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Flagpost is a blog on current issues of interest to members of the Australian Parliament

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Theresa May becomes the United Kingdom's second female prime minister

On 13 July 2016 Conservative Theresa May became the UK’s 76th prime minister. Ms May is the second female prime minister of the UK, the first being Margaret Thatcher, who governed from 1979 to 1990. Elevation to prime minister Ms May’s elevation comes after the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron. Mr Cameron flagged his intention to step down as Prime Minister in the wake of the UK’s vote, in a referendum on 23 June 2016, to withdraw from the European Union (EU). During the referendum campaign Ms May advocated for the UK to stay inside the EU, but has subsequently committed to guide the country through its exit (a process referred to as the ‘Brexit’). In... Read more...

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A snapshot of current trends for women in leadership

The recent decision by Canada’s new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to appoint equal numbers of men and women to his cabinet made headlines around the world. The issue of gender representation has also been prominent in Australia this year, with the debate about gender equality escalating across the political divide.  Read more...

Prime ministers and recent Liberal Party leadership challenges

On Tuesday 15 September 2015 Malcolm Turnbull was sworn in as Australia’s 29th Prime Minister. This resulted from a challenge by Mr Turnbull to Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s leadership of the federal Parliamentary Liberal Party on the 14 September. Mr Turnbull stated that Mr Abbott had failed to provide economic leadership and called for the restoration of traditional cabinet government. Mr Turnbull also announced that he had resigned his position as Minister for Communications. Mr Abbott called a party room meeting for 9.15 pm on the evening of 14 September for the election of the leader and deputy leader positions, announcing that he would contest the position of leader. Mr Turn... Read more...

Electing the party leader – recent events in Australia and the UK

Over the last few weeks, in Australia and the UK, political parties have been dealing with leadership changes. This FlagPost looks at the systems used by those Australian and UK political parties to install their leaders. Read more...

Electing the party leader

On 8 July 2013, then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced proposed changes to the way in which the Australian Labor Party elects its leader. The changes included votes by the party membership and votes by the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party (FPLP), weighted at 50% each, and processes for when and how a leader can be challenged and the amount of Caucus support needed to mount a challenge to the leader. The special meeting of Caucus on 22 July 2013 endorsed the proposals but agreed that a petition challenging the leader should require 60% Caucus support rather than the 75% proposed by Rudd. It was also agreed that, in the period between the federal election and the ALP election of its leade... Read more...

ALP Leadership

On 23 February 2012 Prime Minister Gillard announced that there would be a special meeting of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party on Monday 27 February at 10am, to conduct a ballot to decide the leadership of the Party. The following table provides details of Federal Parliamentary Labor Party leadership changes and challenges since 1982: DateChange or challengeVotes16 July1982Hawke challenged Hayden unsuccessfullyHayden 42; Hawke 373 February1983Hawke became leader without a ballot-3 June1991Keating challenged Hawke unsuccessfullyHawke 66; Keating 4419 December1991Keating challenged Hawke and wonKeating 56; Hawke 5119 March1996Beazley became leader unopposed following Keating’s resignation... Read more...

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