The ‘Blood On Your Hands’ Interview: Bob Hawke And Richard Carleton

This is the famous ‘blood on your hands’ interview with Bob Hawke and Richard Carleton on the night Hawke became leader of the ALP.

It was Hawke’s first major television interview after becoming leader, following Bill Hayden’s resignation earlier in the day.

The interview was on the ABC’s Nationwide program. Nationwide was the successor to This Day Tonight (TDT) and the forerunner to The 7.30 Report and 7.30. [Read more…]


Fraser Calls Early Election As Hawke Replaces Hayden

At the time, it was described as the most dramatic day in Australian politics since the Dismissal of the Whitlam government.

HaydenRumours abounded on the morning of February 3, 1983 that Bill Hayden’s leadership of the ALP was under threat from Bob Hawke. Speculation had also begun that Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser might call an early election.

I was attending the funeral of the Victorian state Labor member for Springvale, Kevin King. There was an air of expectation as Labor notables and party activists mingled outside after the service. Some not-so-discreet preselection lobbying was underway but many of us were interested in events further afield.

In Brisbane, the ALP’s National Executive was putting Bill Hayden to the sword. Back at the funeral, one Victorian MP told me of a cryptic conversation he’d had with Bob Hogg, the Victorian ALP’s State Secretary. This was a time before mobile phones, the internet and continuous news. Political information passed around like Chinese whispers. As the funeral finished, we still weren’t sure if Hayden had gone. People who turned on their car radios heard reports that Fraser was on his way to see the Governor-General, Sir Ninian Stephen. [Read more…]


John Button’s Letter To Bill Hayden

This is the text of Senator John Button’s letter urging Federal Opposition Leader Bill Hayden to resign.

ButtonThe letter was sent on January 28, 1983. It followed the ALP’s defeat in the Flinders by-election in December 1982.

Hayden had been ALP leader since succeeding Gough Whitlam in 1977. He had made up some ground in the 1980 federal election but doubts were held about his ability to defeat Malcolm Fraser. Speculation that Fraser might call an early election was starting to build.

Bob Hawke had been elected to the parliament in 1980. He unsuccessfully challenged Hayden for the leadership in July 1982.

On February 3, 1983, Hayden resigned and Bob Hawke was installed as ALP leader. Simultaneously, Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser was in the process of calling an early double dissolution election. Hawke defeated Fraser in the March 5 election. [Read more…]


Hawke Denies He Is Challenging Hayden

In this encounter with journalists, Bob Hawke denied that he was challenging Bill Hayden for the ALP leadership.

The exchange includes an altercation with reporter Barrie Cassidy, of whom Hawke says “you are just being a bloody pest”. [Read more…]


The 1980 Federal Election: Analysis By Dr. Jean Holmes

This is a booklet on the 1980 Federal Election by Dr. Jean Holmes.

Dr. Holmes was a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Political Science at the University of Melbourne.

The booklet was originally published by the Victorian Association of Social Studies Teachers and subsequently republished by the Correspondence School. [Read more…]


Bill Hayden’s 1980 Federal Election ALP Policy Speech

Bill Hayden delivered the ALP’s 1980 federal election policy speech at the Greek Community Centre in South Brisbane on October 1, 1980.

It was the Leader of the Opposition’s only election campaign as leader. With the ALP positioning NSW Premier Neville Wran and ACTU President Bob Hawke alongside Hayden for the campaign, it was hardly a vote of confidence in his leadership. Despite winning 13 seats and reducing Malcolm Fraser’s majority to 23, Hayden did not survive to fight the next election. He was replaced by Hawke, who entered the Parliament at this election.

Transcript of Opposition Leader Bill Hayden’s 1980 federal election policy speech.

Fellow Australians,

The policies I am privileged to put to you tonight are proposals for all Australians. They are policies we believe will begin the task of restoring equality of opportunity and national pride to our country, and dignity and fair play to all our people.

They are policies to bring Australians together, not drive them apart, policies that unite our country, policies that allow all Australians to share our national good fortune and to play their part in the development of our future. And that, I suggest, is really the great issue before us in the elections on October 18. [Read more…]


1980 ALP Campaign Advertisement: Raise The Standard

The ALP’s campaign slogan for the 1980 federal election was “Raise the Standard”.

This is video and audio of a record produced by the ALP and released during the campaign. It was published on YouTube by the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House.

The recording includes the ALP’s campaign jingle and remarks by Opposition Leader Bill Hayden and NSW Premier Neville Wran.

The Liberal-National Country Party government of Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser was re-elected to its third and final term at the election, suffering a net loss of 12 seats to finish with 74 in a 125-seat House of Representatives.

The ALP, led by Bill Hayden, secured a net gain of 13 seats to finish with 51. The ALP achieved a two-party swing of 4.2% against the coalition. It increased its primary vote by 5.5% to 45.15%, a significant improvement on its 1975 and 1977 performance.

Bob Hawke entered the parliament at this election. He went on to replace Hayden as ALP leader in February 1983 and won the March 1983 election. Hayden was the Minister for Social Security and Treasurer in the Whitlam governments (1972-75). He served as Foreign Minister under Hawke (1983-88) and as Governor-General (1989-1996).

  • Watch “Raise the Standard” (4m)
  • Listen to “Raise the Standard” (4m)