Odgers' Australian Senate Practice Thirteenth Edition

Chapter 1 - The Senate and its constitutional role

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Table 2: Party affiliations in the Senate, 1901–2010

Year of election

Total number of seats

Government

Non-government

Government majority

Government minority

Party

Number of seats

1901

36

11

25

-14

Freetraders

17

Protectionists ◊

11

Labor

8

1903

36

8

28

-20

Labor

14

Freetraders

12

Protectionists ◊

8

Tariff Reformers

1

Independent

1

1906

36

6

30

-24

Labor

15

Freetraders

12

Protectionists ◊

6

Independent

2

Tariff Reformers

1

1910

36

23

13

+10

Labor ◊

23

Fusion

13

1913

36

7

29

-22

Labor

29

Liberal ◊

7

1914*

36

31

5

+26

Labor ◊

31

Liberal

5

1917

36

24

12

+12

Nationalists ◊

24

Labor

12

1919

36

35

1

+34

Nationalists ◊

35

Labor

1

1922

36

24

12

+12

Nationalists ◊

24

Labor

12

1925

36

28

8

+20

Nationalists ◊

25

Labor

8

Country Party

3

1928

36

29

7

+22

Nationalists ◊

24

Labor

7

Country Party ◊

5

1931

36

21

15

+6

United Australia Party ◊

21

Labor

10

Country Party ◊

5

1934

36

33

3

+30

United Australia Party

26

Country Party

7

Labor

3

1937

36

20

16

+4

Labor

16

United Australia Party ◊

16

Country Party ◊

4

1940

36

19

17

+2

Labor

17

United Australia Party ◊

16

Country Party ◊

3

1943

36

22

14

+8

Labor ◊

22

United Australia Party

12

Country Party

2

1946

36

33

3

+30

Labor ◊

33

Liberal

2

Country Party

1

1949

60

26

34

-8

Labor

34

Liberal ◊

20

Country Party ◊

6

1951*

60

32

28

+4

Labor

28

Liberal ◊

26

Country Party ◊

6

1953~

60

31

29

+2

Labor

29

Liberal ◊

26

Country Party ◊

5

1955

60

30

30

=

=

Labor

28

Liberal ◊

24

Country Party ◊

6

Democratic Labor

2

1958

60

32

28

+4

Labor

26

Liberal ◊

25

Country Party ◊

7

Democratic Labor

2

1961

60

30

30

=

=

Labor

28

Liberal ◊

24

Country Party ◊

6

Democratic Labor

1

Independent

1

1964~

60

30

30

=

=

Labor

27

Liberal ◊

23

Country Party ◊

7

Democratic Labor

2

Independent

1

1967~

60

28

32

-4

Labor

27

Liberal ◊

21

Country Party ◊

7

Democratic Labor

4

Independent

1

1970~

60

26

34

-8

Labor

26

Liberal ◊

21

Country Party ◊

5

Democratic Labor

5

Independent

3

1974*

60

29

31

-2

Labor ◊

29

Liberal

23

Country Party

6

Independent

1

Liberal Movement

1

1975*

64

35

29

+6

Labor

27

Liberal ◊

27

National Country Party ◊

8

Independent

1

Liberal Movement

1

1977

64

35

29

+6

Liberal ◊

29

Labor

26

National Country Party ◊

6

Australian Democrats

2

Independent

1

1980

64

31

33

-2

Liberal ◊

28

Labor

27

Australian Democrats

5

National Country Party ◊

3

Independent

1

1983*

64

30

34

-4

Labor ◊

30

Liberal

24

Australian Democrats

5

National Party

4

Independent

1

1984

76

34

42

-8

Labor ◊

34

Liberal

28

Australian Democrats

7

National Party

5

Independent

1

Nuclear Disarmament Party

1

1987*

76

32

44

-12

Labor ◊

32

Liberal

27

National Party

7

Australian Democrats

7

Nuclear Disarmament Party

2

Independent

1

1990

76

32

44

-12

Labor ◊

32

Liberal

29

Australian Democrats

8

National Party

5

Greens

1

Independent

1

1993

76

30

46

-16

Labor ◊

30

Liberal

30

Australian Democrats

7

National Party

6

Greens

2

Independent

1

1996

76

37

39

-2

Liberal ◊

31

Labor

29

Australian Democrats

7

National Party ◊

6

Greens

2

Independent

1

1998

76

35

41

-6

Liberal ◊

31

Labor

29

Australian Democrats

9

National Party ◊

4

Greens

1

Independent

1

One Nation

1

2001

76

35

41

-6

Liberal ◊

31

Labor

28

Australian Democrats

8

National Party ◊

4

Greens

2

Independent

2

One Nation

1

2004

76

39

37

+2

Liberal ◊

33

Labor

28

National Party ◊

6

Australian Democrats

4

Greens

4

Family First

1

2007

76

32

44

-12

Labor ◊

32

Liberal

32

Greens

5

National Party

5

Family First

1

Independent

1

2010

76

31

45

-14

Labor ◊

31

Liberal

28

Greens

9

The Nationals

6

Democratic Labor

1

Independent

1

In all cases the figures reflect the composition of the Senate immediately after newly elected senators have taken their seats.

◊ Government party/parties

* Simultaneous dissolution elections

~ Half-Senate election held separately from House of Representatives


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