Today’s leadership challenge to Prime Minister Gillard is the seventh in the last fifty years, and the sixth involving a party room ballot.
On 7 November 1969 David Fairbairn and William McMahon both challenged Prime Minister Gorton. It was reported that Gorton’s majority was slim, 33 or 34 or 35 votes out of 65.
The next challenge to Prime Minister Gorton came on 10 March 1971, with a confidence motion in the party room. This time the votes were tied at 33 all, and Gorton used his casting vote to vote against himself.
During Malcolm Fraser’s prime ministership he was challenged unsuccessfully by Andrew Peacock on 8 April 1982; the votes were 54 for Fraser, 27 for Peacock.
There were two challenges to Prime Minister Hawke’s position, both by Paul Keating. The first, on 3 June 1991, was lost by the challenger 66:44. The second challenge on 19 December 1991 was successful, with Keating polling 56 to Hawke’s 51.
Prime Minister Rudd was challenged on 23 June 2010 by Julia Gillard, but there was no ballot at the Caucus meeting on 24 June.
Kevin Rudd then made an unsuccessful challenge to Prime Minister Gillard; the votes in the caucus ballot on 27 February 2012 were 71 to 31 in the Prime Minister’s favour.
Updated details of Federal Parliamentary Labor Party leadership changes and challenges since 1982 follow:
|Date||Change or challenge||Votes|
|16 July |
|Hawke challenged Hayden unsuccessfully||Hayden 42; Hawke 37|
|3 February |
|Hawke became leader without a ballot||-|
|3 June |
|Keating challenged Hawke unsuccessfully||Hawke 66; Keating 44|
|19 December |
|Keating challenged Hawke and won||Keating 56; Hawke 51|
|19 March |
|Beazley became leader unopposed following Keating’s resignation||-|
|11 November |
|Crean became leader unopposed following Beazley’s resignation||-|
|16 June |
|Beazley challenged Crean unsuccessfully||Crean 58; Beazley 34|
|2 December |
|Latham defeated Beazley in ballot following Crean’s resignation||Latham 47; Beazley 45|
|28 January |
|Beazley became leader unopposed following Latham’s resignation||-|
|4 December |
|Rudd challenged Beazley and won||Rudd 49; Beazley 39|
|24 June |
|Gillard challenged Rudd, but the anticipated ballot did not occur||-|
|27 February 2012||Rudd challenged Gillard unsuccessfully||Gillard 71; Rudd 31|