Fact sheet

Fact Check: Did the Liberal Party lose a million votes last election?

Independent politicians Elections Voting

Senator for South Australia Cory Bernardi sought to justify his defection from the Liberal Party to form his own party, the Australian Conservatives, by pointing to the swing against the Liberals at the 2016 election. He claimed the Liberal Party's support at the last election dropped by 1 million votes. RMIT ABC Fact Check found this claim overblown. Due to the varying nature of Coalition agreements in different states, the Liberal vote cannot to be disentangled from the Coalition vote at the national level. Considering the Coalition's primary vote only, the official AEC election results show a raw loss of 189,213 votes in the House of Representatives and 188,250 votes in the Senate between the 2013 and 2016 elections, and a loss of 475,293 votes in the House and 359,811 votes in the Senate after accounting for growth in the number of people voting between the two elections. Combining the raw figures in the House and Senate yields a figure of 377,463 and doing the same for the growth-adjusted figures yields a total of 835,104 votes.
Verdict: Overblown

Publication Details