Parliament of Australia
The Parliament of Australia is the legislative branch of the government of Australia. It consists of three elements: the Senate and the House of Representatives; the combination of two elected chambers, in which the members of the Senate represent the states and territories while the members of the House represent electoral divisions according to population, is modelled on the United States Congress. Through both chambers, there is a fused executive, drawn from the Westminster system; the upper house, the Senate, consists of 76 members: twelve for each state, two each for the territories, Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory. Senators are elected using the single transferable vote proportional representation system and as a result, the chamber features a multitude of parties vying for power; the governing party or coalition has not held a majority in the Senate since 1981 and needs to negotiate with other parties and Independents to get legislation passed. The lower house, the House of Representatives consists of 150 members, each elected using full-preference instant-runoff voting from single-member constituencies known as electoral divisions.
This tends to lead to the chamber being dominated by two major political groups, the centre-right Coalition and the centre-left Labor Party. The government of the day must achieve the confidence of this House in order to gain and remain in power. Although elections can be called early, every three years the full House of Representatives and half of the Senate is dissolved and goes up for reelection. A deadlock-breaking mechanism known as a double dissolution can be used to dissolve the full Senate as well as the House in the event that the Upper House twice refuses to pass a piece of legislation passed by the Lower House; the two Houses meet in separate chambers of Parliament House on Capital Hill in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory. The Commonwealth of Australia came into being on 1 January 1901 with the federation of the six Australian colonies; the inaugural election took place on 29 and 30 March and the first Australian Parliament was opened on 9 May 1901 in Melbourne by Prince George, Duke of Cornwall and York King George V.
The only building in Melbourne, large enough to accommodate the 14,000 guests was the western annexe of the Royal Exhibition Building. After the official opening, from 1901 to 1927 the Parliament met in Parliament House, which it borrowed from the Parliament of Victoria, it had always been intended. This was a compromise at Federation due to the rivalry between the two largest Australian cities and Melbourne, which both wished to become the new capital; the site of Canberra was selected for the location of the nation's capital city in 1908. A competition was announced on 30 June 1914 to design Parliament House, with prize money of £7,000. However, due to the start of World War I the next month, the competition was cancelled, it was re-announced in August 1916, but again postponed indefinitely on 24 November 1916. In the meantime, John Smith Murdoch, the Commonwealth's Chief Architect, worked on the design as part of his official duties, he had little personal enthusiasm for the project, as he felt it was a waste of money and expenditure on it could not be justified at the time.
He designed the building by default. The construction of Old Parliament House, as it is called today, commenced on 28 August 1923 and was completed in early 1927, it was built by the Commonwealth Department of Works, using tradesmen and materials from all over Australia. The final cost was about £600,000, more than three times the original estimate, it was designed to house the parliament for a maximum of 50 years until a permanent facility could be built, but was so used for more than 60 years. The building was opened on 9 May 1927 by the Duchess of York; the opening ceremonies were both splendid and incongruous, given the sparsely built nature of Canberra of the time and its small population. The building was extensively decorated with British Empire and Australian flags and bunting. Temporary stands were erected bordering the lawns in front of the Parliament and these were filled with crowds. A Wiradjuri elder, Jimmy Clements, was one of only two aboriginal Australians present, having walked for about a week from Brungle Station to be at the event.
Dame Nellie Melba sang the National anthem. The Duke of York unlocked the front doors with a golden key, led the official party into King's Hall where he unveiled the statue of his father, King George V; the Duke opened the first parliamentary session in the new Senate Chamber. In 1978 the Fraser Government decided to proceed with a new building on Capital Hill, the Parliament House Construction Authority was created. A two-stage competition was announced, for which the Authority consulted the Royal Australian Institute of Architects and, together with the National Capital Development Commission, made available to competitors a brief and competition documents; the design competition drew 329 entries from 29 countries. The competition winner was the Philadelphia-based architectural firm of Mitchell/Giurgola, with the on-site wor
Malcolm Bligh Turnbull is an Australian former politician, the 29th Prime Minister of Australia from 2015 to 2018. He served twice as Leader of the Liberal Party, firstly from 2008 to 2009 when he was Leader of the Opposition, a second time from 2015 to 2018, he was the MP for Wentworth in the House of Representatives from 2004 to 2018. Turnbull graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws, before attending Brasenose College, Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, earning a Bachelor of Civil Law. For over two decades prior to entering politics, he worked as a journalist, merchant banker, venture capitalist, he served as Chair of the Australian Republican Movement from 1993 to 2000, was one of the leaders of the unsuccessful "Yes" campaign in the 1999 republic referendum. He was first elected to the Australian House of Representatives for the Division of Wentworth in New South Wales at the 2004 federal election, was Minister for the Environment and Water from January 2007 until December 2007.
After coming second in the 2007 leadership election, Turnbull won the leadership of the Liberal Party in September 2008 and became Leader of the Opposition. However, his support of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme proposed by the Rudd Government in December 2009 led to a leadership challenge by Tony Abbott, who defeated Turnbull by a single vote. Though planning to leave politics after this, Turnbull chose to stay and was appointed Minister for Communications in the Abbott Government following the 2013 federal election. Citing poor opinion polling for the government, Turnbull resigned from the Cabinet on 14 September 2015 and challenged Abbott, reclaiming the leadership of the Liberal Party by ten votes, he was sworn in as Prime Minister of Australia the following day. At the 2016 federal election, Turnbull led the Coalition to victory by a single seat, the smallest majority since the 1961 federal election. In August 2018, a challenge by Peter Dutton led to two Liberal leadership spills.
When the second spill motion passed on 24 August 2018, Turnbull did not contest the ballot and subsequently resigned as Prime Minister. Treasurer Scott Morrison defeated Dutton in the contest. Turnbull resigned from parliament on 31 August 2018, triggering a by-election in his former seat of Wentworth; the Liberal Party lost the by-election to independent candidate Kerryn Phelps, which resulted in the Coalition losing its majority in the House of Representatives. Malcolm Bligh Turnbull was born in Sydney, New South Wales on 24 October 1954, the only child of Bruce Bligh Turnbull and Coral Magnolia Lansbury, his father was a hotel broker, while his mother was a radio actor and academic, a second cousin of the British film and television actress Angela Lansbury. His maternal grandmother, May Lansbury, was born in England, while his other grandparents were Australian-born, he is of Scottish descent. In an interview in 2015, Turnbull said that his middle name "Bligh" has been a family tradition for generations given in honour of Governor William Bligh.
Turnbull's parents married in December fourteen months after his birth. They separated when he was nine, with his mother leaving first for New Zealand and the United States. Turnbull was from raised by his father. Turnbull suffered from asthma as a young child. Turnbull spent his first three years of school at Vaucluse Public School, he boarded at Sydney Grammar Preparatory School in St Ives, before attending Grammar's high school campus on College Street on a partial scholarship. During this time he lived at the school's former Randwick boarding facilities, he was made senior school co-captain in 1972, as well as winning the Lawrence Campbell Oratory Competition, excelling in the literary subjects such as English and history. However, contrary to certain sources, Turnbull was not the dux of his graduating year at Sydney Grammar. In 1987, in memory of his late father, he set up the Bruce Turnbull means-tested scholarship at Sydney Grammar, which offers full remission of fees to a student unable to afford them.
In 1973, Turnbull attended the University of Sydney, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in political science in 1977 and a Bachelor of Laws in 1978. During his studies, he was involved in student politics, serving as board director of the University of Sydney Union, he worked part-time as a political journalist for Nation Review, Radio 2SM and Channel 9, covering state politics. In 1978, Turnbull won a Rhodes Scholarship and attended Brasenose College, where he studied for a Bachelor of Civil Law from 1978 to 1980, graduating with honours. While at Oxford, he worked for The Sunday Times and contributed to newspapers and magazines in both the United States and Australia. During Turnbull's time at Oxford, a university don wrote of him that he was "always going to enter life's rooms without knocking". After graduating from Oxford, Turnbull began working as a barrister, he was general counsel and secretary for Australian Consolidated Press Holdings Group from 1983 to 1985. During this time, he defended Kerry Packer against the "Goanna" allegations made by the Costigan Commission.
Turnbull attempted to use the press to goad the counsel assisting the commission, Douglas Meagher QC, into suing him and Packer for the withering public attack both undertook to sully Meagher's and Costigan's names. Turnbull accused Meagher and Costigan of being "unjust, capricious and malicious". Turnbull advised Packer to sue Meagher for defamation, an action, struck down by Justice David Hunt as be
Government of Australia
The Government of Australia is the government of the Commonwealth of Australia, a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy. It is commonly referred to as the Australian Government, the Commonwealth Government, Her Majesty's Government, or the Federal Government; the Commonwealth of Australia was formed in 1901 as a result of an agreement among six self-governing British colonies, which became the six states. The terms of this contract are embodied in the Australian Constitution, drawn up at a Constitutional Convention and ratified by the people of the colonies at referendums; the Australian head of state is the Queen of Australia, represented by the Governor-General of Australia, with executive powers delegated by constitutional convention to the Australian head of government, the Prime Minister of Australia. The Government of the Commonwealth of Australia is divided into three branches: the executive branch, composed of the Federal Executive Council, presided by the Governor-General, which delegates powers to the Cabinet of Australia, led by the Prime Minister.
Separation of powers is implied by the structure of the Constitution, the three branches of government being set out in separate chapters. The Australian system of government combines elements of the Westminster and Washington systems with unique Australian characteristics, has been characterised as a "Washminster mutation". Section 1 of the Australian Constitution creates a democratic legislature, the bicameral Parliament of Australia which consists of the Queen of Australia, two houses of parliament, the Senate and the House of Representatives. Section 51 of the Constitution provides for the Commonwealth Government's legislative powers and allocates certain powers and responsibilities to the Commonwealth government. All remaining responsibilities are retained by the six States. Further, each State has its own constitution, so that Australia has seven sovereign Parliaments, none of which can encroach on the functions of any other; the High Court of Australia arbitrates on any disputes which arise between the Commonwealth and the States, or among the States, concerning their respective functions.
The Commonwealth Parliament can propose changes to the Constitution. To become effective, the proposals must be put to a referendum of all Australians of voting age, must receive a "double majority": a majority of all votes, a majority of votes in a majority of States; the Commonwealth Constitution provides that the States can agree to refer any of their powers to the Commonwealth. This may be achieved by way of an amendment to the Constitution via referendum. More powers may be transferred by passing other acts of legislation which authorise the transfer and such acts require the legislative agreement of all the state governments involved; this "transfer" legislation may have a "sunset clause", a legislative provision that nullifies the transfer of power after a specified period, at which point the original division of power is restored. In addition, Australia has several "territories", two of which are self-governing: the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory; these territories' legislatures, their Assemblies, exercise powers devolved to them by the Commonwealth.
Australian citizens in these territories are represented by members of both houses of the Commonwealth Parliament. The territory of Norfolk Island was self-governing from 1979 until 2016, although it was never represented as such in the Commonwealth Parliament; the other territories that are inhabited—Jervis Bay, Christmas Island and the Cocos Islands—have never been self-governing. The federal nature of the Commonwealth and the structure of the Parliament of Australia were the subject of protracted negotiations among the colonies during the drafting of the Constitution; the House of Representatives is elected on a basis that reflects the differing populations of the States. Thus New South Wales has 48 members, but the Senate is elected on a basis of equality among the States: all States elect 12 Senators, regardless of population. This was intended to allow the Senators of the smaller States to form a majority and thus be able to amend or reject bills originating in the House of Representatives.
The ACT and the NT each elect two Senators. The third level of government after Commonwealth and State/Territory is Local government, in the form of shires and cities; the Councils of these areas are composed of elected representatives serving part-time. Their powers are devolved to them by the Territory in which they are located. Government at the Commonwealth level and the State/Territory level is undertaken by three inter-connected arms of government: Legislature: The Commonwealth Parliament Executive: The Sovereign of Australia, whose executive power is exercisable by the Governor-General, the Prime Minister and their Departments Judiciary: The High Court of Australia and subsidiary Federal courts. Separation of powers is the principle whereby the three arms of government undertake their activities separately from each other: the Legislature proposes laws in the form of Bills, provides a legislative framework for the operations of the other two a
Sir Edward Aloysius McTiernan, KBE, was an Australian lawyer and judge. He served on the High Court of Australia from 1930 to 1976, the longest-serving judge in the court's history. McTiernan was born in New South Wales, he graduated from the University of Sydney in 1915, was called to the bar the following year. McTiernan was elected to the New South Wales Legislative Assembly in 1920, representing the Labor Party, was soon after appointed Attorney-General of New South Wales, he served as attorney-general under John Storey, James Dooley, Jack Lang, but left state politics in 1927. McTiernan was elected to the House of Representatives in 1929, but served for little over a year before Prime Minister James Scullin nominated him to the High Court, he was 38 at the time. On the court, McTiernan was considered a moderate, was known for the consistency of his decisions, he favoured the position of the federal government, upholding the constitutionality of contentious legislation from both sides of politics.
McTiernan retired reluctantly after just under 46 years on the High Court bench. He lived to the age of 97, was the last surviving MP from the 1920s. McTiernan was born in Glen Innes, New South Wales, the second of three sons born to Isabella and Patrick McTiernan, his parents were Irish Catholic immigrants. McTiernan began his education at Metz Public School, located in a small settlement west of Hillgrove, he and his family moved to Sydney in 1900. He completed his education at Catholic schools, Christian Brothers' High School, St Mary's Cathedral College. McTiernan left school in 1908 lacking the funds to attend university, instead joining the Commonwealth Public Service as a clerk, he began studying part-time at the University of Sydney, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in 1912. He subsequently served his articles of clerkship at Sly & Russell while completing a Bachelor of Laws, graduating with first-class honours in 1915, he was called to the bar the following year and was taken on as an associate of Justice George Rich, whom he would join on the High Court.
He was rejected for military service during World War I due to an arm fracture sustained in childhood that had never properly healed. After five years as a barrister, McTiernan was elected to the New South Wales Legislative Assembly in 1920 as the Member for Western Suburbs. McTiernan served in the ministry as Attorney-General of New South Wales from April 1920 to April 1922 and again from June 1925 to May 1927, He was involved in Premier Jack Lang's attempt to abolish the New South Wales Legislative Council, he took up a position as a law lecturer with his alma mater. Two years however, he was elected to federal parliament as the member for Parkes; this was to be short-lived, as in 1930, one year into McTiernan's term, Prime Minister James Scullin nominated him to the High Court of Australia, along with H. V. Evatt, their appointment was controversial, due to their youth, perceived inexperience, political connections – both were members of the Labor Party up until taking office, the Labor caucus had publicly resolved "that the government should appoint to the bench two men known to have social views sympathetic to Labor".
As a judge of the High Court, McTiernan was involved in several significant cases in Australian legal history, including Bank of New South Wales v Commonwealth, which struck down an attempt to nationalise the banks, Australian Communist Party v The Commonwealth, which struck down an attempt to ban the Communist Party of Australia and R v Kirby. He served under five Chief Justices - Sir Isaac Isaacs, Sir Frank Gavan Duffy, Sir John Latham, Sir Owen Dixon and Sir Garfield Barwick, was knighted himself in 1951. McTiernan was one of only eight justices of the High Court to have served in the Parliament of Australia prior to his appointment to the Court. Higgins, John Latham, Garfield Barwick, Lionel Murphy, he was one of six justices to have served in the Parliament of New South Wales, along with Barton, O'Connor, Albert Piddington, Adrian Knox and H. V. Evatt. McTiernan was a member of the High Court for 46 years, making him the longest-serving judge in its history; this is a record unlikely to be broken, as a constitutional change in 1977 sparked by McTiernan's long term, introduced compulsory retirement ages for federal judges.
McTiernan had no intention of resigning from the bench into the 1970s, after breaking a hip at the age of 84 in 1976 while chasing a cricket in his hotel with a rolled up newspaper, Chief Justice Barwick's refusal to include a wheelchair ramp in the design of the new High Court building prompted his retirement. In 1943, McTiernan was approached by Attorney-General H. V. Evatt to conduct an inquiry into claims that test results at the Aircraft Production Commission Testing Laboratory in Sydney had been fabricated; this might have compromised the structural integrity of Bristol Beaufort bombers being used by the Royal Australian Air Force. Arthur Calwell, the Minister for Information, applied strict wartime censorship to the inquiry, with no press coverage allowed; the full report has never been made public, although a summary prepared for cabinet is held by the National Archives. McTiernan was granted the powers of a Roy
Government of Queensland
The Government of Queensland referred to as the Queensland Government, is the Australian state democratic administrative authority of Queensland. The Government of Queensland, a parliamentary constitutional monarchy, was formed in 1859 as prescribed in its Constitution, as amended from time to time. Since the Federation of Australia in 1901, Queensland has been a state of the Commonwealth of Australia, the Constitution of Australia regulates its relationship with the Commonwealth. Under the Australian Constitution, Queensland ceded legislative and judicial supremacy to the Commonwealth, but retained powers in all matters not in conflict with the Commonwealth. Key state government offices are located at 1 William Street in the Brisbane central business district; the Government of Queensland operates under the Westminster system, a form of parliamentary government based on the model of the United Kingdom. The Governor of Queensland, as the representative of Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia, holds nominal power, although in practice only performs ceremonial duties.
The Parliament of Queensland holds legislative power, while executive power lies with the Premier and Cabinet, judicial power is exercised by a system of courts and tribunals. The Parliament of Queensland is the state's legislature, it consists of Her Majesty The Queen, a single chamber. Queensland is the only Australian state with a unicameral parliament after a second chamber, the Legislative Council, was abolished in 1922; the Legislative Assembly has 93 members. Elections for the Legislative Assembly are held every four years; the Cabinet of Queensland is the government's chief policy-making organ, consists of the Premier and all ministers. The Queensland Government delivers services, determines policy and regulations, including legal interpretation, by a number of agencies grouped under areas of portfolio responsibility; each portfolio is led by a government minister, a member of the Parliament. As of April 2016 there were nineteen lead agencies, called government departments, that consist of: Department of the Premier and Cabinet Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services Department of Education and Training Department of Energy and Water Supply Department of Environment and Heritage Protection Queensland Health Department of Housing and Public Works Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning Department of Justice and Attorney-General Department of National Parks and Racing Department of Natural Resources and Mines Queensland Police Service and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation Department of State Development Department of Transport and Main Roads Queensland Treasury Department of Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth GamesA range of other agencies support the functions of these departments.
The judiciary of Queensland consists of the Magistrates Court, the District Court, the Supreme Court, as well as a number of smaller courts and tribunals. The Chief Justice of Queensland is the state's most senior judicial officer; the Magistrates Court is the lowest tier of the judicial hierarchy of Queensland. The court's criminal jurisdiction covers summary offences, indictable offences which may be heard summarily, but all criminal proceedings in Queensland begin in the Magistrates Court if they are not within this jurisdiction. For charges beyond its jurisdiction, the court conducts committal hearings in which the presiding magistrate decides, based on the strength of the evidence, whether to refer the matter to a higher court or dismiss it; the court's civil jurisdiction covers matters in which the amount in dispute is less than or equal to $150,000. Appeals against decisions by the Magistrates Court are heard by the District Court; the District Court is the middle tier of the judicial hierarchy of Queensland.
The court has jurisdiction to hear all appeals from decisions made in the Magistrates Court. Its criminal jurisdiction covers serious indictable offences; the court's civil jurisdiction covers matters in which the amount in dispute is more than $150,000 but less than or equal to $750,000. Appeals against decisions by the District Court are heard by the Court of Appeal, a division of the Supreme Court; the Supreme Court is the highest tier of the judicial hierarchy Queensland. The court has two divisions; the Trial Division's jurisdiction covers serious criminal offences, civil matters involving claims of more than $750,000. The Court of Appeal's jurisdiction allows it to hear cases on appeal from the Trial Division, the District Court, a number of other judicial tribunals in Queensland. Appeals against decisions by the Court of Appeal are heard by the High Court of Australia. There are several factors; the legislature has no upper house. For a large portion of its history, the state was under a gerrymander that favoured rural electorates.
This, combined with the decentralised nature of Queensland, meant that politics has been dominated by regional interests. Queensland, along with New South Wales operated a balloting system known as Optional Preferential Voting for state elections; this is different from the predominant Australian electoral system, the instant-runoff voting system, in practice is closer to a first past the post ballot, which some say is to the
A crossbencher is an independent or minor party member of some legislatures, such as the British House of Lords and the Parliament of Australia. They take their name from the crossbenches and perpendicular to the government and opposition benches, where crossbenchers sit in the chamber. Crossbench members of the British House of Lords are not aligned to any particular party; until 2009, these included the Law Lords appointed under the Appellate Jurisdiction Act 1876. In addition, former Speakers of the House of Commons and former Lord Speakers of the House of Lords, who by convention are not aligned with any party sit as crossbenchers. There are some non-affiliated members of the House of Lords who are not part of the crossbencher group. Although non-affiliated members, members of small parties, sometimes physically sit on the crossbenches, they are not members of the crossbench parliamentary group. An "increasing number" of crossbenchers have been created peers for non-political reasons. Since its establishment in May 2000, the House of Lords Appointments Commission has nominated a total of 67 non-party-political life peers who joined the House of Lords as crossbenchers.
There are 184 crossbenchers, composing 24% of the sitting members in the House of Lords and making them the third largest parliamentary group after the Conservative and Labour parties. From April 2007 to 2009, the number of crossbenchers was higher than the number of Conservatives in the Lords for the first time. Although the Lords Spiritual have no party affiliation, they are not considered crossbenchers and do not sit on the crossbenches, their seats being on the Government side of the Lords Chamber. Parties supporting a minority government in a confidence and supply agreement in the House of Commons, such as the Democratic Unionist Party in the current Parliament, are not considered crossbenchers. Instead, along with all other non-governing parties, they are considered part of the opposition and sit on the opposition benches; the crossbenchers do not take a collective position on issues, so have no whips. The current convenor is David Hope, Baron Hope of Craighead, who took the office in September 2015.
While convenors are not part of the "usual channels", they have been included in their discussions in recent years. The following have served as Convenor of the Crossbenchers: 1968–1974: The Lord Strang 1974–1995: The Baroness Hylton-Foster 1995–1999: The Lord Weatherill 1999–2004: The Lord Craig of Radley 2004–2007: The Lord Williamson of Horton 2007–2011: The Baroness D'Souza 2011–2015: The Lord Laming 2015–present: The Lord Hope of Craighead The term "crossbencher" is not used for the Canadian Parliament or any of the provincial or territorial legislatures. Instead, any party, not the governing party is an opposition party, with the largest of these designated the official opposition. Opposition parties other than the official opposition are called third parties, a term derived from American politics. Third parties and independents sit on the opposition side of the chamber if they are supporting a minority government, unless they are part of a coalition government. Parties require a certain number of seats to have official party status for procedural purposes.
Although parties without official party status behave like political parties, their members are treated as individual members. Third parties have been common in Canadian legislatures since the 1920s. In particular, legislatures contain members of an ideological party, such as a labour-based party or a right-wing party. Beginning in 2016, the Independent Senators Group was formed in the Senate of Canada, fulfilling a similar purpose as crossbenchers; the ISG was created as a response to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's decision to appoint more non-partisan Senators. Similar to crossbenchers in the UK, the group has chosen a leader, does not use a whipping system. In December 2016 the Senate began to recognise the group and provide it with funding. Given the relative newness of the group how it operates when compared to crossbenchers in the UK or elsewhere remains to be seen; the term refers to both independent and minor party members in the Federal Parliament of Australia as well as the Parliaments of the Australian states and territories.
Unlike the United Kingdom, in Australia the term is applied to those parties and independents in both the lower and upper houses of parliament, who sit on the crossbench. The last few federal elections have seen an increase in the size and power of the crossbench in both houses of Parliament; the Australian Parliament as elected at the 2010 election was the first hung parliament in the House of Representatives since the election of 1940, with the Australian Labor Party and the Coalition winning 72 seats each of 150 total. 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
2016 Australian federal election
The 2016 Australian federal election was a double dissolution election held on Saturday 2 July to elect all 226 members of the 45th Parliament of Australia, after an extended eight-week official campaign period. It was the first double dissolution election since the 1987 election and the first under a new voting system for the Senate that replaced group voting tickets with optional preferential voting. Unusually, the outcome could not be predicted the day after the election, with many close seats in doubt. After a week of vote counting, no party had won enough seats in the House of Representatives to form a majority government. Neither the Liberal/National Coalition's incumbent Turnbull Government nor the Australian Labor Party's Shorten Opposition were in a position to claim victory. During the uncertain week following the election, contradicting his earlier statements, Turnbull negotiated with the crossbench, he secured confidence and supply support from Bob Katter, Andrew Wilkie and Cathy McGowan in the event of a hung parliament and resulting minority government, as seen in 2010.
On 10 July, Shorten conceded defeat, acknowledging that the Coalition had enough seats to form either minority or majority government. Turnbull claimed victory that day. In the closest federal majority result since 1961, the ABC declared on 11 July that the Coalition could form a one-seat majority government. In the 150-seat House of Representatives, the one-term incumbent Coalition government was reelected with a reduced 76 seats, marking the first time since 2004 that a government had been reelected with an absolute majority. Labor picked up a significant number of government-held seats for a total of 69 seats, recovering much of what it had lost in its severe defeat of 2013. On the crossbench, the Greens, the Nick Xenophon Team, Katter's Australian Party, independents Wilkie and McGowan won a seat each. For the first time since federation, the post-election opposition won more seats than the post-election government in the two most populous states, New South Wales and Victoria. One re-count was held by the Australian Electoral Commission for the Division of Herbert, confirming that Labor won the seat by 37 votes.
The final outcome in the 76-seat Senate took over four weeks to complete despite significant voting changes. Announced on 4 August, it revealed a reduced plurality of 30 seats for the Coalition, 26 for Labor, a record 20 for crossbenchers including 9 Greens, 4 from One Nation and 3 from the Xenophon Team. Former broadcaster and Justice Party founder Derryn Hinch won a seat, while Jacqui Lambie, Liberal Democrat David Leyonhjelm and Family First's Bob Day retained theirs; the Coalition will require nine additional votes for an increase of three. Both major parties agreed to allocate six-year terms to the first six senators elected in each state, while the last six would serve three-year terms. Labor and the Coalition each gained a six-year Senator at the expense of Hinch and the Greens, who criticised the major parties for rejecting the "recount" method despite supporting it in two bipartisan senate resolutions in 1998 and 2010. A number of initially-elected senators were declared ineligible a result of the 2017–18 Australian parliamentary eligibility crisis, replaced after recounts.
Independents: Andrew Wilkie, Cathy McGowan Members in italics did not re-contest their House of Representatives seats at this election. Notes 1 As a result of the 2015 boundary redistribution, the New South Wales Liberal-held seats of Barton and Paterson became notionally marginal Labor seats. 2 A re-count commenced on 19 July in the Queensland division of Herbert. Prior to the re-count, Labor was provisionally ahead of its LNP candidate by eight votes. On 31 July the Australian Electoral Commission announced; the LNP was considering a legal challenge to the result. The final Senate result was announced on 4 August; the incumbent Liberal/National Coalition government won 30 seats, a net loss of three − the Coalition lost four Senators, one each from New South Wales, Western Australia and South Australia, but gained a Senator in Victoria. The Coalition subsequently lost South Australian Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi, who quit to form the Australian Conservatives party; the Labor opposition won a gain of one − a Senator in Western Australia.
The number of crossbenchers increased by two to a record 20. The Liberal/National Coalition will require at least ten additional votes to reach a Senate majority, an increase of four. At the close of nominations on 9 June 2016, there were 1,625 candidates in total – 994 for the House of Representatives and 631 for the Senate; the number of Senate candidates was the highest at an Australian election, increased from 529 in 2013. Based on the post-election pendulum for the 2013 Australian federal election, this Mackerras pendulum was updated to include new notional margin estimates due to redistributions in New South Wales, Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory; the net effect of the redistributions reduced the Liberal/National Coalition from 90 to a notional 88 seats and increased Labor from 55 to a notional 57 seats. While every federal election after 1961 has been won by those that won the majority of federal seats in New South Wales, unusually nearly half of all marginal government seats are in New South Wales at this election, of which nearly half are in Western Sydney and the other half in rural and regional areas, with no more than a few seats each in every other state.
Assuming a theoretical uniform swing, for the Labor opposition to get to 76 seats and majority government would require Labor with 50.5 percent of the two-party vote from a 4.0-point two-party swing or greater, while for the incumbent Coalition to lose