The Australian Party System

After charting the history of American parties in Congress, I decided to make a similar chart for Australia’s party history. For each federal election from the first in 1901 to the latest in 2016, the presence of each party is represented by a colored rectangle sized in proportion to its number of seats in the chamber after the election. Seats are displayed in percentage terms, suppressing differences in total seats over the years.

Position your mouse over the data for more information. Use the buttons on the right to show or hide party labels and to switch between views of the House, Senate, and both chambers combined.

View chart

I compiled the data from Wikipedia, supplemented by “Federal election results 1901-2014” by Stephen Barber and Sue Johnson, published by the Parliament of Australia’s Department of Parliamentary Services. The spreadsheet containing the source data can be viewed here.

It’s worth noting that the Liberal and National parties have been allied for many years as the Coalition, and have merged in some states: as the Liberal National Party in Queensland and as the Country Liberal Party in the Northern Territory. The Commonwealth Liberal Party, Nationalist Party, and United Australia Party are direct ancestors of the Liberal Party. The Country and National Country parties are ancestors of the National Party.


Author: Dan Eckam