John Curtin, party leader since 1935 and prime minister since 1941, suffered a fatal heart attack at The Lodge on 5 July 1945, after months of ill health. His deputy, Frank Forde, was sworn in as interim prime minister the following day, with the understanding that he would resign if the Labor Party did not elect him as leader. Curtin's state funeral was held in Perth on 8 July. Forde, as acting leader, scheduled a leadership election for Thursday, 12 July, despite the objections of allies of H. V. Evatt – who was overseas – that this would leave him no time to return to Australia and campaign. On 10 July, Forde and Chifley both announced their intention to stand for the leadership. Norman Makin announced his candidacy the next day. All 70 members of the Labor caucus (including three who were absent and voted by proxy) participated in the ballot. Chifley won 45 votes, Forde won 16, Makin won seven, and Evatt won two. Forde was subsequently re-elected unopposed as deputy leader. Chifley was sworn in as prime minister the following day, 13 July.