Leaders of the Australian Labor Party

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There are Leaders of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) at the federal level as well as in each Australian state and territory. Australian Labor Party leaders are chosen from among the members of the respective parliamentary parties either by the members only or with an input from the ALP rank-and-file members.

Bill Shorten Kevin Rudd Julia Gillard Kevin Rudd Kim Beazley Mark Latham Simon Crean Kim Beazley Paul Keating Bob Hawke Bill Hayden Gough Whitlam Arthur Calwell H.V. Evatt Ben Chifley Frank Forde John Curtin James Scullin Matthew Charlton Frank Tudor Billy Hughes Andrew Fisher Chris Watson

Background[edit]

The federal Labor Caucus comprising the elected members of the Labor party in both Houses of the national Parliament is involved in the election of the federal parliamentary leaders from among its members. The leader has historically been a member of the House of Representatives. Caucus also has the power to dismiss a party leader in a process called a leadership spill. Until 2013, a spill vote could be called at any time and a simple majority of votes in Caucus was sufficient to remove a leader. Following the return of Kevin Rudd to the leadership of the ALP in 2013, he sought changes to the party's rules so that leadership spills would be more difficult to launch in future, including a requirement for 75% majority in Caucus for a leadership spill against a sitting Labor prime minister, or 60% against an opposition leader.[1] The changes also provided for equally weighted voting rights between Caucus and party rank and file members. These changes were adopted by Caucus in July 2013, which was not a change to the party's constitution[2] (and theoretically can be reverted by a simple majority in Caucus). At the October 2013 leadership spill Bill Shorten was the first leader elected under the new rules. Shorten received 55-43 votes in Caucus, which was sufficient to overcome his 40% support among party members.[3]

When the Labor Party is in government, the party leader becomes the Prime Minister and the deputy leader becomes the Deputy Prime Minister. If a Labor prime minister resigns or dies in office, the deputy leader becomes party leader and is sworn in as prime minister on an interim basis until a party successor is elected. This was the case upon the death in office of John Curtin on 5 July 1945. Frank Forde, the deputy party leader, was sworn in as interim prime minister until Ben Chifley was elected by Caucus as party leader on 13 July. If the leader is out of the country or is on leave, the deputy leader acts as party leader and prime minister, without being sworn into the office.

ALP federal parliamentary leaders[edit]

The federal Leaders of the Australian Labor Party have been as follows (acting leaders indicated in italics):

# Leader Term start Term end Time in office Prime Minister
1 ChrisWatsonBW crop.jpg Watson, ChrisChris Watson 20 May 1901 30 October 1907 6 years, 163 days Yes (1904)
2 Andrewfisher2bw.JPG Fisher, AndrewAndrew Fisher 30 October 1907 27 October 1915 7 years, 362 days Yes (1908–09, 1910–13, 1914–15)
3 Billy Hughes 1919.jpg Hughes, BillyBilly Hughes 27 October 1915 14 November 1916 1 year, 18 days Yes (1915–23)
4 Frank Tudor.jpg Tudor, FrankFrank Tudor 14 November 1916 10 January 1922 5 years, 57 days No
5 CharltonPEO.jpg Charlton, MatthewMatthew Charlton 16 May 1922 29 March 1928 5 years, 318 days No
6 Portrait of the Right Hon. J. H. Scullin.png Scullin, JamesJames Scullin 26 April 1928 1 October 1935 7 years, 128 days Yes (1929–32)
7 JohnCurtin.jpg Curtin, JohnJohn Curtin 1 October 1935 5 July 1945 9 years, 277 days Yes (1941–45)
Frank Forde.jpg Forde, FrankFrank Forde 6 July 1945 13 July 1945 7 days Yes (1945)
8 Benchifley.jpg Chifley, BenBen Chifley 13 July 1945 13 June 1951 5 years, 335 days Yes (1945–49)
9 Herbert V. Evatt.jpg Evatt, H. V.H. V. Evatt 20 June 1951 9 February 1960 8 years, 241 days No
10 ArthurCalwell.jpg Calwell, ArthurArthur Calwell 7 March 1960 8 February 1967 6 years, 338 days No
11 Whitlam1955.jpg Whitlam, GoughGough Whitlam 9 February 1967 22 December 1977 10 years, 316 days Yes (1972–75)
12 BillHayden.jpg Hayden, BillBill Hayden 22 December 1977 3 February 1983 5 years, 43 days No
13 Bob Hawke 1987 portrait crop.jpg Hawke, BobBob Hawke 3 February 1983 20 December 1991 8 years, 320 days Yes (1983–91)
14 Paul Keating 2007 2.jpg Keating, PaulPaul Keating 20 December 1991 2 March 1996 4 years, 73 days Yes (1991–96)
15 Kim Beazley crop.jpg Beazley, KimKim Beazley 19 March 1996 11 November 2001 5 years, 237 days No
16 Simon Crean (1).jpg Crean, SimonSimon Crean 11 November 2001 2 December 2003 2 years, 21 days No
17 Ac.marklatham.jpg Latham, MarkMark Latham 2 December 2003 18 January 2005 1 year, 47 days No
(15) Kim Beazley crop.jpg Beazley, KimKim Beazley 18 January 2005 4 December 2006 1 year, 320 days No
18 The Hon. Kevin Rudd.jpg Rudd, KevinKevin Rudd 4 December 2006 24 June 2010 3 years, 202 days Yes (2007–10)
19 Julia Gillard 2010 crop.jpg Gillard, JuliaJulia Gillard 24 June 2010 26 June 2013 3 years, 2 days Yes (2010–13)
(18) The Hon. Kevin Rudd.jpg Rudd, KevinKevin Rudd 26 June 2013 13 September 2013 79 days Yes (2013)
Chris Bowen.JPG Bowen, ChrisChris Bowen 18 September 2013 13 October 2013 25 days No
20 Bill Shorten-crop.jpg Shorten, BillBill Shorten 13 October 2013 4 years, 39 days No

ALP federal deputy parliamentary leaders[edit]

Shown in chronological order of leadership
# Deputy Leader Term start Term end Time in office Leader
1 Gregor McGregor1.jpg McGregor, GregorGregor McGregor 20 May 1901 30 July 1914 13 years, 71 days Chris Watson
Andrew Fisher
2 BillyHughes.png Hughes, BillyBilly Hughes 18 September 1914 27 October 1915 1 year, 39 days
3 Sir George Pearce.jpg Pearce, GeorgeGeorge Pearce 27 October 1915 14 November 1916 1 year, 18 days Billy Hughes
4 Albert Gardiner.jpg Gardiner, AlbertAlbert Gardiner 14 November 1916 30 June 1926 9 years, 228 days Frank Tudor
Matthew Charlton
5 Portrait of the Right Hon. J. H. Scullin.png Scullin, JamesJames Scullin 17 March 1927 29 March 1928 1 year, 12 days
6 Arthur Blakeley.jpg Blakeley, ArthurArthur Blakeley 26 April 1928 5 February 1929 285 days James Scullin
7 Ted Theodore 1931.jpg Theodore, TedTed Theodore 5 February 1929 19 December 1931 2 years, 317 days
8 Frank Forde.jpg Forde, FrankFrank Forde 16 February 1932 28 September 1946 14 years, 224 days
John Curtin
Ben Chifley
9 Herbert V. Evatt.jpg Evatt, H. V.H. V. Evatt 31 October 1946 20 June 1951 4 years, 232 days
10 ArthurCalwell.jpg Calwell, ArthurArthur Calwell 20 June 1951 7 March 1960 8 years, 261 days H. V. Evatt
11 Whitlam1955.jpg Whitlam, GoughGough Whitlam 7 March 1960 9 February 1967 6 years, 339 days Arthur Calwell
12 Lance Barnard.jpg Barnard, LanceLance Barnard 9 February 1967 12 June 1974 7 years, 123 days Gough Whitlam
13 Jim Cairns.jpg Cairns, JimJim Cairns 12 June 1974 2 July 1975 1 year, 20 days
14 Frank Crean.jpg Crean, FrankFrank Crean 2 July 1975 22 December 1975 173 days
15 Uren, TomTom Uren 22 December 1975 22 December 1977 2 years, 0 days
16 Lionel Bowen.jpg Bowen, LionelLionel Bowen 22 December 1977 4 April 1990 12 years, 103 days Bill Hayden
Bob Hawke
16 Paul Keating 2007 2.jpg Keating, PaulPaul Keating 4 April 1990 3 Jun 1991 1 year, 60 days
17 Howe, BrianBrian Howe 3 June 1991 20 June 1995 4 years, 17 days
Paul Keating
18 Kim Beazley crop.jpg Beazley, KimKim Beazley 20 June 1995 19 March 1996 273 days
19 Evans, GarethGareth Evans 19 March 1996 19 October 1998 2 years, 214 days Kim Beazley
20 Simon Crean (1).jpg Crean, SimonSimon Crean 19 October 1998 11 November 2001 3 years, 23 days
21 Jennymacklin.JPG Macklin, JennyJenny Macklin 11 November 2001 4 December 2006 5 years, 23 days Simon Crean
Mark Latham
Kim Beazley
22 Julia Gillard 2010 crop.jpg Gillard, JuliaJulia Gillard 4 December 2006 24 June 2010 3 years, 202 days Kevin Rudd
23 Treasurer Wayne Swan, 2009, crop.jpg Swan, WayneWayne Swan 24 June 2010 27 June 2013 3 years, 3 days Julia Gillard
24 Anthony Albanese.jpg Albanese, AnthonyAnthony Albanese 27 June 2013 14 October 2013 109 days Kevin Rudd
25 Tanya-plibersek2015.jpg Plibersek, TanyaTanya Plibersek 14 October 2013 4 years, 38 days Bill Shorten

Past Labor premiers and chief ministers[edit]

Australian Capital Territory[edit]

New South Wales[edit]

Northern Territory[edit]

  • Clare Martin (2001–07, first Labor Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, first female Chief Minister of the Northern Territory)
  • Paul Henderson (2007–12)

Queensland[edit]

South Australia[edit]

Tasmania[edit]

Victoria[edit]

Western Australia[edit]

References[edit]