It depends on how you measure it – but it’s not as big as most are making out, at least not in terms of Lower House representation across the country over the last 13 years. If we take the raw seat numbers from the parliaments of NSW, Vic, Qld, SA, WA, Tas and Federally – and then look at the number of total seats across the country that the Liberal Party, the Labor Party and the National Party have held each year, it shows that the Nats have lost 25 seats across the nation between 1996 and 2007 – but have had their representation level remain consistent since 2001. We can only go up to 2007 unfortunately, as the Liberal/National merger in Qld makes it impossible to include the most recent Qld election result. Just click the charts to expand them.

seats1

If we change those total seats numbers into percentages – as in the percentage of total seats each of the parties held at any given time, the National Party representation has dropped from around 14% of all lower house seats to around 10%. Over the same period, the Libs have dropped from 44% of all seats to 27%, while the ALP has gone from 40% to 59%.

seats2

Worth looking at as well is a two party Labor vs. Coalition result using the same total State and Federal results – where we can also include the Qld and WA elections, taking us to the present day.

seats31

UPDATE:

Antony has the Nats Federal voteshare going back to the Jurassic era

Get Crikey for $1 a week.

Lockdowns are over and BBQs are back! At last, we get to talk to people in real life. But conversation topics outside COVID are so thin on the ground.

Join Crikey and we’ll give you something to talk about. Get your first 12 weeks for $12 to get stories, analysis and BBQ stoppers you won’t see anywhere else.

Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
12 weeks for just $12.