
Number of Parties contesting 31 34
*In addition 11 candidates nominated for the Newcastle Supplementary Election which was held on 21 November 1998 due to the death of a candidate in the Division of Newcastle prior to polling day.
Votes cast
  1996 1998
House of Representatives % %
ordinary votes 85.56 82.34
absent votes 5.67 6.54
provisional votes 0.78 0.85
pre-poll votes 3.82 5.93
postal votes 3.17 4.34
Informal voting    
House of Representatives 3.20 3.77
Senate 3.50 3.24
Turnout 96.20 95.33
Senate results 1975–1998
Year ALP LP NP CLP DEM GRN HAR GWA NDP HAN VPG IND/ other Total
1998 29 31 3 1 9 1 1 - - 1 - - 76
1996 29 31 5 1 7 1 1 1 - - - - 76
1993 30 30 5 1 7 - 1 2 - - - - 76
1990 32 29 4 1 8 - 1 1 - - - - 76
1987 32 27 6 1 7 - 1 - 1 - 1 - 76
1984 34 27 5 1 7 - 1 - 1 - - - 76
1983 30 23 4 1 5 - 1 - - - - - 64
1980 27 28 3 - 5 - - - - - - 1 64
1977 26 29 6 - 2 - - - - - - 1 64
1975 27 27 8 - - - - - - - - 2 64
House of Representatives results 1954–1998
Year ALP LP NP/CLP* IND Total
1998 67 64 16 1 148
1996 49 75 19 5 148
1993 80 49 16 2 147
1990 78 55 14 1 148
1987 86 43 19 0 148
1984 82 45 21 0 148
1983 75 33 17 0 125
1980 51 54 20 0 125
1977 38 67 19 0 124
1975 36 68 23 0 127
1974 66 40 21 0 127
1972 67 38 20 0 125
1969 59 46 20 0 125
1966 41 61 21 1 124
1963 50 52 20 0 122
1961 60 45 17 0 122
1958 45 58 19 0 122
1955 47 57 18 0 122
1954 57 47 17 0 121
*Includes Country Liberal Party
Senate 1998 results: state of the Senate from 1 July 1999
Party NSW VIC QLD WA SA TAS ACT NT TOTAL
ALP 5 5 4 4 4 5 1 1 29
LP 4 5 4 6 6 5 1 0 31
NP 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 3
DEM 2 1 2 2 2 0 0 0 0
HAN 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
CLP 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1
HAR 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1
GRN 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1
TOTAL 12 12 12 12 12 12 2 2 76
House of Representatives 1998 results
Party NSW VIC QLD WA SA TAS ACT NT TOTAL
LP 18 16 14 7 9 0 0 0 64
NP 9 2 5 0 0 0 0 0 16
ALP 22 19 8 7 3 5 2 1 67
IND 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
TOTAL 50 37 27 14 12 5 2 1 148
Due to the death of a candidate in the Division of Newcastle prior to polling day, a supplementary election for this seat was held on 21 November 1998. This table shows the result of the 3 October 1998 poll including the supplementary election held in Newcastle.
Historical Two-Party Preferred figures 1990–1998
Year Party NSW VIC QLD WA SA TAS ACT NT AUS
1998 ALP 51.5 53.5 47.0 49.5 46.9 57.3 62.4 50.6 51.0
LP/NP 48.5 46.5 53.0 50.5 53.1 42.7 37.6 49.4 49.0
1996 ALP 47.4 50.3 39.8 44.0 42.7 51.6 55.5 49.6 46.4
LP/NP 52.6 49.7 60.2 56.0 57.3 48.4 44.5 50.4 53.6
1993 ALP 54.4 51.8 48.4 46.0 47.3 54.7 61.2 55.3 51.4
LP/NP 45.6 48.2 51.6 54.0 52.7 45.3 38.8 44.7 48.6
1990 ALP 52.1 47.5 50.2 47.1 49.5 47.9 58.5 55.0 49.9
LP/NP 47.9 52.5 49.8 52.9 50.5 52.1 41.5 45.0 50.1

The 20 most marginal seats

The following seats are the twenty most marginal seats across Australia taking into account the 1998 federal election results. A seat is classified as marginal when the two-candidate preferred figure is less than 56 per cent. The number of marginal seats is 62 out of a total of 148.

The 20 most marginal seats
Division Status Two-Candidate Preferred % Sitting Member
Bass Marginal Labor 50.06 Michelle O'Byrne
Herbert Marginal Liberal 50.10 Peter Lindsay
Dickson Marginal Labor 50.12 Cheryl Kernot
Eden-Monaro Marginal Liberal 50.18 Gary Nairn
Hinkler Marginal National 50.34 Paul Neville
Kingston Marginal Labor 50.47 David Cox
Northern Territory Marginal Labor 50.57 Warren Snowdon
Moreton Marginal Liberal 50.57 Gary Hardgrave
McMillan Marginal Labor 50.57 Christian John Zahra
Petrie Marginal Liberal 50.75 Teresa Gambaro
Richmond Marginal National 50.77 Larry Anthony
Adelaide Marginal Liberal 50.91 Trish Worth
Longman Marginal Liberal 50.92 Mal Brough
Makin Marginal Liberal 50.94 Trish Draper
La Trobe Marginal Liberal 50.99 Bob Charles
Stirling Marginal Labor 51.04 Jann McFarlane
McEwen Marginal Liberal 51.04 Fran Bailey
Parramatta Marginal Liberal 51.07 Ross Cameron
Paterson Marginal Labor 51.22 Bob Horne
Hindmarsh Marginal Liberal 51.23 Christine Gallus

Party name abbreviations

ALP: Australian Labor Party GRN: Australian Greens

LP: Liberal Party HAN: Pauline Hanson's One Nation

CTA: Call to Australia Party NP: National Party

DEM: Australian Democrats

CLP: Northern Territory Country Liberal Party

GWA:The Greens (WA) Inc

Seats where preferences decided the result
New South Wales (27)
Banks (ALP) Greenway (ALP) New England (NP)
Barton (ALP) Gwydir (NP) Page (NP)
Bennelong (LP) Hughes (LP) Parkes (NP)
Calare (IND) Hume (LP) Parramatta (LP)
Charlton (ALP) Lindsay (LP) Paterson (ALP)
Cowper (NP) Lowe (ALP) Richmond (NP)
Dobell (ALP) Macarthur (LP) Riverina (NP)
Eden-Monaro (LP) Macquarie (LP) Robertson (LP)
Gilmore (LP) Newcastle (ALP) Wentworth (LP)
Victoria (20)
Aston (LP) Corangamite (LP) La Trobe (LP)
Ballarat (LP) Deakin (LP) McEwen (LP)
Bendigo (ALP) Dunkley (LP) McMillan (ALP)
Bruce (ALP) Flinders (LP) Melbourne Ports (ALP)
Burke (ALP) Gippsland (NP) Menzies (LP)
Casey (LP) Isaacs (ALP) Wannon (LP)
Chisholm (ALP) Jagajaga (ALP)
Queensland (26)
Blair (LP) Forde (LP) McPherson (LP)
Bowman (ALP) Griffith (ALP) Maranoa (NP)
Brisbane (ALP) Groom (LP) Moreton (LP)
Capricornia (ALP) Herbert (LP) Oxley (ALP)
Dawson (NP) Hinkler (NP) Petrie (LP)
Dickson (ALP) Kennedy (NP) Rankin (ALP)
Fadden (LP) Leichhardt (LP) Ryan (LP)
Fairfax (LP) Lilley (ALP) Wide Bay (NP)
Fisher (LP) Longman (ALP)
Western Australia (12)
Canning (ALP) Fremantle (ALP) Pearce (LP)
Cowan (ALP) Kalgoorlie (LP) Stirling (ALP)
Curtin (LP) Moore (LP) Swan (ALP)
Forrest (LP) O'Connor (LP) Tangney (LP)
South Australia (9)
Adelaide (LP) Grey (LP) Makin (LP)
Barker (LP) Hindmarsh (LP) Mayo (LP)
Boothby (LP) Kingston (ALP) Sturt (LP)
Tasmania (3)
Bass (ALP) Braddon (ALP) Franklin (ALP)
Australian Capital Territory (1)
Canberra (ALP)
Northern Territory (1)
Northern Territory (ALP)
Seats won outright (i.e. 50% plus 1 of the first preference votes)
New South Wales (23)
Berowra (LP) Grayndler (ALP) Reid (ALP)
Blaxland (ALP) Hunter (ALP) Shortland (ALP)
Bradfield (LP) Kingsford-Smith (ALP) Sydney (ALP)
Chifley (ALP) Lyne (NP) Throsby (ALP)
Cook (LP) Mackellar (LP) Warringah (LP)
Cunningham (ALP) Mitchell (LP) Watson (ALP)
Farrer (NP) North Sydney (LP) Werriwa (ALP)
Fowler (ALP) Prospect (ALP)
Victoria (17)
Batman (ALP) Holt (ALP) Maribyrnong (ALP)
Calwell (ALP) Hotham (ALP) Melbourne (ALP)
Corio (ALP) Indi (LP) Murray (LP)
Gellibrand (ALP) Kooyong (LP) Scullin (ALP)
Goldstein (LP) Lalor (ALP) Wills (ALP)
Higgins (LP) Mallee (NP)
Queensland (1)
Moncrieff (LP)
Western Australia (2)
Brand (ALP) Perth (ALP)
South Australia (3)
Bonython (ALP) Port Adelaide (ALP) Wakefield (LP)
Tasmania (2)
Denison (ALP) Lyons (ALP)
Australian Capital Territory (1)
Fraser (ALP)
Seats which changed parties
Division Previous incumbent Party Successful candidate Party
New South Wales (3)
Hume John Sharp NP Alby Schultz LP
Lowe Paul Zammit LP* John Murphy ALP
Paterson Bob Baldwin LP Bob Horne ALP
Victoria (3)
Bendigo Bruce Reid LP Steve Gibbons ALP
Chisholm Michael Wooldridge LP Anna Elizabeth Burke ALP
McMillan Russell Broadbent LP Christian John Zahra ALP
Queensland (6)
Bowman Andrea West LP Con Sciacca ALP
Capricornia Paul Marek NP Kirsten Livermore ALP
Dickson Tony Smith LP Cheryl Kernot ALP
Griffith Graeme McDougall LP Kevin Rudd ALP
Lilley Elizabeth Grace LP Wayne Swan ALP
Oxley Pauline Hanson IND Bernie Ripoll ALP
Western Australia (7)
Canning Ricky Johnston LP Jane Gerick ALP
Cowan Richard Evans LP Graham Edwards ALP
Curtin Allan Rocher IND Julie Bishop LP
Kalgoorlie Graeme Campbell IND Barry Haase LP
Moore Paul Filing IND Mal Washer LP
Stirling Eoin Cameron LP Jann McFarlane ALP
Swan Don Randall LP Kim Wilkie ALP
South Australia (1)
Kingston Susan Jeanes LP David Cox ALP
Tasmania (2)
Bass Warwick Smith LP Michelle O'Byrne ALP
Braddon Chris Miles LP Peter Sid Sidebottom ALP
Northern Territory (1)
Northern Territory Nick Dondas CLP Warren Snowdon ALP

Total: 23 seats changed hands

Please note: the above compares party representation immediately after the 1996 and 1998 elections. Results of any by-elections have been ignored. Please also note that the ALP held seat of Namadgi (ACT) was abolished in the 1997 redistribution of electoral boundaries and the newly created seat of Blair (QLD) was first contested in 1998.

*Paul Zammit was elected at the 1996 election as a Liberal Party candidate but later sat in Parliament as an independent Member.

Seats where the leader on first preferences lost after the full distribution of preferences
Division Leader Successful Candidate
Parkes Barry Brebner (ALP) Tony Lawler (NP)
Blair Pauline Hanson (HAN) Cameron Thompson (LP)
Stirling Eoin Cameron (LP) Jann McFarlane (ALP)
Bass Warwick Smith (LP) Michelle O'Byrne (ALP)
McMillan Russell Broadbent (LP) Christian Zahra (ALP)
Hinkler Cheryl Dorron (ALP) Paul Neville (NP)
Kingston Susan Jeanes (LP) David Cox (ALP)
Informal voting 1987–1998 (%)
House of Representatives Senate
State/
Territory
1998 1996 1993 1990 1987 1998 1996 1993 1990 1987
NSW 4.0* 3.6 3.1 3.1 4.6 3.3 3.8 2.7 4.2 4.9
VIC 3.5 2.9 2.8 3.5 5.3 3.8 3.6 3.1 3.6 4.0
QLD 3.3 2.6 2.6 2.2 3.4 3.0 3.3 2.0 2.5 3.1
WA 4.2 3.2 2.5 3.7 6.6 2.7 3.5 2.1 2.9 3.3
SA 4.5 4.1 4.1 3.7 6.8 2.8 3.3 2.3 2.5 3.8
TAS 3.1 2.4 2.7 3.3 5.0 3.1 3.2 2.6 3.1 3.8
ACT 2.9 2.8 3.4 3.0 3.5 2.0 2.5 1.6 2.4 2.4
NT 4.2 3.4 3.1 3.4 5.8 2.0 2.8 2.8 2.8 3.7
AUST. 3.8* 3.2 3.0 3.2 4.9 3.2 3.5 2.6 3.4 4.0

*These figures do not include informal voting in the Division of Newcastle.

Election costs 1984–1996
Year Cost per elector ($)
1996 4.76
1993 4.32
1990 4.45
1987 5.07
1984 5.20

The final cost of the 1998 federal election is being finalised, but is expected to be approximately $65.5 million.

Voter turnout (%)
1998 Election 95.33
1996 Election 96.20
1993 Election 96.22
1990 Election 95.81
1987 Election 94.33
1984 Election and Referendum 94.55
1983 Election 94.64
1980 Election 94.35
1977 Election 95.08
Enrolment statistics: 1996 & 1998
State 1996 1998
NSW 3 955 782 4 076 081
VIC 2 972 635 3 081 632
QLD 2 091 384 2 188 024
WA 1 088 487 1 149 619
SA 1 001 006 1 013 989
TAS 329 304 330 121
ACT 203 170 209 536
NT 98 800 105 048
NAT 11 740 568 12 154 050
Previous election dates
Polling day Goverment elected Seats won Total no. of seats
02/03/96 LP/NP/NCP 94 148
13/03/93 ALP 80 147
24/03/90 ALP 78 148
11/07/87 ALP 86 148
01/12/84 ALP 82 148
05/03/83 ALP 75 125
18/10/80 LP/NP/NCP 74 125
10/12/77 LP/NP/NCP 86 124
13/12/75 LP/NP/NCP 91 127
18/05/74 ALP 66 127
1998 election funding payments
Payee Amount
Australian Labor Party $13 959 511.97
Liberal Party of Australia $11 488 881.15
National Party of Australia $2 321 589.02
Northern Territory Country Liberal Party $116 916.10
Australian Democrats $2 247 677.46
Australian Greens $147 867.39
The Greens (WA) $172 137.25
Pauline Hanson's One Nation $3 044 525.97
Australia First Party $25 280.43
Australian Shooters Party $8 554.96
Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group) $5 339.95
Progressive Labour Party $5 054.46
Unity – Say No to Hanson $48 692.20
Peter James ANDREN – Calare (NSW) $47 887.64
Anthony Robert George BECK – Barker (SA) $6 464.07
Barry Thomas CUNNINGHAM – McMillan (Vic) $6 163.98
Robert James Keith ELLIS – Mackellar (NSW) $7 670.91
Paul Anthony FILING – Moore (WA) $23 908.13
Brian HARRADINE – Tasmania $39 342.41
Philip NITSCHKE – Menzies (Vic) $11 100.03
Graham John NUTTALL – New England (NSW) $10 060.26
Allan Charles ROCHER – Curtin (WA) $22 587.74
Margaret Anne SCOTT – Oxley (Qld) $4 952.27
Anthony Charles SMITH – Dickson (Qld) $10 697.75
Douglas Harry TREASURE – Gippsland (Vic) $6 611.68
Robert Ian WILSON – Parkes (NSW) $14 042.52
Paul John ZAMMIT – Lowe (NSW) $18 978.57
Total Election Funding Paid $33 822 496.27

Key words

Divisions (electorates): Australia is divided into 148 voting districts which are known as Divisions. One member is elected from each Division to the House of Representatives.

DRO: The Divisional Returning Officer (DRO) is the AEC officer responsible for conducting the election in each Division and maintaining the roll.

Mobile team: Mobile polling teams bring the polling to the elector. They visit electors in hospitals and nursing homes, prisons and remote locations to enable them to vote.

Redistribution: A redistribution is the redrawing of the boundaries of electoral Divisions to ensure that there are, as near as practical, the same number of electors in each Division for a State or Territory.

Roll: The list of electors eligible to vote at an election.

Swing: The difference between the performance of a candidate or party at this election in comparison with the previous election.

TCP count (Two candidate-preferred): These figures show where preferences have been distributed to the final two candidates in an election. In most, but not all cases these will be from the two major sides of politics – the ALP and the Liberal and National Party Coalition.

TPP count (Two party-preferred): These figures indicate results where preferences have been distributed to the two major sides of politics – the ALP and the Coalition. In most cases TCP and TPP are the same because the final two candidates are ALP and Coalition. However in an independently held seat the TCP differs from the TPP.
A two party-preferred figure could not be calculated for the supplementary election held in Newcastle as a Liberal/National/Country Liberal Party candidate did not stand for election.

Voter turnout: The percentage of enrolled electors who vote in an election or referendum.

Election logistics

Polling facilities

Ordinary polling places: No. of ordinary polling places: 7 775

Mobile polling teams:

  • No. of mobile polling teams visiting special hospitals: 475
  • No. of mobile polling teams visiting remote locations: 48
  • No. of mobile polling teams visiting prisons: 13

Pre-poll centres: No. of pre-poll voting centres: 421

Overseas polling places: No. of overseas polling places: 99

Casual staff: Approximate number of casual staff employed to assist in the conduct of the 1998 federal election: 67 600

Polling equipment

Ballot boxes

No. of large ballot boxes: 19 900

No. of small ballot boxes: 18 090

Voting screens

No. of large voting screens: 118 364

No. of tabletop voting screens: 15 079

No. of litter bins: 12 273

No. of tables: 5 919

Most cardboard equipment contains recycled materials and is recycled after the election.

Contact Information

Central Office

Electoral Commissioner: (02) 6271 4400 Bill Gray
Deputy Electoral Commissioner: (02) 6271 4410 Andy Becker
Director, Information: Brien Hallett (02) 6271 4415
Assistant Directors, Information: Bernadette O'Meara (02) 6271 4548 | Silvana Puizina (02) 6271 4431
Editor, Newsfile: Margaret Meneghel (02) 6271 4 505

State/Territory Head Offices

The administration of the 1998 federal election in each State and Territory was under the control of the Australian Electoral Officer (AEO) for that State or Territory. An AEO for the ACT is temporarily appointed for each election.

AEOs may be contacted on the following numbers.

New South Wales
Frances Howat Ph. (02) 9375 6333 Fx. (02) 9281 9384

Victoria
David Muffet Ph. (03) 9285 7171 Fx. (03) 9285 7178

Queensland
Bob Longland Ph. (07) 3834 3400 Fx. (07) 3831 7223

Western Australia
Andrew Moyes Ph. (08) 9470 7299 Fx. (08) 9472 3551

South Australia

Geoff Halsey Ph. (08) 8237 6555 Fx. (08) 8231 2664

Tasmania
Nick Tall Ph. (03) 6235 0500 Fx. (03) 6234 4268

Northern Territory
Kerry Heisner Ph. (08) 8981 1477 Fx. (08) 8981 7964

Australian Capital Territory
William Hogan Ph. (02) 6271 4497 Fx. (02) 6271 4560

Media Liaison

Members of the media are asked to use the AEC Central and Head Office contact numbers listed above rather than the national enquiry line which appears on AEC advertising.

Statistics in this Electoral Newsfile are not final and may be subject to minor adjustment which will not affect the outcome of the election in any Division or the outcome of the half-Senate election in any State or Territory. Final figures will be published in the AEC's Election Statistic's Series.

Further information

The AEC produces a range of information materials for political parties, journalists and other people interested in the electoral process.