This article critically examines the traditional American assumption that split ticket voting represents an indicator of partisan dysfunction and dealignment. It is argued that this assumption ignores the impact of system-specific voting structures on voting patterns. Thus, we propose alternatively to explore ticket spitting in Australia, where a system of preferential vote and proportional representation creates very different structural opportunities for voters to pursue tactical votes that need not engender dealignment. Aggregate and survey data from the 1987 and 1990 federal elections are analysed. Aggregate results show a general upturn in voting consistent with tactical voting, while survey results suggest Australian ticket splitters are a tactically aware, politically interested subset who, in the context of wavering, but not supplanted partisanship, utilise especially Senate minor party votes to put a brake on major party hegemony.