1984 and 2010 Hawke and Rudd

A Labor government that replaced a controversial and polarising conservative administration loses ground at its first election to the surprise of observers who expected an easy victory and Labor loses votes to its left from voters disillusioned with its record in government. It happened in 1984 will it happen again?

Andrew Peacock and Tony Abbott

Health party pref

Is Tony Abbott as much of a political liability as Labor hopes? Could he duplicate Andrew Peacock’s relative success as Liberal leader in 1984? Abbott  served as Health minister from late 2003 to the defeat of the Howard government. At the 2004 election one factor contributing to the easy re-election of the Howard government was […]

Sex Discrimination and Emissions Trading: Nationals then and now


Commentators on Australian politics have long maintained a death watch on the National Party and its current woes have seen this topic attract renewed attention. Thinking about this topic, and in particular the Nationals’ appeals to an imagined mass conservative constituency.As as I prepared my lecture on feminism for Modern Political Ideologies. In discussing liberal […]

Ghosts of John Elliott and Katherine West

Malcolm Turnbull’s basic problem is that like John Howard Mark I he is out of step with his own party. Howard won the Liberal leadership in 1985 due to missteps by Andrew Peacock rather than any strong base of support. Turnbull, once Peter Costello was gone, was the only credible candidate once Brendan Nelson fell […]