Today is the 50th Anniversary of the election of the Liberal-Country Party coalition government led by Robert Gordon Menzies on December 10, 1949.
It was Menzies’ second stint as Prime Minister. He remained in office until January 26, 1966, having won 7 consecutive elections. Menzies record total term of 18 years, 5 months, 12 days is unlikely ever to be matched.
Menzies was the founder of the modern Liberal Party, forming it from about 50 disparate conservative organisations in 1944. The new party was defeated by Labor’s Ben Chifley in 1946, but swept to power in 1949, winning 74 seats to Labor’s 47. The conservative coalition stayed in power for 23 years until December 1972.
- Click here to read John Howard’s speech on the 50th anniversary
- Read extracts of Menzies’ 1949 Election Policy Speech
- Menzies Biography
- A Memoir by Frederick White
- Peter Costello on Menzies – 1997
- National Archives Fact Sheet on Menzies
- ABC Australians – Menzies
- Another Menzies Biography
- Menzies Centre for Australian Studies – King’s College, University of London