Aviation Turbine Fuel and Aviation Gasoline Excises


Research Note Index 2001-02

Research Paper no. 11 2001-02

Commonwealth Election 2001

Scott Bennett
Law and Bills Digest Group

Gerard Newman
Andrew Kopras
Statistics Group
19 March 2002

Contents

Major Issues
Introduction
Part One: The Coalition is Returned to Office
The setting

Election timetable
Nominations

The contest for the House of Representatives

Labor's task
The major players
The state of the Government
Labor's cautious approach
The Government is saved?
On the campaign trail
Policies
Issues

The House of Representatives result

The Government
Liberal Party
National Party
The challengers
Labor Party
Country independents
Australian Democrats
Greens
Pauline Hanson's One Nation
The major party vote
Informal voting
The Morgan Poll
Local contests

The Senate contest

The major parties
The minor parties
Australian Democrats
The Greens
Pauline Hanson's One Nation
The state of the Senate after 1 July 2002

In retrospect
Appendix 1: Text-messaging
Appendix 2: The passing parade

Appendix 3: Did some journalists mis-read the campaign?
Appendix 4: Criticism of the electoral system
Endnotes


Part Two: Election Results

Symbols and Abbreviations

Explanation of Tables

Table 8 House of Representatives: National Summary
Table 9 House of Representatives: State Summary
Table 10 House of Representatives: Regional Summary
Table 11 House of Representatives: Party Status Summary
Table 12a House of Representatives: Electoral Division Summary
Table 12b House of Representatives: Electoral Division Summary
Table 13 House of Representatives: Electoral Division Detail
Table 14 House of Representatives:Two-Party Preferred Vote, State Summary
Table 15 House of Representatives:Two-Party Preferred Vote, Regional Summary
Table 16 House of Representatives:Two-Party Preferred Vote, Party Status Summary
Table 17 House of Representatives: Two-Party Preferred Vote, Electoral Division Summary - Adelaide to Hughes
Table 17 House of Representatives: Two-Party Preferred Vote, Electoral Division Summary - Hume to Wills
Table 18 House of Representatives: Electoral Pendulum
Table 19 House of Representatives Election: Electoral Divisions Ranked by Two-Party Preferred Swing to LP/NP
Table 20 Senate: National Summary
Table 21 Senate: State Summary
Table 22 Senate: Composition After 1 July 2002
Table 23 Senate: Candidate Details
Table 24 Comparison of Senate and House of Representatives Votes
Appendix 1: Electoral Division Classification
Appendix 2a: House of Representatives Elections 1949-2001
Appendix 2b: Senate Elections 1949-2001


Major Issues

The general tenor of media commentary in the two years after the October 1998 election was that the Howard Coalition Government would find it difficult to win a third term. It had earned a poor press over many of its policies, particularly the Goods and Services Tax, that had been introduced during its second term.

From January to June 2001 Newspoll figures indicating a 39 per cent approval rating for the Government and an ALP figure of 45 per cent, seemed to confirm this position.

The unexpected defeats of conservative governments in Western Australia and the Northern Territory, plus the decimation of the coalition partners in Queensland, all seemed to indicate a general turning away from the Liberals and the Nationals across the nation. In March 2001, the first-ever failure by the Liberal Party to win the Queensland division of Ryan indicated a likely defeat at the general election, whenever it was called.

The Government worked hard to restore its electoral health, with efforts being made to deal with particular community grievances over a number of issues. The Aston by-election in June saw a fall in the Liberal two-party preferred vote, but the retention of the seat by the Liberal Party. To Prime Minister Howard it was a sign that his team was 'back in the game'.

At some time after the previous election, Labor took a decision to mimic the Coalition tactic of the 1996 campaign. This involved the regular expression of their opposition to government policies, but, as far as possible, refraining from outlining specific policies until the eve of the next election. This 'small target' strategy may well have worked, for the polls steadily indicated that a majority of voters were inclined to support the Opposition over the Government.

Unfortunately for Labor, though, sudden and extraordinary events left it floundering until polling day. The Tampa affair, the violent events of September 11, 2001 in the USA and the collapse of Ansett Airlines on the following day, all seemed to turn the Australian political world upside-down.

There are strong grounds for supposing that the election was effectively decided at this point, some time prior to the beginning of the formal election campaign.

In the campaign, there was no radical change from the normal pattern of modern Australian campaigning, though the use of text-messaging caught some attention. As has long been the case, the Liberal, National and Labor campaigns focused on activity by the various party leaders. The question of a second televised leaders' debate was a matter of dispute.

In the wake of the dramatic events of late August and early September, Labor's major problem was that circumstances seemed to push the party on to the political sidelines. The party battled to bring the focus back to domestic issues, but had difficulty being heard above the discussion of the critical events being played out elsewhere.

The major issues were national security, leadership, and economic and financial management. The country-city divide was a matter of discussion with the emergence of 'country independents' who particularly threatened National Party seats.

Of the three major parties, the Liberal Party was the clear winner. Its first preference vote rose in all jurisdictions except Tasmania, with important consolidations in New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia. In holding 45 per cent of the House seats, the party has its fifth highest proportion gained in 23 election contests since its formation.

The National Party lost three seats, one to the Liberal Party and two to 'country independents', leaving it with its lowest proportion of House seats since the election of 1943. Despite John Anderson's encouraging words after the election: 'In many seats our vote was extremely strong', the party continues to decline, and its loss of a Cabinet post came as no surprise. The prominence in this election of 'country independent' candidates was in direct relation to the place and performance of the National Party.

Labor's first preference vote was the party's lowest return since 1934, and its second-lowest vote in all preferential voting elections since 1919.

With victories of 'country independent' MPs in Kennedy and New England, plus the re-election of the independent Member for Calare, the House has gained a rural 'ginger group'.

In 1998 Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party gained 8.4 per cent of the vote in the House of Representatives election. In 2001, however, the party lost nearly half of its support and played no significant part in the outcome.

Although 10 new Senators were elected, this was an election where the party balance in the upper house altered very little, with the only change being the loss of a Democrat seat in New South Wales which went to the Greens. The Coalition, Labor, Pauline Hanson's One Nation and independent numbers remained unaltered. The Coalition won three Senate seats to Labor's two in each State.

The Australian Democrats' Senate represented a fall of 1.2 per cent or 105 016 votes. This is the second lowest Democrat Senate total since the party's first election in 1977-only in 1993 has its Senate vote been lower. The Greens won two seats. The PHON vote fell badly. In Queensland Pauline Hanson fell well short of a quota, as did Graeme Campbell in Western Australia.

Introduction

Since the close of polls on 11 November, the 2001 Commonwealth election has engendered an unusual degree of public controversy. From that evening, both major sides have attempted to inject into the public record their view of why the election turned out as it did. In particular, the possible impact on voters of the asylum seekers issue has been a matter of much debate. This has become interwoven with the question of whether or not some asylum seekers threw children overboard from the vessel in which they were attempting to reach the Australian coast on 7 October 2001. The claim that they had formed part of the campaign debate.

This Parliamentary Library Research Paper is a study of the election as it appeared during the campaign. There is no attempt to consider any of the controversy that has emerged since.

The paper is divided into two parts.

Part One was written by Scott Bennett of the Information and Research Service's Politics and Public Administration Group. It is in part an analysis of the 2001 election campaign, as a well as a discussion of the outcome. It includes four Appendices.

Part Two has been produced by Gerard Newman and Andrew Kopras of the Statistics Group. Various tables give a wide range of figures, including national, State and regional summaries, details concerning electoral divisions, two-party preferred figures, and the party balance in the new Parliament. Two Appendices complete this section of the paper. The first gives a party status classification for all divisions, outlining the predicted electoral safety of each. The other appendices give vote and seat figures for all House of Representatives and Senate elections held between 1949 and 2001.

Readers may also be interested in Research Paper no. 9 2001-02 'Federal Election Results 1949-2001', by Gerard Newman, which provides a summary of all Federal elections from 1949 to 2001.

Part One: The Coalition is Returned to Office

The setting

Election timetable

5 October 2001

Announcement by the Prime Minister of an election for the House of Representatives, and half the Senate, for the 40th Parliament

8 October

Electoral writs issued

15 October

Close of rolls

18 October

Close of nominations

19 October

Declaration of nominations

10 November

Polling day

16 January 2002

Return of electoral writs

Nominations

There were 12 708 837 voters registered at the close of rolls on 15 October 2001, an increase of 580 006 on the previous election-and nearly two million more voters than at the beginning of the 1990s. There were 150 House of Representatives electorates being contested, an increase of two. The electorate of Hasluck became the fifteenth in Western Australia, while the single electorate of the Northern Territory had been divided into the electorates of Lingiari and Solomon.

Despite the increase in the number of electorates, nominations for the House fell from 1106 candidates in 1998 to 1039 candidates in 2001. Senate nominations fell from 329 to 285. Female candidates made up 28.8 per cent of all nominations, a rise of 0.9 per cent. There were 49 parties represented, an increase of 13 on the 1998 total.(1)

The contest for the House of Representatives

John Howard led the Liberal-National Coalition into an election for the fourth time, the last three of which had been consecutive. Labor's Kim Beazley was contesting his second election as leader.

Labor's task

Labor's target was tantalisingly close, for the 1998 election had not only left the party within a few seats of victory, but there were many marginal Coalition seats. Taking the March 2001 Ryan by-election into account, Labor needed to win 8 seats to win a majority in the House of Representatives, but was defending a number of marginal seats of its own.

The major players

The state of the Government

The general tenor of media commentary in the two years after the October 1998 election was that the Howard Coalition Government would find it difficult to win a third term. It had earned a poor press over many of its policies, not the least important of which was the Goods and Services Tax (GST), introduced during its second term. At the same time, some of its difficulties were felt to be endemic: it was said that Australian governments find it difficult to win third terms, and at a time when voters were increasingly volatile, the Government seemed likely to be hard-pressed to win. In mid-2000, for example, the Government was being described as 'simply unelectable', and on an 'inevitable and irreversible slide to oblivion'.(2) Newspoll figures indicating a 39 per cent approval rating for the Government during January-June 2001 seemed to confirm this position (ALP 45 per cent).

Although State and Territory election results are not ordinarily a factor in Commonwealth election forecasts, the unexpected defeats earlier in the year of conservative governments in Western Australia and the Northern Territory, plus the heavy defeat of the Coalition partners in Queensland, all seemed to indicate a general turning away from the Liberals and the Nationals across the nation.(3) The Government had hit what John Howard described as 'clear-air turbulence'.(4) In a sign of the Government's awareness of its plight, the response of five senior Ministers to the defeat of the Court Government in Western Australia in February 2001 and the return of three One Nation Legislative Councillors, was to warn that 'A vote for One Nation is a vote for a Labor [Commonwealth] government'. According to the Treasurer, Labor's leader had decided that he could 'surf One Nation into office'.(5) It seemed a desperate drawing of a long bow.

Within a month the Liberal plight seemed even more severe. In a by-election held on 17 March 2001, the first-ever failure by the Liberal Party to win the Queensland division of Ryan indicated a likely defeat at the general election, whenever it was called.(6) Shortly after, a by-election was called for 14 July, this time for the Victorian seat of Aston, and by now psephologist Malcolm Mackerras was prepared to assert that 'On December 8, 2001, Labor will win the general election, including the Victorian seat of Aston'.(7)

The Government made determined efforts to restore its electoral health. In May 2001 it was shaken by a leaked memo from Party President, Shane Stone, to the Prime Minister, which said, inter alia:

The recurring theme [of Liberal Party views around Australia] was that [the] government is dysfunctional, out of touch and hurting our own. . . there is an overwhelming view that when you and [Treasurer] Costello say 'it will be sorted out' there is no follow-through. Things drift.(8)

In apparent heed of the memo's message, efforts were made to deal with particular community grievances. Plans to tax family trusts were abandoned, GST paperwork frustrations were eased, escalating and unpredictable petrol prices were tackled, handouts to the elderly foreshadowed, and rent relief was given to caravan park residents concerned about the impact of the GST. In late May the sixth Costello Budget also helped prepare the way for the election with its targeted benefits, particularly for older voters. These included an increase in the tax-free threshold for self-funded retirees, and a one-off payment to reduce the impact of the GST. None of these or other changes was likely to be crucial in itself, but opinion polls suggested that the various shifts in policy detail helped restore the Government to a competitive position for the coming election, where the main contestants were virtually level-pegging. Labor may still have been ahead, but the Government was not too far behind.

The Aston by-election of 14 June saw a fall of 3.7 in the Liberal two-party preferred vote, but the retention of the seat by the Liberal Party gave a boost to the Government's fortunes. To Howard it was a sign that his team was 'back in the game'.(9)

Labor's cautious approach

Although Labor seemed well-placed to take advantage of public disillusionment with the Coalition, there was intra-party concern at its inability to establish a comfortable lead over its opponent in the opinion polls. The combined vote for Australia's three major parties has fallen consistently in recent decades, with fewer than 80 per cent supporting them in 1998, and in mid-2001 Sol Lebovic of Newspoll was predicting that this figure was likely to fall further in the forthcoming election, making Labor's chance of winning seats on first preferences that little bit harder.(10) In 1998, preferences had been counted in a record two-thirds of the seats, and it seemed probable that this figure would be topped in 2001. For Labor to win, therefore, it seemed that it would be very dependent on preferences from other parties, for its own first preferences were unlikely to pull a majority of candidates over the line. The ALP had grounds for confidence, though these seemed based more on Government unpopularity than its own virtues. Although it failed to win Aston from the Liberal Party, the 3.7 per cent rise in its two-party preferred vote would have been more than enough for it to win a general election.

At some time after the previous election, the Beazley team took a decision to mimic the Coalition tactic of the 1996 campaign. This involved the regular expression of their opposition to government policies, but, as far as possible, refraining from outlining specific policies until the eve of the next election. This was a 'low-profile, no-policy-detail' strategy that offered as small a target for attack as was possible(11)-motivated by what one journalist described as 'the caution that comes from a fear of alienating a single voter'.(12) As with the 1996 Coalition strategy, the media found it frustrating: in December 2000, for example, one journalist was complaining about Beazley's 'perplexing failure to deliver a clear electoral message'.(13)

Despite such comments, for a time the strategy seemed not to hurt Labor's chances, for as noted above, it retained an opinion poll lead for much of the time from the 1998 election. On the other hand, it was a matter of concern to the party that it was never able to increase its own standing to commanding levels, for it was seemingly incapable of lifting its approval rating above 45 per cent-and for much of the time it was below that level.(14) Wayne Swan (ALP) later claimed that Labor's polling showed that 'too much of the swing was being driven by preferences from minor party voters, rather than a groundswell of primary support'.(15)

It is therefore open to speculation that this level of support might have been reflecting voter uncertainty of what Labor actually stood for. Former Labor National Secretary, Bob Hogg, certainly thought so. He believed that in the year prior to the Aston by-election, Labor had lost an opportunity, stating that Beazley should have 'established his credentials as a leader of some stature rather than a figure of uncertainty'. Hogg also noted that Labor's desperate efforts in the last campaign weeks to establish Beazley's 'persona' in voters' minds, was itself 'an unintended self-criticism'.(16) Despite this, the 'small target' strategy may well have worked, for the polls steadily indicated that a majority of voters were inclined to support the Opposition over the Government. Unfortunately for Labor, though, sudden and extraordinary events left it floundering until polling day.

The Government is saved?

Suddenly, the steady pace towards the next election was interrupted by three events that shook the political world, and seemingly guaranteed the Howard Government's re-election because of the general community uncertainty that they created:

  • On 26 August the action of the Norwegian vessel, the Tampa, in picking up a group of Middle Eastern asylum seekers, followed the next day by their being banned from landing in Australia, suddenly drew widespread domestic and international attention to Australia's response to asylum seekers.(17)
  • The violent events of September 11, 2001 in New York, Washington and a Pennsylvania forest, which led to hostilities in Afghanistan, pushed international affairs onto the Australian election landscape in a fashion not seen since the late 1960s.(18)
  • The worsening position of Ansett Airlines during the middle of the year, culminated in AirNZ placing Ansett under voluntary administration on 12 September 2001. The economic and financial ramifications of the collapse of such an important airline were likely to be severe.(19)

There are strong grounds for supposing that the election was effectively decided at this point, some time prior to the beginning of the formal election campaign. Within a few days of the Tampa hitting the news for the first time on August 26-27, there seemed to be a marked reaction showing up in the opinion polls. In mid-August Newspoll had found an approval rating for the Government of barely 40 per cent (ALP 42 per cent) , but the figure had risen to 45 per cent in its August 31-September 2 soundings (ALP 39 per cent). This seemed inextricably linked with the Government's determined response to the asylum seeker question, with the Prime Minister's approval rating jumping 10 points to 50 per cent. The September 11 events seemed to build on this, and by late September the Government's approval rating was at 50 per cent (ALP 35 per cent), and Howard's approval rating had climbed further to 61 per cent, the highest level in five years.(20) In early October Professor Murray Goot claimed that overall the different polls were pointing to 'considerable Coalition strength' that was likely to last.(21) Essentially this relative position remained constant during the five week campaign, with the Government remaining comfortably ahead. Early in the campaign the pollster, Irving Saulwick, remarked on the electoral mood as being 'one of conservatism and battening down the hatches',(22) and this seemed not to alter.

Writing in April 2000, journalist Richard McGregor spoke of the Prime Minister and his party needing 'to find positive reasons for people to stick with the Coalition'.(23) By mid-September 2001 the Government seemed to believe that it had found such reasons in the sudden and unexpected turmoil of the times. By early October, election analyst Antony Green's reading of the dramatic events was that so 'drastic and complete' was the turn-around of the previous six weeks, that it was difficult to see how Labor could get itself back in the race, 'let alone return to the lead it previously held'.(24) Labor needed to only win eight of its opponent's marginals but as polling day loomed, it seemed that, apart from the difficulty of winning eight, Labor could not even count on holding all of its own marginals, such as Bass, Dickson, Canning or McMillan.

On the campaign trail

After the announcement of polling day, there was no radical change from the normal pattern of modern Australian campaigning. As has long been the case, the Liberal, National and Labor campaigns focused on activity by the various party leaders-perhaps seen most clearly in the ALP, where most policies were issued with titles such as 'Kim Beazley's Plan for Forestry', 'Kim Beazley's Plan for Child Care', and so on. National leader, John Anderson, spent almost all of his time in New South Wales and Queensland, typically announcing spending promises in particular rural electorates. By election time, it was reported that his promises had amounted to over $300m.(25) The Australian Democrats placed an unusually heavy emphasis on the image of the new national leader, Senator Natasha Stott Despoja, and the hope that the leadership change would enable the party to overcome any voter disenchantment caused by its support for the GST legislation two years before.

Despite this focus on leaders, various other members of their teams were occasionally seen. Ministers for Foreign Affairs and Defence are not usually heard in elections, but on this occasion Alexander Downer and Peter Reith played a part, no doubt in reflection of the overseas events that were a backdrop to the campaign. The Treasurer and the deputy Labor leader were also occasionally in the news, while the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs was reported as being in constant demand to campaign for Coalition candidates.

One interesting technological development was the appearance of SMS text-messaging as a campaign tool. It remains to be seen if it will have a lasting impact on campaign practices (see Appendix 1).

Policies

Another regular campaign practice is the way in which a great many policies are released progressively, leaving relatively little to be announced in the traditional policy launch. The launch itself tends to be later in the campaign than used to be the case. The theory is that such a dribbling-out of policy keeps a party's face before the voters. There is a risk, however, that if too much is introduced in this way the policy launches will fall flat and lose any impact they may have had for the parties.

No doubt, therefore, many policies from both parties were lost in the rush of events, but a few caught the media eye:

  • Labor promised that by the year 2005 ABC funding would be restored to the same real level as it had been under the last Labor government.
  • Mothers who became full-time caregivers were promised a gradual refund of their last full tax bill by the Coalition, to a maximum of $2500.
  • Although the Coalition and the Opposition promised to ensure that they would make it as difficult as possible for asylum seekers to gain permanent residency, and both sides promised to keep the annual refugee intake figure at its current level, Labor promised to establish a coast guard to be given the specific task of patrolling Australian waters against asylum seekers.
  • Labor promised to ratify the Kyoto protocol on climate change.
  • Labor promised to take the GST off domestic gas and electricity bills. It would roll-back the GST on various items such as funerals, nappies, women's sanitary products, caravan and boarding house rentals.
  • The Coalition promised to extend for six months the arrangements for grants for new home owners under the First Home Owners Scheme.
  • Labor spoke of offering an apology 'on behalf of the Commonwealth Government' to the 'stolen generations'.
  • According to the ALP, Australia's future increasingly depended 'on the level of education and skills of our people, the amount and quality of the research we undertake and the quality of our modern infrastructure'.(26) To that end, in its Knowledge Nation policy Labor promised almost one billion dollars by 2004-05 to set up a series of programmes in education, training, technology, communications and the arts.
  • Labor promised it would strengthen the Trade Practices Act 1974 in order to assist independent service stations compete with large chains.
  • The Coalition broke new ground with some late-announced superannuation policies. Its promises included lowering the superannuation surcharge for higher-level income earners, allowing spouses to direct superannuation contributions to non-working or low income partners, and allowing parents and grandparents to contribute for children under 18.
  • The Prime Minister promised that the remainder of Telstra would be sold only when services in rural and remote areas had been raised to acceptable levels. Beazley promised that no Beazley Government would sell any part of Telstra.

There is a second potential danger for parties in this process. It is a moot point just how much attention voters pay to all of this, but to have most chance of working, it must be achieved with relatively little distraction from other items of news. On this occasion a number of Labor's launches tended to be submerged in the news by other events: its dental policy launch coincided with US bombing of Afghanistan, for instance, and its banking policy clashed with the commitment of Australian troops for overseas duty. Labor even suffered by having policy announcements overshadowed by some of the controversy surrounding Cheryl Kernot's campaign for Dickson (see pp. 25-6).(27) It is impossible to estimate the overall impact of such distractions, but it certainly made it more difficult for Labor to inform voters of its policies. All of this might have mattered less had Labor taken a different long-term approach to its post-1998 campaign.

Issues

Asylum seekers

This is an issue about which many Australians feel very strongly. On the one hand, Australia's current exclusionary policy can be seen as having 'deep historical roots in Australian life', in a direct line to 19th century fears of Asian immigration. Many Australians would still agree with the Bulletin of 1894: 'Australia has only two alternatives-free welcome or complete exclusion'.(28) After Federation, many Australians supported the White Australia Policy that only ended in the 1960s, and there were echoes of such attitudes in the Prime Minister's response to stories of Afghan asylum seekers apparently throwing children into the sea:

I don't want in this country people who are prepared, if those reports are true, to throw their own children overboard. And that kind of emotional blackmail is very distressing'.(29)

Such long-term attitudes are also shared by newer Australians, for whom the issue is tied up with the question of 'queue-jumping': 'Front-migrants, [that is] those who came according to official procedures, hate seeing the backdoor exploited', was the way the Liberal candidate in Stirling put it.(30) Research conducted by David Chalke, a consultant for Quantum Market Research's 'Australia Scan', indicated that much of the opposition to asylum seekers 'was founded on anger at their breaking of the rules'.(31)

Once the Tampa events became public, therefore, it was probably inevitable that the issue of asylum seekers would be part of the issue mix in the election itself. During the campaign, opinion polls showed that people pushed the asylum seeker question up the list of issues of significance to them, that their attitudes to asylum seekers hardened, and that they believed the Coalition was better suited to handling the issue than was Labor.(32) After the election the Liberal Federal Director, Lynton Crosby, reported that it had been 'a relevant issue' to voters during the campaign, while Labor's Geoff Walsh went further when he claimed that the issue had pushed the ALP well behind the Coalition.(33)

In the campaign there were essentially no differences between Government and Opposition on this issue, but the Government's recent firm performance would have given it any advantage there was to be gained. This may well have been reinforced by suggestions that Labor might be 'soft' on the issue were it to come to power. Among anecdotal evidence reported on this was the claim by the ALP's Assistant National Secretary, Tim Gartrell, that an opponent's leaflet in the electorate of Richmond stated that a Labor Government would move asylum seekers into local units and caravan parks.(34) The journalist, Laurie Oakes, has claimed that Liberal advice was that border protection was always seen as the Prime Minister's 'ticket to an election win'. Election-eve advertisements made the point clearly: 'A vote for your local Liberal team member protects our borders...'.(35) Seven weeks before polling day the Age was claiming this as 'Howard's victory stroke'.(36)

National security

The events of September 11 in the USA made national security a feature of the campaign debate in a fashion not seen since the 'Vietnam' election of 1966. As with the asylum seeker issue, the advantages were seen as lying with the incumbent-at a time of international uncertainty, voters should not seek to change the government. There was a continual reinforcement of this by the well-publicised Government activity in responding to the US requests for assistance in the 'war against terrorism'. As one observer noted, 'the Liberals draped themselves in khaki for the campaign', presumably reflecting Defence Minister Reith's view that, 'There's only one issue in this election. That's the war'.(37) If that were the case, Labor's actions in helping defeat the Border Protection Bill 2001 in its original form in the Senate probably did it more harm than good, despite its final support for the revised legislation.

Reith was also important in the Government's efforts to link the asylum seeker issue to that of national security, stating quite categorically that there was 'absolutely no doubt' that asylum seekers needed careful screening to ensure that terrorists were kept out of Australia.(38) In an interview on the eve of the election that formed a front page article in Brisbane's Courier-Mail, the Prime Minister stated that

Australia had no way to be certain terrorists, or people with terrorist links, were not among the asylum seekers trying to enter the country by boat from Indonesia'.(39)

Leadership

These matters merged into that of leadership. The sudden rise in the Prime Minister's standing that followed the Tampa and September 11 events, suggested quite early that an important issue of this election campaign would be that of leadership. The Government made a determined effort to use the issue, emphasising a three-pronged approach to the question:

  • The importance of voters remaining with a government that was experienced and ought not to be thrown over in times of such uncertainty and international peril;

The strength and determination of the Prime Minister to stand his ground in pursuit of Australia's best interests. The advertisements that appeared in newspapers on 9 November, picturing a clenched-fisted Howard, above the words, 'We decide who comes to this country and the circumstances in which they come', illustrated most clearly the Coalition's belief in pushing the leadership issue;(40) and

  • According to the Government, people needed to consider the question of whether Kim Beazley was up to the task of leading the country. It was a reminder of the 1998 campaign when the Prime Minister had said that he did not think that Beazley possessed 'the ticker' to be Prime Minister-what Lynton Crosby described in the following campaign as 'Kim Beazley's weak and indecisive nature'.(41)

In the judgment of journalist, Paul Kelly, the result was 'a clear affirmation of John Howard's leadership'.(42)

Economic and financial management

Governments are aided by good economic times, and the Howard Government was no exception. The economy was in reasonable shape, public irritations with the GST were far less newsworthy than they had been, unemployment was steady, interest rates falling, and trade figures were sound. Liberal-National governments in Australia enjoy an advantage over their Labor rivals, for the opinion poll evidence suggests that the conservative parties are generally considered the better economic and financial managers, a perception that even Labor's National Secretary conceded.(43) Prior to the dramatic events of August-September 2001, it was noted that on most issues, polls revealed very little difference between Liberal and Labor. The major exception was economic management. Even when Labor was ahead on voting preferences, the Prime Minister retained a clear advantage of about 50 per cent to 30 per cent on the question of who would best manage the economy-it was the reason why Aston voters during the by-election heard the Prime Minister and Treasurer claiming that the return of Labor to power risked a return to the 17 per cent mortgage rates of the early nineties.(44) On the eve of the election, the Coalition returned to an old claim made against the Labor Party, namely, that it was likely to bankrupt the nation with its promises, when full-page press advertisements asked: 'Where is the money coming from?'(45) Liberals later claimed polling had suggested that this issue was the most important single reason given by voters for supporting the Liberal Party.(46)

At one stage Labor had thought that popular opposition to the GST was likely to guarantee it victory-Beazley had told colleagues that they would 'surf into office' on the back of voter discontent.(47) Labor accepted that the tax could not be abolished, for too many business resources had been put in place to help deal with its requirements. The thrust of Labor's policy, therefore, was that they would remove or reduce the tax on various items of everyday use-what became known as the 'GST rollback'. The difficulty for the party, however, was that it had very little leeway with what could be promised, largely due to the Government's Budget. This had ensured that little would be available to help pay for such a rollback. In addition, there was the possibility that the small business critics would prefer to stay with the system rather than have to make further adjustments, a point made by New South Wales Labor politician, John Della Bosca, in July 2000.(48) By the time of the election, little was included in the list of items from which the GST would be removed. Rollback was, according to journalist, Peter Charlton, 'essentially a fudge':

Labor hoped that the electorate would buy rollback in much the same way as a gullible consumer enters a finance deal for a car, without reading the fine print.(49)

The country-city divide

The minor partner in a coalition government is always likely to have to make more compromises than its majority partner. The National Party has long assumed that its supporters will be prepared to accept such political realities for the sake of the benefits that come from it sharing power with the Liberal Party. Since 1996, however, it has found itself caught between its Liberal partner keen to push such policies as free trade and microeconomic reform, and rural residents increasingly unhappy with changes to country areas, perhaps most tellingly symbolised by the disappearance of so many rural branches of the main banks.(50) A leading political critic has been Tony Windsor, from 1991 the independent MP for Tamworth in the New South Wales Parliament. Windsor has been opposed to the inflexibility of the National Competition Policy, particularly in its impact on rural communities where 'distance, remoteness, smallness and social equity' are important aspects of service delivery. He has also called for the Government to ensure

equitable access to funding for ... services including public education, aged care, telecommunications, air travel, roads, and other services that metropolitan people take for granted, yet for which we, in the country, must fight to access at reasonable cost and timeliness.(51)

As the election drew closer, there emerged the strong likelihood that a loose alliance of 'country independents', such as Windsor, would challenge the party in its heartland. Such a development had recent precedents in some State elections, with the election of independents representing such rural seats as Dubbo and Northern Tablelands in New South Wales, Mildura and East Gippsland in Victoria and Nicklin (Glass House Mountains) in Queensland. The Australian's rural affairs writer has drawn a picture of such members:

What each has promised their voters, in their own way, is to put those electors first, to be a voice for their community that will not be overridden by personal political ambition or the needs of other sections of a party.(52)

In due course, prominent 'country independent' candidates nominated for New England (Windsor), Gwydir (Bruce Haigh) and Eden-Monaro (Peter Cochran), joining Bob Katter, MP for Kennedy, who had left the National Party in July 2001 to sit as an independent.

This was an issue, therefore, that had the potential to hurt the Nationals. Labor's New South Wales branch also attempted to capitalise on this by running its rural candidates under the official title of 'Country Labor'.

The leaders' televised debate

Despite argument between the parties, the Prime Minister's wishes in regard to the televised leaders' debate effectively carried the day. There was just a single, hour-long debate held on Sunday 14 October, televised by Channel 9, and chaired by Ray Martin, who had moderated the 1996 and 1998 debates.

Most observers were struck by the contrasting performances of Howard and Beazley, which were the opposite of what had been expected: Howard did not appear to be at ease, while his opponent was far more focused and less wordy than usual. Two-thirds of the studio audience awarded the contest to the Leader of the Opposition. Although the debate was held well before polling day, and, hence, was unlikely to be significant in the long run, many observers believed that Beazley's performance had put Labor 'back in the race'.(53)

A short-lived controversy emerged over the Prime Minister's refusal to participate in more than one debate. The veteran journalist, Frank Devine, seemed to sum up many media views with his headline: 'Come off it, Prime Minister-one isn't good enough'.(54) Despite media and Opposition calls for at least one more debate, the Prime Minister refused to concede any such need, and the issue soon dropped from sight-as presumably the Government had anticipated it would.

The House of Representatives result

The Liberal Party won 68 seats, the National Party won 13 seats and the CLP won a single Northern Territory seat. This gave the Coalition a majority of 14 seats. The ALP won 65 seats and three independents won seats. The Liberals won Canning, Dickson, Dobell, Paterson and Ryan from Labor, and Farrer from the Nationals. Labor won Ballarat from the Liberal Party. The National Party also lost New England and Kennedy to 'country independents'. The two seats created out of the single Northern Territory seat were shared by the CLP and the Labor Party (for the passing parade of Senators and Members, see Appendix 2).

Eighty-seven seats (58 per cent) went to preferences, a slight reduction on the 1998 figure. The Liberal Party led on first preferences in Brisbane, Chisholm, Hasluck and Melbourne Ports, but lost after preferences were allocated. The Labor Party led in Cowper and Paterson but lost both on preferences.

The Government

Liberal Party

Of the three major parties, the Liberal Party was the clear winner. Its first preference vote rose in all jurisdictions except Tasmania, with important consolidations in New South Wales (+3.1 per cent), Queensland (+5.6 per cent), Western Australia (+3.2 per cent) and South Australia (+3.9 per cent) (see Table 9, pp. 54-8). Despite this, its national first preference total of 37.1 per cent was its third-lowest winning total in 15 victories since 1949-only 1961 (33.6 per cent) and 1998 (33.9 per cent) were lower. This is further illustration of the difficulties the major parties are experiencing in retaining their first preference support (see p. 19).

After electoral redistributions, the Liberals had entered the election with a nominal 63 seats, 19 of which would have been lost with shifts of the two-party preferred vote of between 0.1 and 2.9 per cent. Despite this precarious position, the party actually won five seats from Labor and one from the Nationals. The Liberals lost only the Victorian seat of Ballarat, possibly because of losing its high-profile candidate just 12 weeks before polling day (see pp. 21-2). In holding 45 per cent of the House seats, the party has its fifth highest proportion gained in 23 election contests since its formation. It also secured its fourth-highest two-party preferred vote since 1972.

National Party

The National Party lost three seats, one to the Liberal Party and two to 'country independents', leaving it with its lowest proportion of House seats since the election of 1943. The party vote rose barely 0.3 per cent, despite contesting one more electorate than in 1998. The party's national percentage of 5.6 per cent was less than half its total in 1987-just five elections before.(55) Despite John Anderson's encouraging words after the election: 'In many seats our vote was extremely strong',(56) the party continues to decline, and its loss of a Cabinet post came as no surprise.

The prominence in this election of 'country independent' candidates was in direct relation to the place and performance of the National Party. Uneasiness over the removal of 'Country' from its name has never completely disappeared, and accusations of the party as having 'sold out' to the Liberals have helped provide ammunition for dissident rural politicians such as Windsor. The success of Windsor and Katter in winning National seats is a significant event to which the National Party must pay heed. John Anderson has not dismissed the 'country independent' phenomenon, noting after the election that his party would have to look at the reasons why many voters believe independents have something to offer them.(57)

It is a leaching away of long-term voting strength that is likely to bring the party undone over time. The loss of Queensland support is crucial. Between 1949 and 1990, its first preference vote in that State averaged 22.3 per cent, with 31.7 per cent in 1984 as its peak return. In 1984 and 1987 it gained more votes from Queenslanders than did the Liberal Party. In the four elections 1993-2001, however, its vote has averaged just 12.4 per cent (9.6 per cent average in 1998 and 2001). The party's 2001 Queensland vote of 9.1 per cent (-0.9 per cent) was the first election since 1925 in which it has failed to secure a vote of at least 10 per cent, and even with Pauline Hanson's One Nation in apparent terminal decline, that party still received a higher Senate vote than the National Party. In New South Wales the fall in votes has not been quite so marked, but the decline is still clear. The State seat of Tamworth vacated as the result of Windsor winning the Commonwealth seat of New England, was regained by the party in a by-election held on 8 December. A healthy two-party preferred figure for the National candidate caused the Northern Daily Leader to describe the victory as a 'comprehensive result'.(58) It is relevant to the question of National Party health, however, to note that this was built on a first preference vote of just 36.3 per cent. By contrast, in the three State elections prior to Windsor's first victory in 1991, the National first preference vote in Tamworth had averaged 62.5 per cent.

The party's problems come more from the 'friendly fire' from the Liberals or other rural politicians, than from the ALP. There is a long-term difficulty for the National Party in the tendency for seats won from it by the Liberal Party to become safe for their Coalition partner-Hume, Leichhardt, Murray and Indi are all seats in which the main Coalition contender once was the National or Country Party. The Liberals' regaining of Farrer in 2001 therefore may be much more long-term than the National Party would like. Professor Brian Costar of Monash University has asserted that it is unlikely to be won by the Nationals ever again.(59) While Liberal State divisions tolerate three-cornered contests, this loss of votes and seats to the Liberals will probably continue. The recent decision of the Victorian Liberal Party to contest every seat, including National Party seats, in the next Victorian State election, is an event likely to further weaken the rural party in that State.(60)

The challengers

Labor Party

In the wake of the dramatic events of late August and early September, Labor's major problem was that circumstances seemed to push the party on to the political sidelines. The party battled to bring the focus on to domestic issues, but had difficulty being heard above the discussion of the critical events being played out elsewhere. The Budget revision that came along during the campaign did not help, for it indicated that there would be less money for Labor's promises in the short-term, pushing back the party's timetable for the full implementation of many of them. Labor also had difficulty in differentiating itself from the Government, especially as any differences between the parties on the issues of asylum seekers and the war on terrorism were not readily apparent. University of Adelaide academic, Carol Johnson, later wrote:

...the ALP's long-term reinforcing of Howard's wedge politics on asylum-seekers contributed to the role of the so-called 'illegal refugee' issue in Labor's 2001 defeat.(61)

Labor's Wayne Swan later claimed that 'we lost momentum because we failed to communicate our policy messages to a broad enough audience'.(62) Overall, then, as the differences between the parties on the issues of major impact were hard to detect, Kim Beazley found himself and his party struggling 'to get traction with substantive points of difference' he was attempting to make.(63)

The asylum seekers controversy may also have hurt the Opposition in first preference terms because of disappointed Labor voters moving away over its support for the hard line on the issue. There were suggestions that some voters moved to the Greens and Australian Democrats in protest (see p. 18).(64) The increase in the informal vote was said to have been influenced by voter rejection of both Labor and the Coalition over this (see p. 20).(65)

Despite this difficulty, the general consensus in the Labor Party was that the party had campaigned well: 'At every turn during the election campaign, Kim Beazley outperformed John Howard', was how one Labor frontbencher put it. In his concession speech on election night, the Leader of the Opposition himself asserted that Labor 'fought a magnificent campaign'.(66) This was a view shared by various journalists who believed that Labor had won the campaign (Appendix 3). It was a reminder of British Labour's similar claim about Neil Kinnock's 1987 campaign in the United Kingdom.(67)

'Winning' in such a context clearly referred to a belief that the opinion polls indicated that Labor was likely to lose by less than would have otherwise been the case. On the other hand, various aspects of the election outcome suggest, at the very least, that the 'winning the campaign' claim is exaggerated-and may not even be correct, so poorly did the party perform:

  • Labor's first preference vote of 37.8 per cent was the party's lowest return since the 26.8 per cent of 1934, and its second-lowest vote in all preferential voting elections (i.e. since the election of 1919). Even during 1955-69, when the Democratic Labor Party played such an important part in reducing the Labor vote, the party's vote was higher.
  • Despite running candidates under the 'Country Labor' label in 12 New South Wales seats, the party's vote fell in each.
  • As noted above, the Coalition had been extremely vulnerable to a small movement of votes in a few seats. Despite this, the Labor campaign managed to pick up just a single seat: the Victorian seat of Ballarat. Of Labor's 10 members in seats between the 0.1 and 1.9 per cent two-party preferred range, the party lost 3 (Dickson, Canning and Dobell).
  • Labor was well behind the Coalition in first preferences in South Australia (12.2 per cent), Queensland (10.9 per cent), New South Wales (6.3 per cent) and Western Australia (5.3 per cent). Only in the smaller polities of Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the ACT, did Labor's first preference vote top the Coalition tallies.
  • Labor's national first preference total was over half a million votes fewer than the Coalition's total; in 1998 it gained over 65 000 more votes than its main rivals.
  • Labor's Senate vote of 34.3 per cent was its lowest Senate vote in the post-war period, and its lowest return since the election of 1934.
  • Labor's first preference vote fell in 74 per cent of electorates, while its two-party preferred vote fell in 75.3 per cent of cases. Barely one-quarter of its sitting members saw their first preference vote increase-and three of them actually lost their seat.

The weakness of Labor's performance may well be disguised by the propensity for analysts to use the two-party preferred vote. To say that after the election the party's two-party preferred vote is just 2 per cent behind the Coalition figure, diverts attention from the extremely poor first preference tallies mentioned above.

Labor may well be developing a long-term problem with its vote in Sydney. There was some discussion during and after this election about the party's difficulties associated with so-called 'aspirational voters'. Some observers wondered if in divisions on the Sydney fringe, Labor's former strong vote might be weakening because of a middle-classing effect that was taking place-what one writer labelled 'the classic aspirational middle Australia'.(68) It is possible that the fact that house prices are so much higher in Sydney than elsewhere in Australia may mean that Labor's message to Sydney people struggling to afford the basic aim of home ownership, may have less impact than elsewhere. Research by Australian Development Strategies seemed to give some credence to this view, suggesting that Labor's campaign failed to capture the support of swinging voters in the 'mortgage belt' seats such as Lindsay and Parramatta.(69) It is notable that Labor's Outer Metropolitan vote in 2001 was 37.5 per cent, 13.7 per cent lower than in 1993. Closer to central Sydney, its vote was 9.3 per cent lower than it had been eight years before.

Country independents

With victories of 'country independent' MPs in Kennedy and New England (see pp. 25, 26), plus the re-election of the independent Member for Calare, the House has gained a rural 'ginger group', which will presumably be heard whenever matters of significance to their constituents are being discussed. With the National Party weaker after the election, the Government may well find it politic to be seen to be engaging with the three independents, even though they do not have the balance of power in the House. They have already signalled that they will see part of their role as attempting to influence upper house negotiations, when relevant to issues of concern to their constituents.

Australian Democrats

Despite a change of leadership, the Australian Democrats' national House vote (5.4 per cent) remained static. In ten national elections their vote has averaged 6.5 per cent, but only 5.3 per cent in the last four. Since their first election in 1977 when they gained a vote of 9.4 per cent, they have only once topped that figure: they gained an impressive 11.3 per cent in 1990. That vote represented over 1.1 million voters; eleven years later the Democrats' House return was over 493 000 votes fewer. Their preference swap with Labor in some seats seemed of little consequence. In Queensland, for instance, Government members retained the seats of Longman, Moreton, Petrie and Herbert, despite Democrat preferences being directed to Labor, partly because of the strength of the sitting member's personal vote, and partly because of the weakness of the Democrat vote. The Democrats' main role, clearly, remains the contesting and winning of Senate seats, and their performance in that contest will be considered below (see pp. 29-30).

Greens

The House of Representatives vote for Green candidates rose from 2.6 per cent nationally to 5 per cent. On the Monday following polling day, Senator Bob Brown seized the high ground, speaking of the Greens 'coming of age' as 'the progressive party of Australian politics', and as having 'taken the mantle of alternative party' from the Australian Democrats. He noted the House vote of 569 074 nationwide, and spoke of Green forces having 'reached beyond fringe groups and into the mainstream' of Australian politics. No longer should the Greens be seen as a single-issue party.(70) Brown's public enthusiasm no doubt had a political purpose, but his statements need to be tempered by analysis of the election returns. In fact, although the gap between Green and Democrat votes was narrowed, the Greens still finished half a percentage point behind in the House election, and over two per cent behind in the Senate poll.

Brown subscribed to the view that the Greens offered a voting refuge to Labor voters unhappy with the ALP stance on asylum seekers.(71) The evidence to support this is mixed, however. On the one hand, Labor's vote fell by 10.3 per cent in the seat of Melbourne, apparently matched by the Green vote climbing by 9.6 per cent. Similar results can be seen in Batman and Wills. Despite this, in Isaacs, where Labor's vote dropped 6.3 per cent, the Green vote rose by less than 2 per cent, while in Menzies the Labor and Green votes both rose. Overall, though, in Melbourne electorates Green candidates did appear to pick up more of the shifting Labor vote than did Liberal candidates. In the New South Wales capital, by contrast, the Liberal Party tended to gain more of Labor's deserters than did the Greens. Only in the seat of Sydney can we see a significant Labor fall (-8.6 per cent) matched by a Green rise in vote (+8.3 per cent).

Pauline Hanson's One Nation

In 1998 Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party (PHON) gained 8.4 per cent of the vote in the House of Representatives election. In 2001, however, the party lost nearly half of its support, partly due to running 14 fewer candidates, but presumably exacerbated by divisions in the party, problems over its financial matters, and the relatively low profile in the campaign of Pauline Hanson. Hanson claimed that the PHON vote fell because the Coalition had adopted many of its views. Queensland (7.1 per cent) remained its strongest State, though this figure was also a halving of its 1998 vote.

Although PHON was apparently crippled and in decline, the ideas and issues that brought it to the surface seemed still important for some voters. In Queensland, for example, the party still had enough support to push the vote above 10 per cent in the seats of Blair, Maranoa, Oxley and Wide Bay, with Maranoa (15.1 per cent) and Blair (15 per cent) giving quite healthy returns. With this level of support (including a Senate vote of 10 per cent), plus retaining one Senator, the party is still alive, but is clearly in danger of disappearing, particularly since Pauline Hanson's stepping out of the political limelight.

The major party vote

The 2001 election did little to halt the steady decline in the major party first preference vote that has occurred over the past five decades. The 1998 election had been the first occasion since 1943 that the major parties' total (79.6 per cent) had fallen below 80 per cent. In 2001 it might have been expected that the unusual times would see a significant increase in the major party vote, especially if the Coalition were returned. In fact, the vote rose by barely one per cent to 80.9 per cent, giving the second-lowest national total since 1943.

Factors accounting for this decline and its possible consequences have been discussed elsewhere.(72) Obviously, if such a decline continues, there will come a time when we see a significant number of non-major party MPs occupying seats in the House of Representatives. Indeed, Australia could well be heading that way. Although in all elections between 1949 and 2001 only 14 such MPs have been elected, 12 of these successes have occurred since 1990.

Informal voting

One arresting fact was the jump in the informal House vote to 4.8 per cent, an increase of 1.04 per cent, or 144 453 voters more than in 1998. The reasons for this are unclear. Possible factors include:

  • Confusion felt by voters in New South Wales and Queensland, States which have optional preferential voting for their Assembly elections. According to the Australian Electoral Commission, substantial proportions of the informals in these States were found on ballot papers marked with just a single preference. This might have been more pronounced in the case of Queensland, where the most recent State election was held in February 2001, and where the Labor Party called for its voters to 'Just vote 1'.
  • There was some anectodal evidence of voters, unhappy with the bipartisan approach of Government and Opposition to the handling of the asylum seekers, choosing to vote informally. The Canberra Times journalist, Nicholas Stuart, believed this to be a major cause of informal voting.(73)
  • Unlike 1998, so-called 'Langer' votes (e.g. preferences given 1, 2, 2, 2, 2) were declared informal in 2001. This may have helped increase the overall number of informals.
  • Early information from a post-election Australian Electoral Commission study suggests that a significant proportion (possibly as high as 8 per cent) of provisional votes were informal. This suggests difficulty with the system experienced by new voters from non-English speaking backgrounds.(74)

The Australian Electoral Commission is undertaking a study to attempt to pinpoint the relevant factors. For criticism of various aspects of the electoral system, see Appendix 4.

The Morgan Poll

The Morgan poll had a difficult time prior to the 2001 election. In the polls published by the Bulletin between September 11 and election day, Morgan's figures fluctuated quite markedly:

Bulletin

Coalition
(two-party preferred)

ALP
(two-party preferred)

Margin
(from Coalition standpoint)

Sept 11

43

57

-14

Sept 18

48

52

-4

Sept 25

60

40

+20

Oct 16

50

50

0

Oct 23

55

45

+10

Oct 30

48.5

51.5

-3

Nov 6

47.5

52.5

-5

Nov 13

45.5

54.5

-9

Source: Morgan Polls, Bulletin, various issues.

After the third of these polls which put Labor well behind, Morgan actually disowned the poll, saying that a face-to-face survey he had carried out at the same time actually gave a result that put Labor ahead.(75) The final poll, which suggested a Labor landslide, sparked a lot of debate, and some claims that the polls were swinging markedly. In fact, this was not the case as far as other polls, such as Newspoll, were concerned.

On 12 November 2001, the Morgan Poll issued its Finding No. 3472, in which it noted that there were two possibilities explaining the great disparity between the Morgan figues and the official returns. It was either that the electorate changed in the last week, or the Morgan Poll 'got it wrong'. In press interviews, however, Gary Morgan refused to accept that his firm's work could have been flawed, making the surprising comment that, 'We accurately recorded what was said. It was either wrong or people changed their mind'.(76)

From all the other poll evidence that was available, it is hard to accept the latter proposition.

Not long after the election the Bulletin announced it would not be publishing Morgan's political polling for the foreseeable future. It was a surprising end to a long association.(77)

Local contests

This election featured a number of divisions where interest in the result was keen, probably because of the high number of marginal seats, particularly on the Government side. As we have seen, relatively few changed hands. Of the twenty most marginal seats on the AEC's calculation, just four were lost, all by the ALP-Canning, Dickson, Dobell and Paterson. When we look at particular seats, it is difficult to ascertain just how much each result was influenced by nationwide issues, how much State/region/city/town issues played a part, and how much was due to local-level campaigning. As early as mid-June the Coalition's pollster, Mark Textor, was spelling out what he thought would be the crucial role of local campaigning, but it is impossible to say with any certainty just how important this might have been.(78) The fact that so many sitting members from both sides of the House were returned suggests that incumbency was important. It was reported that some local Labor candidates were choosing to downplay their party label, and this may have been a factor in some Labor seats.(79)

Ballarat (Vic)

Ballarat had been held by the Liberals' Michael Ronaldson since 1990. The Liberal Party had hoped that the candidacy of Olympic shooting gold medallist, Russell Mark, would help the party retain the seat, but Mark suddenly withdrew from the contest in August 2001, criticising the local party as he did so for its attempts to tightly control his campaigning. He later spoke of his admiration for his opponent: 'I walked away from all this thinking I respect her more than I maybe respect some people in my own party.'(80) Ballarat had been held by the ALP during the 1980s, and with Ronaldson sitting on a 2.8 per cent margin, the Mark defection seemed to give Labor an excellent chance of regaining it, and so it proved, though Catherine King won by only a narrow margin. Mark's resignation may well have proved the significant factor, though Premier Steve Bracks, himself a Ballarat native, worked hard on Labor's behalf.

Calare (NSW)

Winning or holding House of Representatives' seats is never easy for independents, but Peter Andren had turned his 1996 first preference vote of 29.4 per cent into a 40.6 per cent tally in 1998. Could Andren make it a hat-trick of victories, or could the National Party win back a seat that they had held for substantial periods? Andren was one candidate who spoke against the Government's asylum seekers policy, but despite-or because of-this, increased his vote once again, gaining 51.4 per cent of first preferences. Andren's continued success has been achieved despite his opponents pointing to what they describe as the 'lack of influence' an independent MP has in the national Parliament. The National Party vote (20.5 per cent) was inflated by the decision by the Liberal Party not to run a candidate.

Dickson (Qld)

Former Australian Democrat leader, Cheryl Kernot, had been recruited to the Labor Party in time for the 1998 election. Although she won the Queensland seat of Dickson by 176 votes after preferences, in that election Kernot resented the fact that she had not been found a safer seat. Early in the 2001 campaign Kernot began to generate unfavourable publicity once more. She earned criticism for seeming to raise doubts about the bona fides of her Liberal opponent's departure from the Queensland drug squad, questions were raised about her possible evasion of stamp duty on one of her residences, and when pointing to the large number of prominent Liberals, including the Prime Minister, who had campaigned in Dickson against her, she described herself as 'public scalp number one'. Finally, she criticised her opponent's youth-he was 'too wet behind the ears'.(81) The Courier-Mail was one of a number of observers critical of her performance. In raising unsubstantiated doubts about her opponent, for example, the newspaper suggested that Kernot had 'wallowed in the gutter she has claimed to loathe and despise'.(82) The Age's advice was clear: '...if she cannot cope with the rough-and-tumble of parliamentary life, she should leave it'.(83) Kernot won barely one-third of the vote, her vote was 7.3 per cent less than in 1998, and she finished over 12 per cent behind her Liberal opponent, Peter Dutton. She had not been helped by the Democrats not including her in their deal with Labor, but even if they had, their vote of 5.4 per cent would not have lifted her over the line.

Dobell (NSW)

Former ALP Minister Michael Lee had held the seat of Dobell since its creation for the 1984 election. In his first four elections his first preference vote was well above 50 per cent, but in 1996 he only managed to hold the seat by 117 votes after preferences. His margin was more comfortable in 1998, though his first preference vote was now well below half of the vote. Dobell is one of a number of seats on Sydney's outskirts (including Robertson, Macquarie, Lindsay, Macarthur, Hughes) that have been held by Labor in the past, but have moved to the Liberal column in recent elections. Although Lee himself blamed the asylum seeker issue for his loss of the seat,(84) the main factor explaining this defeat appears to have been demographic change, and if those other seats are any guide, Dobell may well be difficult for Labor to recover.

Eden-Monaro (NSW)

Eden-Monaro was a seat that had gone to the government of the day in every election since 1972. Although the Liberals' Gary Nairn had retained it in 1998, it was by the narrow margin of just 262 votes after preferences. Opposed once again in 2001 by Labor's Steve Whan, Nairn was now forced also to confront Peter Cochran, former National Party MLA for Monaro (1988-98) who was part of the loose 'country independent' alliance. The Government's chances also appeared to suffer through a clumsily-handled announcement of the establishment near Queanbeyan of a new headquarters for the Australian Defence Force.(85) Cochran's presence had the effect of seeing the Liberal and Labor first preferences fall, though the 'country independent' only managed 8.2 per cent. In a close count, Nairn's two-party preferred vote rose marginally and he clung onto the seat by 2661 votes, helped by Cochran's preferences heavily favouring him.

Farrer (NSW)

In 1998 it took a local issue of a new freeway through Albury to cause National Party leader Tim Fischer's primary vote to fall below 60 per cent in Farrer-though he still won the seat on first preferences. With Fischer's retirement from Parliament, the Liberal Party joined the National and Labor parties as a serious contender for the seat. The Liberal candidate, the Old Tallangatta resident, Sussan Ley, had already unsuccessfully contested Liberal pre-selection for the Victorian seat of Indi, but she crossed the Murray to enter the contest, drawing attention to her candidacy by means of a large caravan, brightly painted in Liberal blue. With the One Nation candidate coming from Sydney, there was some unhappiness in the local National Party about outsiders-'Spot the local', was the way Fischer put it.(86) Despite this, Ley led the National candidate by over 14 per cent on the primary vote, and won narrowly on preferences. This Liberal victory was a reminder that the division had been held by the party for almost 34 years before being taken by Fischer in 1984. Ley's narrow win may have been helped by the redistribution which moved Tumut into the division, for in both 1998 and 2001 the town voted strongly for Liberal candidates ahead of National opponents. National Party president, Helen Dickie, seemed to blame the local media for the National defeats. She claimed that her party's polling indicated a sharp fall in the National vote following the publication of a Border Morning Mail poll indicating support for the Liberals-she believed that this affected the party's vote across the border in Indi as well. She contrasted National polling that she claimed was '100 per cent accurate', and said that inaccurate polling 'was dangerous and [in this way] the media was able to influence people to change their vote'.(87) Some National Party members were later critical of the fact that their candidate, Bill Bott, was actually older than the retiring member.(88)

Groom (Qld)

In 1998 Ian Macfarlane won Groom with just 33.1 per cent in an evenly balanced field-including a National candidate who won 15.2 per cent of first preferences. Macfarlane was the focus of much media interest in August-September over publicity given to efforts in the Groom Liberal Party branch to evade GST payments on party fundraising, with some media comments suggesting that he should be removed from his ministerial position.(89) With the Minister facing another three-cornered contest, it remained to be seen if the GST controversy would hurt him. There was no obvious evidence that it did. In an election where the National and One Nation votes fell by a combined 13.3 per cent, Macfarlane's vote jumped by 13.8 per cent, and he not only won the seat, but came quite close to winning on first preferences.

Gwydir (NSW)

For some time, it seemed that National Party leader, John Anderson, was likely to be opposed by popular MLA for Tamworth, Tony Windsor, but Windsor eventually opted to contest New England (see p. 26). Anderson nonetheless found himself pitted against a well-publicised independent, the former diplomat Bruce Haigh. Although the Coalition seemed likely to be comfortably returned, there was still great interest in whether or not Anderson's vote would suffer from the earlier criticism he had received from various rural bodies. If Anderson had been worried, he need not have been, for his first preferences (52.6 per cent) jumped by over 11 per cent, giving him victory on the first count. As in Groom, the One Nation drop in vote (-9.1 per cent) seems to have helped increase the Coalition tally.

Kalgoorlie (WA)

This was a seat held by Graeme Campbell for the Labor Party between 1980 and 1995, and by Campbell as an independent between 1995 and 1998. In 1998 the combined Liberal-Labor vote had been just 55.6 per cent, with Campbell scoring 22.8 per cent as an Australia First candidate, and a One Nation candidate managing 8.4 per cent. Barry Haase (28 per cent) had eventually scrambled the seat for the Liberal Party. With Campbell nominating for the Senate, the question in the 2001 contest was whether Haase could regain the seat, or whether the ALP could win it back. According to the ABC's Antony Green, Labor's standing in the electorate had been weakened by the issues of native title and asylum seekers, combined with the move in mining towns to the flying in of mine workers for sustained periods of work which had caused many local miners to leave the electorate.(90) Although Labor's vote rose 7.4 per cent, Haase's percentage jumped 14.6 per cent, giving him the highest Liberal first preference vote in Kalgoorlie (42.6 per cent) since the 1984 election, and the party's best two-party preferred vote in all Kalgoorlie elections since 1949.

Kennedy (Qld)

Former Queensland State minister, Bob Katter, had held the seat of Kennedy for the National Party since 1993. After many hints since the 1998 election of a defection due to his disillusionment with government policies and their effect on his rural constituents, he eventually left the National Party in July 2001: 'The question is not why I'm leaving but how could I possibly stay?'. His departure was not unwelcome in a party whose leader had described the Member for Kennedy as 'a major contributor to the Queensland [State] election loss'.(91) At first the local National Party decided not to contest the seat, but the State party, concerned about their Senate vote, forced the issue, and eventually the mayor of Eacham Shire, Mary Lyle, was nominated. In a quite remarkable performance, Katter's personal vote as an independent (47.1 per cent) was over three per cent higher than his 1998 vote as a National. As the National vote fell 29.9 per cent, to barely 14 per cent giving a combined Katter-National vote in excess of 61 per cent, many non-National voters must have chosen to move to Katter.

Lindsay (NSW)

Between 1996 and 1998, Jackie Kelly had the dubious experience of having to contest Lindsay three times, on the second occasion because her original 1996 victory had been declared void. This first victory in a seat held by Labor since its creation in 1984 had been unexpected, her success in the 1996 by-election had also surprised some observers, though the pundits seemed to have been finally put in their place by her retention of Lindsay in 1998. In September 2001 she was in the news when, as Minister for Tourism, she described the Ansett collapse as 'a little blip',(92) a comment that saw a campaign by union members to defeat the Minister. Despite this Kelly's first preference vote rose by over four per cent, while Labor's fell by over two per cent. This was one of the seats believed to have been affected by the 'aspirational voter' factor (see p. 20). Any help Kelly had received from the Government's agreement to preserve a piece of local bushland within an old defence site may have simply added a little icing to the cake. In two-party preferred terms, Kelly now has a cushion of 11 per cent, and Lindsay has been removed from the marginal seat category.

Macarthur (NSW)

The seat held by the Minister for Finance, John Fahey, had been turned into a nominal Labor seat following the redistribution of New South Wales seats. The Liberals pre-selected a political novice, the high-profile long-distance runner, Pat Farmer, in an effort to 'win back' the seat and prevent well-known local mayor and Labor Party activist, Meg Oates, from doing so. Farmer achieved this with ease. With a first preference vote of 50.8 per cent in the nominally Labor division, his vote was three per cent higher than Fahey's vote in the previous election. Farmer achieved a first preference increase of 10.7 per cent, one of the largest in the seat's history. Macarthur thus retained its status as the only seat to have been won by the incoming government in every election since its creation prior to the 1949 election.

Mayo (SA)

The Adelaide Hills seat of Mayo had been held comfortably by Alexander Downer since its creation in 1984. In 1998, though, he had been taken to preferences for the first time when well-known singer, John Schumann, standing for the Australian Democrats, managed to secure nearly one-quarter of the vote. Despite Downer's vote falling by 11.4 per cent on that occasion, he retained the seat comfortably on preferences. Although Schumann was not standing in 2001, it was interesting to see if that Democrat figure could be sustained. In the event, Downer's first preference vote jumped by 6.4 per cent, and the Democrat vote (14.8 per cent) fell to the level it had been in earlier elections, suggesting that the 1998 result was probably very much tied up with the prominence of the Democrat candidate. Democrat infighting over the candidacy in the seat may have also helped to bring the party vote down. Downer's two-party-preferred margin is now 25.8 per cent, making Mayo one of the safest Liberal seats.

New England (NSW)

As the so-called 'country independents' emerged during early 2001, Tony Windsor, independent MLA for Tamworth (69 per cent in the 1999 election) was constantly spoken of as a likely challenger to John Anderson in Gwydir. Eventually Windsor chose to tackle the Nationals' Stuart St Clair in New England, the electorate within which Tamworth is located. St Clair had only managed a first preference vote of 31.1 per cent in 1998 in a three-cornered contest, and he certainly appeared vulnerable. Although St Clair's 2001 vote rose by over six per cent, Windsor captured over 45 per cent, and after winning over 82 per cent of later preferences, won very comfortably. Since being won by the Nationalist and Farmers candidate in 1919 and then by the Country Party in 1922, New England had remained in Country or National Party hands until this election.

Parramatta (NSW)

In 1998 Liberal Ross Cameron's first preference vote fell by 4.1 per cent, and his two-party preferred margin fell by 5 per cent, seeing him clinging to office by 2.2 per cent. In the redistribution of New South Wales electorates that followed, his position seemingly worsened, for a shift in borders meant that Parramatta in fact ostensibly became a Labor seat. Cameron's nominal two-party preferred vote dropped to 47.5 per cent, so that to retain the seat that had been held by Labor between 1977 and 1996, he required a two-party preferred 'swing' in excess of 2.5 per cent. On the grounds that his seat was undergoing a rapid 'middle-classing', Cameron reportedly decided to push economic rationalism rather than the more bread-and-butter issues that his Labor challenger was discussing.(93) The fact that Parramatta is one of a swathe of seats around Sydney that are now in Coalition hands, possibly suggests that it was the impact of policies of common concern to the voters in these seats as a whole that was more important than Cameron's economic rationalism-this was one of the Sydney seats said to have been particularly affected by the 'aspirational voter' (see p. 17). Cameron finally held his seat comfortably after a 5.6 per cent swing in primary votes, though Parramatta remains finely balanced, being just the seventh most marginal Coalition seat. Despite its marginal status, Parramatta has now gone to the Coalition in the past three elections.

Richmond (NSW)

The New South Wales north coast of Richmond was held by the Country or National Parties between 1922 and 1990. In recent years, changes in the population mix has made the seat much harder for the National Party to win-Labor's Neville Newell in fact won it twice, in 1990 and 1993. When the Nationals' Larry Anthony won the seat in 1996, his first preference vote was only 35.4 per cent, and although two years later he had pushed this to 40.2 per cent, the two-party preferred margin remained at less than two per cent. Two factors continued to make this extremely tight for the sitting member in 2001. The redistribution of New South Wales divisions had made Richmond no safer for him, so that he was defending a nominal two-party preferred vote of just 50.8 per cent.(94) The second, political, factor was the impact of government policies on residents of Richmond, many of whom were retired, unemployed or had low weekly incomes.(95) In particular, the imposition of the GST on caravan park rentals had gained a great deal of adverse publicity for the Government. Anthony reportedly campaigned extremely hard, buttressed by government benefits for his constituents and a modification of the caravan park issue, and eventually won a narrow victory after preferences.

Ryan (Qld)

Ryan was created in 1949, and until March 2001 had been held by only Nigel Drury and John Moore, both Liberal members. Despite Moore receiving half of the vote in 1998, the by-election caused by his retirement from Parliament that was held only seven months before the general election, saw the Liberal first preference vote fall by 7 per cent, with Leonie Short winning a most unexpected victory for the Labor Party. She was not successful in retaining her seat, for although Labor's general election first preference vote was one per cent higher than it had been in 1998, it had fallen by seven per cent from the by-election. This suggested that many Liberal voters had used the by-election to punish the Government. Despite the controversial nature of his Liberal pre-selection, Michael Johnson's first preference vote was only 2.8 per cent less than Moore's vote in 1998-and the fall was probably accounted for by the reappearance of a National candidate.(96)

Solomon (NT)

The redistribution in the Northern Territory had created two dissimilar divisions which were likely to be shared by the Government and Opposition. Solomon, based on Darwin, was seen as a likely victory for the CLP, while Lingiari, being contested by the Labor MP for the Northern Territory, Warren Snowdon, was expected to be won by Labor. Unfortunately for the CLP, their candidate for Solomon, Dave Tollner, proved to be more controversial than expected, and at one time there were press stories of his party seeking to disendorse him. Tollner expressed his determination to continue with his candidacy, leaving people to wonder if this might hand the seat to Labor's Laurene Hull.(97) The election eventually proved to be one of the tightest in the country and although Hull took more later preferences than her opponent, she fell just 88 votes short of victory. Solomon is the second most marginal seat in the 40th Parliament.

Warringah (NSW)

It was not expected that the Liberals' Tony Abbott would lose his seat, but the fact of his being opposed by former independent MLA for Manly (1991-9), Peter Macdonald, gave this contest more interest than would have normally have been the case.(98) Despite Abbott expressing some concern over Macdonald's candidature, the sitting member won comfortably on the first count. Macdonald's vote was a respectable 27.8 per cent, 15.7 per cent higher than the Labor candidate's vote.

The Senate contest

Of the retiring 40 Senators, 20 were from the Coalition, 14 were from the Labor Party, 5 were Australian Democrats and one was the single Green Senator. Although 10 new Senators were elected, this was an election where the party balance altered very little, with the only change being the loss of a Democrat seat in New South Wales which went to the Greens. The Coalition (35), Labor (28), Pauline Hanson's One Nation (1) and independent (2) numbers remained unaltered.

The Coalition and Labor both had 15 non-retiring Senators. Four Australian Democrats, plus Brian Harradine (Ind) and Len Harris (PHON), also did not have to face the electors.

The major parties

The Coalition won three seats to Labor's two in each State. In no State, therefore, were the Senate seats shared equally by the major parties. A sign of the gradual decline of the major party vote, combined with the entrenchment of minor party Senators, is the fact that in thirty State Senate contests since 1990, on all but three occasions (NSW and Vic. 1993, Vic. 1998), at least one seat has been won by a minor party or independent candidate. On one occasion (Qld 1998) minor parties won 2 of the Senate seats.

A most significant victory was that of Senator Ron Boswell, winning the final Senate seat in Queensland for the National Party. Apart from enabling his party to retain its three seats in the upper house, Boswell's victory was primarily at the expense of Pauline Hanson's attempt to win a Senate seat (see pp. 30-1). The Nationals' first preference vote in Queensland was actually 18 555 votes fewer than that for PHON, but it was able to defeat its rival comfortably on preferences.

The Liberal and Labor Parties shared the Territory Senate seats as has always been the case.

The minor parties

Australian Democrats

The Australian Democrats entered the election with the relatively new leadership team of Senators Stott Despoja and Ridgeway. Campaigning on a slogan of 'Change Politics', the Democrats attempted to suggest that the party offered a fresh choice to voters by virtue of that change. Four seats were retained (Victoria, Queensland, WA, SA), and one lost (Vicki Bourne, NSW), giving the party 8 Senators, four of whom retire on 30 June 2005, and four of whom retire on 30 June 2008.

The party's national vote of 7.3 per cent represented a fall of 1.2 per cent or 105 016 votes. This is the second lowest Democrat Senate total since the party's first election in 1977-only in 1993 (5.3 per cent) has its Senate vote been lower. The party's proportion of the vote fell in four States and the ACT, rising in South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory. Ironically, the New South Wales ticket gained 71 728 more first preferences than the Greens, but lost Senator Bourne's seat on preferences.

There was disagreement over the reasons for this moderate showing. It is possible that the preference deals with Labor Party hurt the party, undermining, as it did, its long-standing promise to 'keep the bastards honest'. The preference deal simply made the party look like its rivals in its determination to sell its vote to the hightest bidder.

The new leadership blamed the party's loss of popularity over its involvement in GST negotiations during the passage of the legislation in the Senate in 1999, but it is possible to argue that the election of new leaders occurred early enough before the election for the effect of this to have been lessened-if it was going to. Stott Despoja wondered if voter support had fallen as a consequence of the party's opposition to the Government's stance over the Tampa controversy; she also attacked the 'appalling' coverage of the Democrat campaign by the ABC.(99) As in 1998, there was some general party unhappiness over the paucity of general media coverage of Democrat policies, but this is a fact of life for minor parties in Australian elections.(100)

The Greens

The Greens won two seats. Kerry Nettle won a seat in New South Wales, despite the Green first preference tally being lower than that of the Australian Democrats. In Tasmania Senator Bob Brown comfortably regained his seat after almost securing a quota on first preferences (13.8 per cent). This was a jump of 8 per cent on the Greens' Tasmanian tally in the previous election, and 5.1 per cent on 1996 when Brown was first elected.

Despite Brown's enthusiastic response to the election, referred to above (p. 18), the Greens finished behind the Australian Democrats in all jurisdictions except Tasmania, and their national Senate vote of 4.9 per cent was 2.4 per cent behind the Democrat total. The Greens have become significant players in national politics, but remain behind the Democrats both in votes and in seats won. The Greens certainly took a Senate seat from the Democrats in New South Wales despite finishing 1.8 per cent behind on first preferences, but this outcome probably had more to do with the allocation of preferences than with the inherent virtues of the Greens or their candidate. In Victoria and Western Australia, where the Green vote was higher than in New South Wales, they failed to win a seat.

Pauline Hanson's One Nation

Despite Pauline Hanson's One Nation running candidates in over 80 per cent of House seats, the Senate offered the party the greatest chance of success. In Queensland, the centre of party strength, Pauline Hanson was a candidate, and the party received a respectable vote of 10 per cent, ahead of the 9.2 won by the Nationals. Unlike the Nationals who secured the re-election of Ron Boswell on preferences, PHON was effectively starved of preferences with Hanson falling well short of a quota.

In Western Australia, where the party came close to a Senate seat in 1998, its vote of 7 per cent (-3.3 per cent) meant that it fell well short of winning a seat.

A number of problems seemed to affect the party's chances:

  • There were reports of divisions between Hanson and the PHON Western Australian branch.
  • Legal and financial problems experienced by the party and its founder seemed to put her under a great deal of pressure.
  • The party's policies were threadbare, focusing on a tax on all bank withdrawals to generate low interest loans, and the abolition of entitlements of former Prime Ministers and Governors-General.(101)
  • Hanson's extremely quiet, and late, campaigning effort. When tackled on this she dismissed criticism as irrelevant: 'Over the years, I've criss-crossed the country where people have come to see me ... they know what my thoughts and concerns are and they've made up their minds'.(102)

The state of the Senate after 1 July 2002

The Government still lacked a majority of seats in the Senate, remaining dependent upon the support of other Senators to help pass its legislation. With 39 votes needed for a majority, it would need four votes from a combination of other Senators. As the Senate would contain two Greens, two independents and a PHON Senator, the Australian Democrats would not necessarily be as central to the passage of legislation as in the 39th Parliament.

In retrospect

Thus ended one of the most remarkable of Australian elections. A Government, seemingly on the ropes just months from polling day, is comfortably re-elected. Unusually, major factors in its victory are immigration and international terrorism issues. Soon after the election the merits of the result come under question, due to revelations about its response to those isues, and in particular the accuracy of the 'children overboard' affair.

The 2001 Australian election will be a topic of conversation for some years to come.

Appendix 1: Text-messaging

Mobile phones have become well-entrenched parts of the political armoury. An interesting new addition to campaigning proved to be the use made of the SMS mobile phone network, particularly by the Liberal campaign. Reports suggest that there were various ways in which this was done:(103)

  • Text messages were used to inform reporters on the road with the Opposition leader of claimed slip-ups by his team. Liberals estimated that at most of Beazley's press conferences there was at least one question that arose from a Liberal-engendered text message.
  • During the leaders' debate, reporters received messages on matters such as Beazley's dress sense or why the 'worm' was reacting as it did to some of Howard's statements.
  • After Labor unveiled its GST rollback promises, journalists soon received messages suggesting that the party had made serious errors of calculation.
  • As journalists travelled to the launch of the ALP's schools policy, they received messages from the Education Minister's media adviser telling them of what the Coalition had achieved in education and how Labor had worked to defeat their policies.

Journalists summed up this activity as providing a mixed blessing:

It can be both annoying and a little bit helpful. At the very least it works to plant a seed of doubt in the minds of the reporters, most of whom are incredibly rushed, hemmed in by constant travel, deadlines and scant opportunity to double check details.(104)

As new technology appears, so parties and politicians make use of it-text messaging is just the most recent. It remains to be seen whether it becomes a major feature in the parties' armouries, or soon is pushed aside by other methods.

Appendix 2: The passing parade

In every new parliament there is change of faces. The following Members and Senators retired, were defeated, were elected to the Parliament for the first time, or were re-elected to Parliament after a period away.

House of Representatives

Table 1: Retiring Members

Retired Member

Electoral Division

Party

Fahey, John

Macarthur, NSW

LP

Fischer, Tim

Farrer, NSW

NP

Hollis, Colin

Throsby, NSW

ALP

Lawler, Tony

Parkes, NSW

NP

Lieberman, Lou

Indi, Vic

LP

Morris, Alan

Newcastle, NSW

ALP

Nehl, Gary

Cowper, NSW

NP

O'Keefe, Neil

Burke, Vic

ALP

Reith, Peter

Flinders, Vic

LP

Ronaldson, Michael

Ballarat, Vic

LP

Sullivan, Kathy

Moncrieff, Qld

LP

Thomson, Andrew

Wentworth, NSW

LP

Wooldridge, Michael

Casey, Vic

LP

Table 2: Defeated Members

Defeated Member

Electoral Division

Party

Horne, Bob

Paterson, NSW

ALP

Gerick, Jane

Canning, WA

ALP

Kernot, Cheryl

Dickson, Qld

ALP

Lee, Michael

Dobell, NSW

ALP

St Clair, Stuart

New England, NSW

NP

Short, Leonie

Ryan, Qld

ALP

Theophanous, Andrew

Calwell, Vic

Ind(105)

Table 3: New Members

New Member

Electoral Division

Party

Baldwin, Bob(106)

Paterson, NSW

LP

Ciobo, Steven

Moncrieff, Qld

LP

Cobb, John

Parkes, NSW

NP

Dutton, Peter

Dickson, Qld

LP

Farmer, Patrick

Macarthur, NSW

LP

George, Jennie

Throsby, NSW

ALP

Grierson, Sharon

Newcastle, NSW

ALP

Hartsuyker, Luke

Cowper, NSW

NPA

Hunt, Greg

Flinders, Vic

LP

Jackson, Sharryn

Hasluck, WA

ALP

Johnson, Michael

Ryan, Qld

LP

King, Catherine

Ballarat, Vic

ALP

King, Peter

Wentworth, NSW

LP

Ley, Sussan

Farrer, NSW

LP

O'Connor, Brendan

Burke, Vic

ALP

Panopoulos, Sophie

Indi, Vic

LP

Randall, Don(107)

Canning, WA

LP

Smith, Tony

Casey, Vic

LP

Ticehurst, Ken

Dobell, NSW

LP

Tollner, Dave

Solomon, NT

CLP

Vamvakinou, Maria

Calwell, Vic

ALP

Windsor, Tony

New England, NSW

Ind

Senate

Among the Senators leaving the Parliament on 30 June 2002 will be 5 who have retired and 4 who were defeated in the 2001 election. The term of Northern Territory Senator Grant Tambling ended on polling day.

Table 4: Retiring Senators

Retired Senator

State or Territory

Party

Cooney, Barney

Victoria

ALP

Crowley, Rosemary

South Australia

ALP

McKiernan, Jim

Western Australia

ALP

Newman, Jocelyn

Tasmania

LP

Tambling, Grant

Northern Territory

CLP

West, Sue

New South Wales

ALP

Table 5: Defeated Senators

Defeated Senator

State or Territory

Party

Bourne, Vicki

NSW

AD

Crane, Winston

WA

Lib

Gibbs, Brenda

Qld

ALP

Schacht, Chris

SA

ALP

Ten new Senators were elected. The new Northern Territory Senator's term dated from election day. Of the new State Senators, Richard Colbeck's term began on 4 February 2002 when he replaced Jocelyn Newman as Senator for Tasmania. The remaining State Senators' terms were to commence on 1 July 2002.

Table 6: New Senators

Senator

State or Territory

Party

Colbeck, Richard

Tasmania

Lib

Johnston, David

WA

Lib

Kirk, Linda

SA

ALP

Marshall, Gavin

Vic

ALP

Moore, Claire

Qld

ALP

Nettle, Kerry

NSW

Green

Scullion, Nigel

NT

CLP

Stephens, Ursula

NSW

ALP

Webber, Ruth

WA

ALP

Wong, Penny

SA

ALP

Women

The number of women elected to the Parliament continues to increase, slowly (Table 7):

Table 7: Women elected

 

House of Representatives from 10 November 2001

Senate from 1 July 2002

Parliament

 

Men

Women

Women%

Men

Women

Women%

%

2001

112

38

25.3

53

23

30.3

27.0

1998

115

33

22.3

54

22

28.9

25.0

Faces from the past

Two former Members of the House were re-elected:

  • Bob Baldwin, Liberal MP for Paterson during 1996-8, regained the seat from Labor's Bob Horne. Don Randall, Liberal MP for Swan from 1996 to 1998, successfully contested Canning.

Some former Members and Senators were less successful:

  • Graeme Campbell, the long-time MP for Kalgoorlie (1980-98) led the PHON Senate ticket in Western Australia. The party vote was 7.0 per cent, or 0.5 of a quota.
  • Phil Cleary, Independent MP for Wills (1992, 1993-1996), contested the Senate election in Victoria. His group's vote was 1.2 per cent.
  • Pauline Hanson, MP for Oxley 1996-8, led the PHON Senate ticket in Queensland, recording 10 per cent of the first preferences, or 0.7 of a quota.
  • David McKenzie, Labor MP for Diamond Valley during the Whitlam years, contested Casey, gaining 33.3 per cent of the vote.

In Western Australia, Hendy Cowan, former National Party Deputy Premier (1993-2001), headed the unsuccessful National Party ticket.

Appendix 3: Did some journalists mis-read the campaign?

Antony Green was reported as stating as early as 6 October that it was difficult to see Labor getting back in the race, so significant was the party shift in the polls during late August and early September. If this were so, then the view of some journalists, including Louise Dodson of the Age, that the election was 'up for grabs', and that the campaign would 'be crucial in determining the outcome', was probably a misreading of the situation.(108)

Perhaps Dodson was influenced by the propensity for the media to cover elections as a mixture of gladiatorial combat and horse-race. This is a phenomenon also seen in other countries where democratic elections are held, particularly when the contest is between two parties or two candidates, as in presidential elections in the USA. This practice was particularly obvious in the 2001 Australian election, when journalists continually spoke of the parties and their leaders in a fashion that was clearly (even if inadvertently) geared to generate interest in the contest among readers and viewers. Examples are given here:(109)

  • 'the trend for Labor is still forward' (Jennifer Hewett, 13-14 October)
  • Beazley's performance in the formal debate saw him 'back in the race' (Shane Green, 15 October; Ian Henderson, 15 October)
  • The debate was 'a turning point' in the campaign (Michael Gordon, Phillip Hudson and Louise Dodson, 16 October)
  • Labor's campaign had 'bounced back' (Louise Dodson, 23 October)
  • Howard was 'a stationary target' (Michael Gordon, 23 October)
  • A gap between the parties 'has started to close' (Age editorial, 23 October)
  • A Labor recovery 'had to happen' (Paul Kelly, 24 October)
  • Beazley's momentum 'has stalled', but 'Labor can still win' (Dennis Shanahan, 30 October)
  • The election is 'closer than it appears' (Dennis Shanahan, 30 October)
  • It was 'still too early to say' which side would win (Nicholas Stuart, 2 November).

Such coverage may simply reflect the desire to maintain interest in the campaign among viewers and readers in order to protect ratings or sell newspapers. On the other hand, for some journalists it may have reflected a matter of wishful thinking. It is difficult to see a Sydney Morning Herald story on Beazley's policy speech, that appeared over Mike Seccombe's by-line, in any other way: 'Take out Tampa, and it's the voice of a winner'.

By contrast, a few media voices seemed to have a very clear appreciation of what was happening in the campaign. Two of these were also writing in the Sydney Morning Herald. Antony Green has already been quoted, and on 18 October his view had not altered when his reading of the parties' chances were summed up in the headline: 'Unless voters are lying, the only question is the margin'. Ten days later, Alan Ramsay's words included an implicit criticism of fellow-journalists who were unable to take a dispassionate view of what was occurring:

Two weeks out from polling day and the real point about the election is why anybody who takes a step back and thinks about what has been happening could believe Labor can win it.(110)

At the very least, this appears to have been an illustration of what Derek Parker called the 'herd instinct' mentality seen in journalism, where one journalist takes up a particular view that seems plausible, only to have others following to avoid being scooped.(111) A more partisan view is that this illustrates what has been called the 'demonstrated preference of a substantial part of the [Press] Gallery membership for the ALP'.(112)

Appendix 4: Criticism of the electoral system

Commonwealth elections invariably reveal concerns about the electoral process, some of which occasionally can stimulate enquiries or even reforms of the electoral system. There were several issues that emerged from the 2001 election that may form the basis for discussion when the Parliament's Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters meets to consider the running of the election.

Electoral funding

  • In Queensland National Party Senator Ron Boswell called for an overhaul of Commonwealth electoral funding arrangements. He was particularly concerned with the fact that parties that fail to win a seat can still gain public funding. He was commenting upon an Australian Electoral Commission announcement that among the recipients of electoral funding would be Pauline Hanson's One Nation, which would receive in excess of 1.4 million dollars. Boswell said he would be seeking the creation of a Senate inquiry into the whole issue of electoral funding.(113)
  • Professor Dean Jaensch of Flinders University also commented on public funding, largely to wonder if it was too expensive, and needed some type of cap placed upon it.(114)

Parliamentary terms

  • National Party Senator, Sandy Macdonald, raised the perennial question of four-year parliamentary terms, suggesting that Australians were over-governed and overrun with electoral demands. Richmond National Party MP, Larry Anthony, supported Macdonald's call for a referendum on the issue stating that 'It's not about giving more power to politicians, it's about tackling election fatigue'.(115)

Informal votes

  • There has already been a reference to the marked increase in informal votes (see pp. 19-20). Warren Truss (NP), focused on this issue at the declaration of the poll for his electorate of Wide Bay in Queensland. Truss noted the apparent confusion for many Queenslanders who had so recently voted in a State election where an optional preferential voting system had been used. He called for a uniform voting system across the nation:

It makes no sense to have different rules for voting at state and federal elections. I have no doubts that a uniform voting system across Australia would drastically reduce the number of informal votes and ensure that all voters can be confident that their vote will be counted.(116)

Electoral rorts

  • The Western Advocate, the Bathurst newspaper in Peter Andren's Calare electorate, wrote an editorial under the heading: 'Election rorts must end'. The newspaper expressed its concern about party campaign practices which effectively ignore official guidelines-the use of public servants in party campaigns, advertising that ignores the guideline issued by the Department of Finance, the delaying of official campaign launches so as to shift the cost of campaign from party to taxpayer. The editorial writer concluded:

When the auditor general has completed a review of spending during this campaign the layers of convention which foster these rorts must be stripped away and replaced with regulations which must be the only guide to permissible conduct.(117)

Control over parties

  • The Liberal Chairman of the Parliament's Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters, Christopher Pyne, took the opportunity to remind the ALP of the Committee's May 2001 recommendation that the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 be amended so that the principle of one-vote-one-value for internal party ballots be made a prerequisite for the registration of political parties. Christopher Pyne claimed that unhappiness over union power in the ALP helped account for the Labor defeats in Kalgoorlie and Richmond, and that if the party agreed to this change, 'with one blow, the 60-40 dragon would be slain'.(118)

Doubtful electoral campaign practices

  • Lynton Crosby of the Liberal Party suggested two changes to national election rules. He stated that radio commercials placed by parties should be subject to the same criteria as television advertisements. He also spoke of the need to introduce fines for those found to have engaged in push polling.(119)

By-elections

  • In the weeks after the election the Member for Denison, Duncan Kerr, announced his plan to resign his seat to contest the forthcoming Tasmanian State election-a plan that was later blocked by his party. Peter Andren suggested that it should be the politician rather than the taxpayer who should pay the bill for a by-election caused by 'the lack of commitment to serve a term in opposition'.(120)
  • By contrast, Crispin Hull of the Canberra Times called for by-elections to be replaced by replacement by nomination of the party that held the seat, as is done for Senate casual vacancies.(121)

Endnotes

  1. For these figures, see Australian Electoral Commission, 'Federal Election 2001 Close of Rolls', Electoral Newsfile, No. 100, October 2001, and 'Federal Election 2001 Close of Nominations', Electoral Newsfile, No. 101, October 2001.

  2. Laurie Oakes, 'Howard not yet the dead duck', Bulletin, 9 May 2000; see also Glenn Milne, 'Yesterday's man won't win again', Australian, 22 May 2000.

  3. Many people thought so, see e.g. Paul D. Williams, 'State swings spell Howard's end', AQ, March-April 2001.

  4. Dennis Shanahan, 'There's no use crying over Ryan', Weekend Australian, 17-18 March 2001.

  5. Dennis Shanahan, 'Frock horror swamps more sober analysis', Australian, 13 February 2001; the Ministers were Howard, Costello, Reith, Downer and Abbott.

  6. For the Ryan result, see Scott Bennett and Gerard Newman, 'Queensland Election 2001', Current Issues Brief no. 15, 2000-01, Parliamentary Library, Canberra, pp. 16-19.

  7. Malcolm Mackerras, 'Mark my words, Aston will go now and at the general election', Canberra Times, 9 June 2001.

  8. Michelle Grattan, 'We're tricky, mean and out of touch, top Liberal tells PM', Sydney Morning Herald, 2 May 2001; see also, Peter Charlton, 'The great tax adventure', in David Solomon, ed., Howard's Race. Winning the unwinnable election, HarperCollins, Sydney, 2002, pp. 67-8.

  9. Louise Dodson, 'PM takes heart from Aston cliff hanger', Age, 16 July 2001.

  10. Forum on 2001 election, National Press Club, Canberra, 19 June 2001.

  11. Rae Wear, 'Political Chronicles. Commonwealth of Australia January to June 2001', Australian Journal of Politics and History, vol. 47, no. 4, December 2001, p. 534.

  12. Glenn Milne, 'Strategists in the firing line', Australian, 29 October 2001.

  13. Virginia Trioli, 'Blight on the hill', Bulletin, 9 October 2001, p. 49; Tony Wright, 'Vote to the Death', Bulletin, 19 December 2000.

  14. Geoff Walsh, cited in Dennis Shanahan, 'Labor needs a culture shock: secretary', Australian, 4 December 2001.

  15. Wayne Swan, ' "We're not dead yet": Connecting with the Missing Middle', Speech to the Australian Fabian Society, 30 January 2002.

  16. Bob Hogg, 'Coalition builds on ALP errors', Australian, 1 November 2001; see also Michael Gordon, 'Fear versus Faith', Age, 3 November 2001.

  17. For the boat people issue, see 'The Detention of Boat People', Current Issues Brief no. 8, 2000-01, Parliamentary Library, Canberra; http://www.aph.gov.au/library/pubs/cib/2000-01/01cib08.htm.

  18. For the events of September 11, and after, see 'Blackest September: the 2001 Terrorist Attacks on the United States', e-brief, Parliamentary Library, Canberra, http://www.aph.gov.au/library/intguide/fad/usterror.htm.

  19. For the Ansett collapse, see 'Key Australian Aviation Policy Developments: The Ansett Airlines Context 1937-2001 Chronology', Online publication, Parliamentary Library, Canberra, http://www.aph.gov.au/library/intguide/fad/usterror.htm.

  20. Chelsey Martin, 'Five weeks is a long time on the trail', Australian Financial Review, 6 October 2001.

  21. Pilita Clark, 'Whose figures are right depends on your opinion', Sydney Morning Herald, 11 October 2001.

  22. Quoted by Michelle Grattan, 'The strange daze of a Clayton's campaign', Sydney Morning Herald, 12 October 2001.

  23. Richard McGregor, 'Quest for a place in history', Australian, 17 April 2000.

  24. Antony Green, 'Small swing now seems like a huge gap for Labor', Sydney Morning Herald, 6 October 2001.

  25. Mark Forbes, 'Nats down, but not out, after seat losses', Age, 12 November 2001.

  26. 'Kim Beazley's Plan for the Knowledge Nation', http://www.alp.org.au/policy/knowledge_nation/.htm.

  27. 'Manipulating the media', in David Solomon, ed., Howard's Race. Winning the unwinnable election, op. cit., pp. 223-5.

  28. Anthony Burke, In Fear of Security. Australia's Invasion Anxiety, Sydney, Pluto Press, 2001, p. 327; Bulletin, 22 December 1894. See also Robert Manne, '100 years of Federation, and racism', Sydney Morning Herald, 24 December 2001.

  29. Marian Wilkinson and David Marr, 'Going overboard', Sydney Morning Herald, 10 November 2001; see also Peter Charlton, 'The terror campaign', in David Solomon, ed., Howard's Race. Winning the unwinnable election, op. cit., p. 129.

  30. Bob Cronin quoted by David Humprhies, 'How the West was won ... and lost', Sydney Morning Herald, 22 October 2001; see also Ross Cameron quoted by Caroline Overington, 'How the west was won for the Liberals', Sydney Morning Herald, 13 November 2001.

  31. Miranda Devine, 'Racism the least cost-effective explanation', Sydney Morning Herald, 22 November 2001.

  32. George Megalogenis, 'What's the big issue? #1 Border protection', Weekend Australian 6-7 October 2001; Dennis Shanahan and Megan Saunders, 'Attitudes to asylum seekers hardening', Australian, 31 October 2001; Deirdre Macken, 'Fear of foreigners is more than a marginal issue', Australian Financial Review, 23 October 2001.

  33. Ross Peake, 'Local campaigning won election: Libs', Canberra Times, 22 November 2001; Laurie Oakes, 'Three-card trick', Bulletin, 20 November 2001, p. 29.

  34. Ross Peake, 'Local campaigning won election: Libs', Canberra Times, 22 November 2001.

  35. Liberal advertisement, Sydney Morning Herald, 9 November 2001.

  36. Age, 8 October 2001.

  37. Peter Charlton, 'The great tax adventure', op cit., pp. 118, 119.

  38. ibid., p. 113.

  39. Tom Allard, 'Cooking up Howard's knockout punch', Sydney Morning Herald, 16 November 2001.

  40. Liberal advertisement, Sydney Morning Herald, 9 November 2001.

  41. John Howard, transcript of interview with Neil Mitchell, 3AW, 1 September 1998,
    pp. 19-20; Lynton Crosby, 'Victory won on trust of the people', Australian, 12 November 2001.

  42. Paul Kelly, 'A nation of non-believers', Weekend Australian, 1-2 December 2001.

  43. Tony Walker and Aaron Patrick, 'We still have a marginal poll chance, Labor's MPs told', Australian Financial Review, 21 September 2001.

  44. Tony Walker, 'Repackaging John Howard', Australian Financial Review, 4 August 2001; Glenn Milne, 'Aston offers a message: think small', Australian, 16 July 2001.

  45. Liberal advertisement, Age, 9 November 2001.

  46. Dennis Shanahan, 'Polling showed Labor was never in it', Australian, 22 November 2001.

  47. Quoted by Dennis Atkins, 'Beazley's campaign', in David Solomon, ed., Howard's Race. Winning the unwinnable election, op cit., p. 147.

  48. Maxine McKew, 'John Della Bosca', Bulletin, 18 July 2000, p. 51.

  49. Peter Charlton, 'The great tax adventure', op cit., p. 75.

  50. Tony Smith, 'An election for the twenty-first century', AQ, September-October 2001, p. 21.

  51. Tony Windsor, letter to editor, Guyra Argus, 13 December 2001; see also 'Tony Windsor B.Ec MP Member for Tamworth', [biographical note, written by Windsor?], January 2000.

  52. Asa Wahlquist, 'Rural concerns that Canberra must heed', Australian, 24 November 2000; see also Ross Peake, 'Independents ride wave of voter cynicism', Canberra Times, 6 August 2001.

  53. Shane Green, 'Beazley's Performance', Age, 15 October 2001; Ian Henderson, 'Beazley back in the race', Australian, 15 October 2001.

  54. 'On this, no debate', editorial, Sydney Morning Herald, 16 October 2001; 'Beazley is back in town', editorial, Age, 16 October 2001; Frank Devine, 'Come off it, Prime Minister-one isn't good enough', Australian, 15 October 2001.

  55. The CLP vote in the Northern Territory is included in this figure.

  56. Michelle Grattan, 'Nationals down, but not yet for the count', Sydney Morning Herald, 27 November 2001.

  57. Mark Forbes, 'Nats down, but not out, after seat losses', Age, 12 November 2001.

  58. Northern Daily Leader, 10 December 2001.

  59. Quoted in editorial, 'Don't shoot the messenger', Border Mail (Albury Wodonga), 17 November 2001.

  60. 'Libs plan to stand', Swan Hill Guardian, 17 December 2001.

  61. Carol Johnson, 'Reconstructing Labor: Tale of an "Aspirational" Shadow Ministry', The Drawing Board, http://con.usyd.edu.au/drawingboard/.

  62. Wayne Swan, 'We'r e not dead yet', op. cit., p. 7.

  63. Michelle Grattan, 'As election draws near Howard's way is clear', Sydney Morning Herald, 5 October 2001.

  64. Mike Steketee, 'The poll's won, now how about the healing?', Australian, 19 November 2001.

  65. Nicholas Stuart, 'People have switched off and are voting informal', Canberra Times, 27 November 2001.

  66. Wayne Swan, 'Statement at the declaration of the poll', media release 28 November 2001; Beazley quoted by Age, 12 November 2001. See also Matt Price, 'The unseen Crean', Weekend Australian Magazine, 9-10 February 2002, p. 19.

  67. I am grateful to a colleague, Mark Tapley, for drawing attention to this parallel.

  68. Dennis Atkins, 'Too close to call', Courier-Mail, 8 October 2001; see also Warwick Powell, 'Swan's missing middle misses analysis', On Line Opinion, http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/2002/Feb02/Powell.htm.

  69. Australian Development Strategies Pty Ltd, 'Demographic correlations of the two-party preferred vote and swings-2001 Federal Election', http://www.australiandevelopmentstrategies.com.au/The_Desk/Preliminary_Demographic_Analysis_of_Election_2001.pdf, p. 1.

  70. Andrew Darby, 'Brown's team into premier league', Sydney Morning Herald, 12 November 2001.

  71. ibid.

  72. See, for example, Scott Bennett, 'The Decline in Support for the Major Parties and the Prospect of Minority Government', Research Paper, no. 10, 1998-99, Parliamentary Library, Canberra, http://www.aph.gov.au/library/pubs/rp/1998-99/99rp10.htm.

  73. Nicholas Stuart, 'People have switched off and are voting informal', op. cit.

  74. For these views I am grateful for the advice from Rod Madew of the Australian Electoral Commission.

  75. 'Morgan concedes phone poll inaccurate as it puts Labor back in front', Canberra Times, 22 September 2001.

  76. Gary Morgan, 'Did the debate over refugee boat people in the last two days change the electorate or was the Morgan Poll wrong?', Morgan Poll Finding No. 3472, 12 November 2001; Stephen Brook, 'Poll positions polls apart', Australian, 12 November 2001.

  77. Cynthia Banham, 'An unforeseen result as Bulletin cuts Morgan poll', Sydney Morning Herald, 11 December 2001.

  78. Mark Textor at 'Election 2001' forum, National Press Club, 19 June 2001.

  79. Glenn Milne, 'Hey presto, the invisible chief', Australian, 22 October 2001.

  80. Gary Linnell, 'Wide of the mark', Age, 10 November 2001.

  81. Scott Emerson, 'Home truths: Kernot and challenger in duel of the domiciles', Australian, 8 October 2001; Greg Roberts, 'Kernot battles on the home front', Age, 15 October 2001.

  82. 'Voters will judge poll attack, editorial, Courier-Mail, 13 October 2001.

  83. 'Kernot has become a liability for Labor', editorial, Age, 17 October 2001.

  84. 'Lee blames refugee issue for loss of Labor seat', Sydney Morning Herald, 21 November 2001.

  85. Fia Cumming, 'Stargazers sink defence project', Sun-Herald, 7 October 2001.

  86. Cameron Morse, 'Fight for Farrer', Land, 1 November 2001.

  87. 'Writing's on wall, but Bott holds on to fading election hope', Border Mail (Albury Wodonga), 17 November 2001. For the original poll figures, see Border Mail, 5 November 2001, and for the newspaper's response see editorial, 'Don't shoot the messenger' in the issue of 17 November 2001.

  88. Scott Emerson, 'Anderson faces Nationals revolt in north', Australian, 11 January 2002.

  89. See for example, 'Macfarlane must go on all counts', editorial, Australian, 28 August 2001.

  90. Kirsten Lawson, 'Win or lose: these seats will decide it', Canberra Times, 4 November 2001.

  91. Julie Lightfoot, 'Maverick MP goes it alone', Innisfail Advocate, 10 July 2001; Phillip Hudson, 'Nationals feuding before crisis meeting', Age, 19 February 2001.

  92. Linda Doherty, 'Crisis, what crisis? To Kelly, it's just a blip', Sydney Morning Herald, 20 September 2001.

  93. Malcolm Knox, 'Old-fashioned tussle of sense and sensitivity', Sydney Morning Herald, 2 November 2001.

  94. Australian Electoral Commission, 'Seat Status Including notional seat status for SA, NSW, Tas, WA and NT Divisions', Electoral Newsfile, No. 97, September 2001, p. 3.

  95. Richmond rates very poorly on various social measures, and has a very high proportion of people aged 65 or over, see Andrew Kopras, 'Electorate Rankings: Census 1996 (2000 Electoral Boundaries', Research Paper no. 11, 2000-01, Parliamentary Library, Canberra, http://www.aph.gov.au/library/pubs/rp/2000-01/01RP11.htm.

  96. Craig Johnstone, 'Saving electorate Ryan', Courier Mail, 20 October 2001.

  97. Camden Smith, 'Tollner faces boot on the eve of election', Northern Territory News, 4 October 2001, Paul Toohey, 'CLP stuck with its albatross', Australian, 11 October 2001.

  98. Marcus Casey, 'Striking fear into politics', Daily Telegraph, 20 October 2001.

  99. Andrew Clennell, 'Lonely stand on asylum seekers threatens the balance of power', Sydney Morning Herald, 6 October 2001; Susan Brown, 'For those who like their politics hot', Canberra Times, 28 November 2001.

  100. Mike Seccombe, 'The pruning of Princess Perfect', Sydney Morning Herald, 15 November 2001; see also Andrew Bartlett, 'The Australian Democrats', in Marian Simms and John Warhurst, ed., Howard's Agenda. The 1998 Australian Election, St Lucia, UQP, 2000, p. 87.

  101. AAP News, 29 August, 19 October 2001.

  102. Leisa Scott, 'Hanson takes empty hall in her stride', Australian, 30 October 2001; see also, David Solomon, 'One Nation on the defensive', in David Solomon (ed), Howard's Race. Winning the unwinnable election, op cit., pp. 194-9.

  103. The following examples of the use of text messaging come from Annabel Crabb, 'House on the Road', Age, 16 October 2001; Dennis Atkins, Michael McKenna and Rosemary Odgers, 'Torrents of text overflows the message bank', Courier-Mail, 27 October 2001; Tom Allard, 'Cooking up Howard's knockout punch', Sydney Morning Herald, 16 November 2001.

  104. Atkins, McKenna and Odgers, op cit.

  105. Elected as ALP.

  106. Baldwin had been Member for Paterson 1996-8.

  107. Randall had been Member for Swan 1996-8.

  108. Louise Dodson, 'The Costello factor', Age, 5 October 2001.

  109. Jennifer Hewett, 'Outgunned', Sydney Morning Herald, 13-14 October 2001; Shane Green, 'Beazley's Performance', Age, 15 October 2001; Ian Henderson, 'Beazley back in the race', Australian, 15 October 2001; Michael Gordon, Phillip Hudson and Louise Dodson, 'Debate spurs ALP campaign', Age, 16 October 2001; Louise Dodson, 'Labor bounces back in poll', Age, 23 October 2001; Michael Gordon, 'Coalition overplaying its leadership card', Age, 23 October 2001; editorial, Age, 23 October 2001; Paul Kelly, 'Home fires burn bright for Beazley', Australian, 24 October 2001; Dennis Shanahan, 'Labor in deep trouble', Australian, 30 October 2001; Dennis Shanahan, 'ALP a face in the campaign crowd', Australian, 30 October 2001; Nicholas Stuart, 'Undecided electorate hampers predictions', Canberra Times, 2 November 2001; Mike Seccome, 'Take out Tampa, and it's the voice of a winner', Sydney Morning Herald, 1 November 2001.

  110. Antony Green, 'Unless voters are lying, the only question is the margin', Sydney Morning Herald, 18 October 2001; Alan Ramsay, 'Forget the rest of the pack, it's the race card', Sydney Morning Herald, 27-28 October 2001.

  111. Derek Parker, The Courtesans. The Press Gallery in the Hawke Era, Sydney, Allen & Unwin, 1990, p. 27.

  112. ibid., p. 33.

  113. 'Inquiry call on funding', Cairns Post, 11 December 2001.

  114. Dean Jaensch, 'Time to cap the jackpot we pay parties for our votes', Advertiser, 22 November 2001.

  115. 'Call for set term', Canberra Times, 6 December 2001; 'Larry backs 4-year terms', Daily News (Tweed Heads), 7 December 2001. For the issue of four-year terms, see, Scott Bennett, 'Four-year Terms for the House of Representatives', Research Paper no. 4,
    2000-01, Parliamentary Library, Canberra, http://www.aph.gov.au/library/pubs/rp/2000-01/01RP04.htm.

  116. Uniform voting needed: Truss', Heritage Herald (Maryborough, Qld), 5 December 2001.

  117. 'Election rorts must end', Western Advocate, 17 November 2001.

  118. Christopher Pyne, 'For ALP, democracy must begin at home', Australian, 12 December 2001.

  119. Michelle Grattan, 'Crosby goes radio ga ga on Labor advertising', Sydney Morning Herald, 22 November 2001.

  120. 'Early quitters should have to pay says Andren', Lithgow Mercury, 29 December 2001.

  121. Crispin Hull, 'By-elections: maybe it's time to get by without', Canberra Times, 17 January 2002.

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