Composition of Australian parliaments by party and gender: a quick guide

Updated 11 September 2020

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Lisa Richards
Politics & Public Administration Section

This quick guide contains the most recent tables showing the composition of Australian parliaments by party and gender (see Tables 1 and 2). It takes into account changes to the Commonwealth and state/territory parliaments since the last update was published on 23 April 2020.

Commonwealth

House of Representatives

Following the resignation of Mike Kelly (ALP, Eden-Monaro) on 30 April 2020, Kristy McBain (ALP) won the resulting by-election on 4 July 2020.

With the election of Kristy McBain, 47 members of the House of Representatives are women (31.1 per cent)—the highest proportion of female members in the House to date.

Senate

On 10 August 2020 Senator Rex Patrick (SA) resigned from Centre Alliance to become an Independent.

Following the resignation of Senator Richard Di Natale (GRN, Vic.) on 26 August 2020, the resulting casual vacancy was filled by Lidia Thorpe (GRN), who was chosen by the Victorian Parliament on 4 September 2020.

With the appointment of Lidia Thorpe, the majority of senators are women for the first time in the Senate’s history. The Senate now comprises 39 women and 37 men (51.3 per cent female). In September 2019 the Senate reached equal gender representation for the first time (38 women and 38 men).

New South Wales

In the NSW Legislative Council, Shaoquett Moselmane became an Independent following his suspension from the ALP on 26 June 2020.

Victoria

In the Victorian Legislative Council, Adem Somyurek became an Independent after he resigned from the ALP on 15 June 2020.

South Australia

In the House of Assembly, Samuel ‘Sam’ Duluk (Waite) became an Independent after his suspension from the Liberal Party on 14 February 2020.

Andrew McLachlan (LIB) resigned from the SA Legislative Council on 6 February 2020 and was replaced by Nicola Centofanti (LIB), who was sworn-in on 7 April 2020.

In the Legislative Council, John Dawkins became an Independent after he was expelled from the Liberal Party on 9 September 2020.

Tasmania

In the House of Assembly, following the resignation of Joan Rylah (LIB, Braddon) on 27 July 2020, a recount was held and the vacancy was filled by Felix Ellis (LIB) on 17 August 2020.

The figures reflect the results of the elections for the Legislative Council divisions of Huon and Rosevears, held on 1 August 2020:

  • Bastian Seidel (ALP) was elected in Huon, replacing Robert Armstrong (IND) and
  • Jo Palmer (LIB) was elected in Rosevears, replacing Kerry Finch (IND).

Northern Territory

The figures for the Northern Territory reflect the results of the general election held on 22 August 2020.

While there have been changes to the gender representation by party, the overall gender composition of the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly remains unchanged, with 13 men and 12 women (48 per cent female).

 

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