1945 Australian Labor Party leadership election

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
1945 Australian Labor Party
leadership election

← 1935 12 July 1945 1951 →
  Benchifley.jpg Frank Forde 1945.jpg
Candidate Ben Chifley Frank Forde
First Ballot 45 votes
64.3%
16 votes
22.9%

  Makin-young.jpg Herbert V. Evatt.jpg
Candidate Norman Makin H. V. Evatt
First Ballot 7 votes
10.0%
2 votes
2.9%

Leader before election

John Curtin
Frank Forde (Acting)

Elected Leader

Ben Chifley

The Australian Labor Party held a leadership election on 12 July 1945, following the death of Prime Minister John Curtin. Treasurer Ben Chifley won an absolute majority on the first ballot, defeating three other candidates – deputy leader and interim prime minister Frank Forde, navy minister Norman Makin, and attorney-general H. V. Evatt.

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.[1] 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.[2] Norman Makin announced his candidacy the next day.[3] 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.[4]

Results[edit]

The following table gives the ballot results:

Name Votes Percentage
Ben Chifley 45 64.3
Frank Forde 16 22.9
Norman Makin 7 10.0
H. V. Evatt 2 2.9

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Australia's PMs > Francis Forde > In office, National Archives of Australia. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
  2. ^ CAUCUS MEETS TOMORROW TO ELECT PRIME MINISTER, The Canberra Times, 11 July 1945.
  3. ^ FOUR CANDIDATES LIKELY IN BALLOT FOR LABOUR LEADER, The Canberra Times, 12 July 1945.
  4. ^ McMullin, Ross (1991). The Light on the Hill: The Australian Labor Party 1891–1991, Oxford University Press, pp. 234–235.