Hung Parliament

Parliament house flag post

Hung Parliament

Posted 23/08/2010 by Cathy Madden

Parliament House Forecourt
The last hung Federal Parliament occurred after the election on 21 September 1940 when Labor and the Coalition of the United Australia Party and the Country Party emerged with 36 seats each in the House of Representatives. The balance of power resided with two independents, Alex Wilson and Arthur Coles, who supported the Coalition and thus enabled the Menzies Government to remain in office (it was sworn in on 28 October). The independents' support lasted until late 1941 when they voted against the budget of the now Fadden-led Coalition Government, leading to the resignation of Fadden and the commissioning of the Curtin Labor Government on 7 October 1941.

The UK election on 6 May 2010 resulted in a hung Parliament, the first since 1974. The Conservative Party won the most seats (305), the Labour Party had 258, while the Liberal Democrats had 57. Gordon Brown remained as 'caretaker' prime minister while negotiations took place between the parties, resulting in the coalition agreement between the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties on 12 May.

State and territory minority governments

There have been a number of state and territory minority governments during the last four decades. See NSW Parliamentary Library publication by Gareth Griffith, ‘Minority governments in Australia 1989–2009: accords, charters and agreements’.

This table summarises minority state and territory governments from 1968.

StateElectionGovernmentNon-major party MPs
SA 1968minority (LIB)Ind (1)
Tas 1969 coalition (LIB/Centre)Centre Party (1)
ACT 1989minority (ALP) Minor party and Ind (8)
SA 1989minority (ALP) Ind (2)
Tas 1989 minority (ALP)Green (5)
NSW 1991 minority (LIB/NP) Ind (4)
ACT 1992 minority (ALP)Ind (3)
ACT 1995 minority (LIB)Green (2), Ind (2)
Tas 1996 minority (LIB) Green (4), Ind (1),
[ALP 14, LP 16]
Qld 1996 minority (NP/LIB coalition)
The Goss Government lost control of the Legislative Assembly following the loss of Mundingburra in a by-election.
Ind (1)
ACT 1998 minority (LIB) Ind (3), Green (1)
Qld 1998 minority (ALP) PHON (11), Ind (2)
Vic 1999 minority (ALP) Ind (3)
[ALP 42; LP 36; NP 7]
ACT 20.10.2001 minority (ALP with Green’s support) Green (1); AD (1)
[ALP 8; LP 7]
SA 9.2.2002 minority (ALP with one Ind’s support) Ind (3) [ALP 23; LP 20; NAT 1]
WA 6.9.2008 minority (LIB with support from NATS) NATS (4); Ind (3)
[ALP 28; LIB 24]
ACT 18.10.2008 minority (ALP with Greens’ support)Green (4)
[ALP 7; LP 6]
Tas 20.3.2010 minority (ALP with Greens’ support) Green (5)[ALP 10, LP 10]

Thank you for your comment. If it does not require moderation, it will appear shortly.

Add your comment

[Click to expand]

We welcome your comments, or additional information which is relevant to a post. These can be added by clicking on the ‘Add your comment’ option above. Please note that the Parliamentary Library will moderate comments, and reserves the right not to publish comments that are inconsistent with the objectives of FlagPost. This includes comments that are not relevant to the article, factually incorrect or politically partisan, as well as spam, profanity and personal abuse. We will close comments after three months.

Generate a new image
Type characters from the image:

Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Add | Email Print


Flagpost is a blog on current issues of interest to members of the Australian Parliament

Parliamentary Library Logo showing Information Analysis & Advice




refugees asylum immigration climate change Australian foreign policy Parliament elections social security welfare reform welfare policy school education Australian Defence Force health financing indigenous Australians women Private health insurance higher education emissions trading people trafficking Middle East taxation Employment illicit drugs gambling health reform federal election 2010 Medicare disability Sport Australian Bureau of Statistics statistics United Nations Asia politics criminal law Afghanistan income management health forced labour Australian Sports Anti-Doping Agency World Anti-Doping Agency United States federal budget Industrial Relations Carbon Pricing Mechanism dental health Australian Public Service constitution Australian Electoral Commission WADA transport aid child protection environment poker machines Australia in the Asian Century steroids National Disability Insurance Scheme detention aged care 43rd Parliament slavery health system OECD ASADA Law Enforcement Australian Federal Police Fair Work Act governance labour force people smuggling debt international relations New Zealand food Australian Crime Commission pharmaceutical benefits scheme banking International Women's Day corruption pensions public service reform children's health Aviation federal election 2013 foreign debt gross debt net debt defence capability parliamentary procedure Senate Senators and Members ALP Newstart Parenting Payment multiculturalism Youth Allowance sea farers Electoral reform High Court skilled migration UK Parliament election results voting mental health Federal Court terrorist groups science social media Higher Education Loan Program HECS federal state relations accountability Papua New Guinea youth paid parental leave same sex relationships coal seam gas customs planning doping crime health risks Gonski Review of Funding for Schooling sex slavery Special Rapporteur Northern Territory Emergency Response social policy political parties firearms public policy Census Population violence against women domestic violence China ADRV terrorism transparency research and development welfare ASIO intelligence community Australian Security Intelligence Organisation carbon tax mining military history employer employee renewable energy regional unemployment fishing by-election European Union family assistance United Nations Security Council Australian economy forestry food labelling vocational education and training Drugs welfare systems Indonesia children Constitutional reform local government codes of conduct terrorist financing homelessness Parliamentary remuneration money laundering Trafficking in Persons Report energy social inclusion human rights paternalism early childhood education Canada Financial sector national security fuel disability employment Tasmania integrity standards NATO Australian Secret Intelligence Service sexual abuse World Trade Organization Australia public health housing affordability bulk billing water productivity health policy Governor-General US economy trade unions export liquefied natural gas foreign bribery question time speaker superannuation public housing expertise climate Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change leadership Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry regulation Pacific Islands reserved seats new psychoactive substances synthetic drugs UNODC carbon markets animal health middle class welfare Indigenous constitutional recognition of local government referendum consumer laws PISA competition policy royal commission US politics language education baby bonus Leaders of the Opposition citizen engagement policymaking Australia Greens servitude Trafficking Protocol forced marriage rural and regional alcohol entitlements ministries Hung Parliament social citizenship maritime Iran ANZUS regional students school chaplains federal budget 2011-12 salary Medicare Locals primary care Building the Education Revolution refugees immigration asylum procurement Indigenous health e-voting internet voting nsw state elections 44th Parliament 2015 ABS Age Pension Death penalty capital punishment execution Bali nine Bali bombings Trade EU China soft power education Fiji India Disability Support Pension Antarctica Diplomacy by-elections state and territories Bills anti-corruption fraud bribery corporate ownership whistleblower G20 economic reform innovation Members of Parliament Scottish referendum Middle East; national security; terrorism social services Criminal Code Amendment (Misrepresentation of Age to a Minor) Bill 2013 online grooming sexual assault of minors ACT Assembly smoking plain packaging tobacco cigarettes Asia; Japan; international relations Work Health and Safety Migration; asylum seekers; regional processing China; United States; international relations fiscal policy Racial Discrimination Act; social policy; human rights; indigenous Australians Foreign policy Southeast Asia Israel Palestine asylum refugees immigration political finance donations foreign aid Economics efficiency human rights; Racial Discrimination Act employment law bullying asylum seekers Animal law; food copyright Australian Law Reform Commission industry peace keeping contracts workplace policies same-sex marriage disorderly conduct retirement Parliament House standing orders prime ministers election timetable sitting days First speech defence budget submarines workers Somalia United Kingdom GDP world heritage political engagement leave loading Trade; tariffs; safeguards; Anti-dumping public interest disclosure whistleblowing Productivity Commission limitation period universities Ireland cancer gene patents genetic testing suspension of standing and sessional orders live exports infant mortality honorary citizen railways disciplinary tribunals standard of proof World Health Organisation arts international students skilled graduate visas temporary employment visas apologies roads Italy national heritage NHMRC nutrition anti-dumping Rent Assistance obesity evidence law sacrament of confession US presidential election international days DFAT UN General Assembly deregulation Regulation Impact Statements administrative law small business Breaker Morant regional engagement social determinants of health abortion Members suspension workplace health and safety marine reserves hearing TAFE Victoria astronomy resources sector YMCA youth parliament Korea rebate Australian Greens presidential nomination Racial Discrimination Act political parties preselection solar hot water Financial Action Taskforce Horn of Africa peacekeeping piracy Great Barrier Reef Stronger futures political financing political education Social Inclusion Board early childhood National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education and Care Murray-Darling Basin sanctions Norway hospitals republic President Barack Obama Presidential visits qantas counselling Korean peninsula Work Choices biosecurity hendra environmental law federalism federation preselection therapeutic goods Therapeutic Goods Administration plebiscites computer games pests suicide nuclear COAG Ministerial Councils floods ADHD stimulant medication advertising electricity extradition conscience votes poverty preventative health rural health coastal erosion Parliamentary Budget Office work-life balance

Show all
Show less
Back to top