Harman Patil

Australian federal election, 1954

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29 May 1954  1955 →
69 seats  52 seats
5  5
23 September 1943  13 June 1951
64 seats  57 seats
49.30%  50.70%
Australian federal election, 1954

Federal elections were held in Australia on 29 May 1954. All 121 seats in the House of Representatives were up for election, no Senate election took place. The incumbent Liberal Party of Australia led by Prime Minister of Australia Robert Menzies with coalition partner the Country Party led by Arthur Fadden defeated the Australian Labor Party led by Herbert Evatt.



See Australian Senate election, 1953 for Senate composition.


In 1949, Sir Robert Menzies founded the Liberal Party of Australia (descended from the United Australia Party) and was led by Menzies for 16 years through successive re-elections with the traditional coalition in place with the National Party of Australia (known then as the Country Party). Labor stayed out of government for 23 years after the defeat of the Chifley Government in 1949, largely due to the Australian Labor Party split of 1955 and the subsequent splinter group Democratic Labor Party. Labor nevertheless won the two-party-preferred vote on three occasions (1954 - where Labor achieved a first preference vote of more than 50% - 1961 and 1969), but these were not enough to win a sufficient number of seats to form government.

The election was complicated by the Petrov Affair, in which Vladimir Petrov, an attache to the Soviet embassy in Canberra, defected amidst a storm of publicity, claiming that there were Soviet spy rings within Australia. Given that the 1951 election had been fought over the issue of banning the Communist Party of Australia altogether, it is unsurprising that such a claim would gain credibility.


Australian federal election, 1954 Wikipedia

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