Australian Labor Party leadership spills, 2003

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Two leadership spills of the Australian Labor Party (ALP), the official opposition party in the Parliament of Australia, were held on 16 June 2003 and 2 December 2003, respectively. The Opposition Leader, Simon Crean, won the ballot in June against former opposition leader Kim Beazley, but resigned as leader in late November after losing support from his colleagues and did not contest the December ballot which Mark Latham won against Kim Beazley.

June 2003 spill[edit]

Australian Labor Party
Leadership spill, June 2003
Australia
2001 ←
16 June 2003 (2003-06-16)
→ Dec. 2003

  Simon Crean - WEF 2010.jpg Kim Beazley.jpg
Candidate Simon Crean Kim Beazley
Caucus vote 58 34
Percentage 63.0% 37.0%

Leader before election

Simon Crean

Elected Leader

Simon Crean

Background[edit]

Simon Crean had become leader of the Labor Party and opposition leader unopposed[1] at a leadership ballot on 11 November 2001 held to replace Kim Beazley, who fought two elections as Labor leader at the 1998 and 2001 elections. Crean had also been deputy leader between 1998 and 2001 and was succeeded as deputy leader by Jenny Macklin.

Despite a successful budget reply and the controversy surrounding Howard-appointed Governor-General Peter Hollingworth, Crean had a low popularity rating throughout 2003. With constant rumours over a possible challenge plaguing his leadership, Crean called a leadership spill to be held on June 16, 2003.

Results[edit]

The ballot was held on June 16, 2003 in which Crean convincingly defeated Beazley 58-34, despite opinion polls showing more public support for Beazley.

December 2003 spill[edit]

Australian Labor Party
Leadership spill, December 2003
Australia
June 2003 ←
2 December 2003 (2003-12-02)
→ 2005

  Ac.marklatham.jpg Kim Beazley.jpg
Candidate Mark Latham Kim Beazley
Caucus vote 47 45
Percentage 51.1% 48.9%

Leader before election

Simon Crean

Elected Leader

Mark Latham

Background[edit]

However, by November, Crean had lost more ground to John Howard as preferred prime minister. On 27 November 2003, a section of Crean’s senior colleagues informed him that he had lost support and should step down as leader. After “sleep[ing] on it”, Crean announced the following day that he would resign as leader. In doing so, Crean became the first Labor leader to have not contested an election since Billy Hughes was expelled from the Labor party in 1916.

Results[edit]

The ballot was held on Tuesday 2 December in which Latham defeated Beazley by a margin of two votes (47-45).[2]

Aftermath[edit]

Latham went on to lose the federal election in October 2004. Latham stayed on for a few months as leader until January 2005 when he stood down citing ill health. Beazley then returned to the leadership unopposed and remained leader until December 2006 when he was ousted by Kevin Rudd.

See also[edit]

References[edit]