The 2001 federal election was a watershed moment for Australian national security that has set a policy agenda for almost two decades.
Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen was Queensland’s longest-serving premier, but an inquiry into corruption brought his hopes of becoming the next prime minister of Australia to a sudden end.
In the early 20th century, voters in rural Australia began to organise politically for the first time – and proved crucial to the ousting of the reformist Labor government in 1913.
Labor Leader Arthur Calwell tried to leverage public opposition to conscription to gain support during the 1966 election, calling it a “sinister word” for Australians. The tactic failed.
All the polls suggested the Keating government would be finished at the 1993 election – until Opposition Leader John Hewson launched a 650-page policy document called “Fightback!”.
In 1960, Harold Holt, the then-treasurer, urged the government to abolish import restrictions, resulting in a minor recession. This nearly swung the election in the ALP’s favour.
Only twice have Australian electors chosen to vote out a sitting prime minister. Both times, industrial relations was the key. What can we learn from that?
Historians attribute the Coalition’s election victory in 1949 to issues like bank nationalisation and the Communist Party. But the decisive issue was petrol rationing.