Australia House of Reps - gender equity by 2040?

Gender equity by 2040? Update 11 July 2016 of previous posts:

In the last House of Representatives in Australia, there were 40 women and 110 men. This means that women comprised 26.6% of MPs in the old House.

The results of the 2016 Federal election are nearly in. There are still two seats in doubt as at 11 July - Herbert and Hindmarsh.

Women have won in 43 of the 144 seats won, or predicted to be won, so far.

To calculate the final number of women we look at gender in the two seats where the results are still in doubt:

  • Hindmarsh involves a contest between two male candidates - so this seat will go to a man
  • Herbert involves a contest between a male and a female candidate - so the gender outcome remains 'up in the air' – although as at 11 July this seat is predicted to go to the female candidate from the Australian Labor Party

We know that the number of women in the new house will be at least 43, and possibly 44.

If that is the result, it would mean that:

  • the number of women in the House of Representatives will be 44
  • this would be 29.3 percent - moving Australia from 56th to 49th place in IPU rankings for lower house gender representation These rankings, while important, do not take into account the very many different ways in which elections are conducted and comparisons need to be carefully made. That said, we move from equal 56th with Israel to between the UK and Luxembourg 
  • this is an increase of 2.7 percent on the old house
  • at the rate of four more per election, on a 3yr electoral cycle, we will be one seat away from gender equity by 2040.

The gender split, by party, in the 2016 House of Representatives election result is:

Known or predicted outcome seats:

  • ALP 28 F - 40 M Total 68 = 28/68 or 41% of party seats to females 
  • LIB 13 F - 52 M Total 65 = 13/68 or 20% of party seats to females
  • NAT 0 F - 10 M Total 10 = no party seats to females
  • GREENS 0 F - 1 M Total 1 = no party seats to females

The differences between the major parties is striking. The Labor Party has policies in place to ensure women are elected to parliament and the Liberal and National Parties are less pro-active.

The Greens have policies for promoting equal gender representation, but have one lower house seat despite getting 9.8% of the vote nationally for the lower house

Doubtful seats:

  • Down to two male candidates - 1
  • Down to a contest between one male and one female candidate - 1 


Our initial analysis (4 July 2016) - with more doubtful seats in play put the estimate of women in the new House of Represetatives at possibly between 42 and 48. 

This was some of the coverage then 


For the Senate, our analysis from 8 July remains current 

The Senate is on track to match and probably exceed the number of women in the previous Senate;fileType=application%2Fpdf#search=%22library/prspub/3681701%22  (29/76) 

Resources on women in parliament