State sectional and other sources of vote splitting between the house of representatives and the senate at the 1993 Australian Federal Elections

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The presence of a state sectional or regional basis to variations in voter behaviour in Australia has long been a matter of debate, with opinion varying between shallow but meaningful state sections and national uniformity. Electoral geographers generally support the former view. This paper investigates an important but under-researched aspect of voter behaviour, that of vote splitting between the lower and upper houses of the Australian Parliament, in the context of state sectional and other influences on electoral behaviour for the 1993 federal election. Set against considerations of trust in, and dual loyalties to, two levels of government, state and federal, where party identification may be seen to structure the vote for the lower House but other factors such as a balance of power apply more strongly to the Senate, this paper finds a significant state sectional effect, with evidence pointing towards an institutional, rather than a cultural, explanation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-213
Number of pages13
JournalAustralian Geographer
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1996



  • Electoral behaviour
  • Marginality
  • State sectional, class and rural-urban cleavages
  • Vote splitting

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