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Title: Howard's End: The 2007 Australian Election
Contributor(s): Bongiorno, Francis Robert (author)
Publication Date: 2008
DOI: 10.1080/00358530802207427
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Abstract: The Australian federal election of 24 November 2007 saw the defeat of the Howard Liberal-National Party coalition government after almost 12 years in office and brought to power a Labor government, the first since 1996, under the leadership of Kevin Rudd. John Howard, Australia's second longest-serving prime minister, became only the second prime minister to lose his own seat at an election. This article summarizes the election result and places it in the context of post-Second World War Australian political and electoral history. The highly unusual character of the large swing to the Labor Party is underlined, as is the rarity of a change of government in Australia since the Second World War. The article also examines the influence of the political leadership of the two major parties in contributing to the changing climate of opinion during 2007 and surveys the campaign itself, underlining the many problems experienced by the Howard government in the final weeks of its life. Finally, the article emphasizes the critical roles that interest rates, climate change and industrial relations all played in fatally undermining the Howard ascendancy. The government, faced with a politically credible and electorally attractive opponent, emerging economic difficulties and a shifting policy agenda, was unable to present itself as equipped to deal with new local and global challenges after a long period in power.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: The Round Table, 97(397), p. 589-603
Publisher: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 0035-8533
Field of Research (FOR): 210303 Australian History (excl Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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