1983 Australian Labor Party leadership spill

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1983 Australian Labor Party
Leadership spill
Australian-Labor-Party-stub.svg
← 1982 3 February 1983 June 1991 →
  Bob Hawke Portrait 1983.jpg
Candidate Bob Hawke
Caucus vote Unopposed

Leader before election

Bill Hayden

Elected Leader

Bob Hawke

A leadership spill in the Australian Labor Party, then the opposition party in the Parliament of Australia, was held on 3 February 1983. It saw the resignation of Leader Bill Hayden followed by the election of Bob Hawke as his replacement.

Background[edit]

Bill Hayden had been leader of the Labor Party since 1977, and lead the party to an improved result at the 1980 election. However, after only just surviving a challenge from Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations Bob Hawke and a disappointing by-election result in December 1982 caused many[who?] to question his ability to win the impending federal election.[citation needed] With a second challenge from Hawke imminent, Hayden resigned as party leader and Hawke was returned in the caucus ballot unopposed.[1]

Elsewhere, Liberal Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser had announced a snap election hoping to capitalise on Labor's disunity and go to the polls against Hayden rather than Hawke.[citation needed] Later that afternoon a press conference Hayden famously said that "a drover's dog could lead the Labor Party to victory, the way the country is".[citation needed] The ensuing federal election was easily won by Labor and Hawke became Prime Minister.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Hayden Resigns as Leader of the Labor Party". The Canberra Times. 4 February 1983. p. 1.