Australian Labor Party (Anti-Communist)
The Australian Labor Party (Anti-Communist) (ALP-AC) was the name initially used by the right-wing group which arose from the 1955 Labor split, and which later became the Democratic Labor Party in 1957.
In April 1955, seven Victorian federal MPs and eighteen state MPs were expelled from the ALP, and they formed the party under the influence of B. A. Santamaria. All but one of the twelve MPs in the Victorian Legislative Assembly, the one MP facing re-election in the Victorian Legislative Council, and all seven federal MPs were defeated at elections held in 1955. Five MPs remained in the Legislative Council until the expiry of their terms in 1958, and all who recontested their seats were defeated. The federal MPs were:
However, the party did elect Frank McManus as a senator for Victoria in this election, and successful ALP candidate George Cole had chosen before the election to become part of this party. Additionally, Frank Scully gained the seat of Richmond in the Victorian Legislative Assembly in the May 1955 Victorian election.
The parliamentary membership of the ALP (Anti-Communist) was almost entirely Roman Catholic. The only two non-Catholics were its federal leader, Bob Joshua, who represented Ballarat in the Australian House of Representatives, and Jack Little, who led the party in the Victoria Legislative Council between 1955 and 1958. It has been suggested that the party was substantially a party of Irish-ethnics, a result of the ALP split of 1955 being a 'de-ethnicisation', a forcible removal of the Irish-Catholic element within the ALP. However, many ALP (Anti-Communist) members were not of Irish descent. The party attracted many voters among migrants from Catholic countries in southern Europe, and among anti-Communist Eastern European refugees. In 1957, the party became the Democratic Labor Party, which became formally defunct in 1978. Those party members who refused to accept the party's dissolution, formed a successor party, the Democratic Labour Party.
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