Better, but poor results for women in Australian election

In the last (44th) parliament there were 40 women in the House of Representatives. This could rise modestly to between 42-48 women following the election on 2 July. However, we stress that the results in a number of seats remain uncertain.

See also http://www.womensagenda.com.au/talking-about/top-stories/item/7138-the-7-new-female-parliamentarians-to-watch

ABC election 2016 Graphic (11.00 am 4 July 2016) 

NB: We have only looked at candidates fielded across all electorates for the Liberal and the Labor parties.

Winners by gender - 139 seats

Early election results for the 2016 election show that for 139 of the 150 seats - (with 11 doubtful seats excluded) - 

The Liberal and National Party Coalition has a total of 67/139 seats. 

Major party differences in fielding female candidates

  • Across all 150 electorates, the Labor party fielded 62 female candidates and the Liberal party fielded 40 female candidates

  • The Labor party commitment to a quota system outperformed the Liberal party's vague endorsement of targets to field female candidates.

Winnable seats?

Across 139 seats - in terms of total seats predicted to be won -

  • the Labor party had a 19% success rate for female candidates (26/139) and a 30% success rate for male candidates (41/139).
  • the Liberal party had a 8% success rate for female candidates (11/137) and a 33% success rate for male candidates (46/139).

Chances of success by gender and party (interim figure with 11 seats in doubt)

Labor party - Fielded 62 female candidates who won 26 seats - a 42% success rate (26/62) - so far

Liberal party - Fielded 40 female candidates who won 11 seats - a 27.5% success rate (11/40) - so far

11 seats in doubt - as at 11.00 am 4 July

Of the 11 seats in doubt -

Three of these seats were held in the last parliament by women:

  • one was held by the Labor party 
  • two were held by a Liberal/National coalition member
  • the final count for these seats is between female candidates fielded by the major parties 

This means that three doubtful seats are set to return female members

Eight of these seats were held in the last parliament by men:

    • all eight were held by a male Liberal party member
    • the final count in five of these seats is between a male Liberal candidate and a female candidate for the Labor party
    • the final count in one of these seats is between a male Liberal candidate and a female candidate for the Nick Xenophon Group 
    • the final count in two of these seats is between a male Liberal candidate and a male Labor candidate

    This means that six of nine doubtful seats could return a female member

    Progressive count on gender - women likely to be elected

    • Labor 26
    • Liberal 11 
    • Female independent candidates 2
    • In doubt contests between female candidates 3
    • Total 42

    There are a further six seats that could return a female member giving a maximum possible result of 48/150

    At most, there may be 48 women in the house of representatives for the 45th parliament. This is just 32 percent of the house - up from 26.7 percent. This would put Australia in 37th place (just above Algeria) on gender equity in the International Parliamentary Union rankings

    The results of the election will not be known for a number of days at least - with counting scheduled to re-start on Tuesday 5 July.