Malcolm Turnbull Becomes Australia’s 22nd Longest-Serving Prime Minister

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull today becomes the nation’s 22nd longest-serving prime minister.

Turnbull has now served in the position for 1 year, 2 months and 25 days, overtaking Joseph Cook, who took the original Liberal Party to its first-ever election victory in 1913. Like Turnbull in 2016, Cook only secured a one-seat majority. Cook was gone within 15 months.

Turnbull has now broken free of the pack of prime ministers who governed briefly, in three cases as stop-gaps following the death of the incumbent. On June 10, 2017, he will move into 21st position when he overtakes William McMahon, the Liberal PM who lost to Gough Whitlam in 1972 and took the coalition out of government for the first time in 23 years.

December 10 Elections

Today is also the anniversary of three federal elections, in 1949, 1955 and 1977. The first of these saw Robert Menzies begin his record-breaking 16-year term as prime minister. In 1955, he won the fourth of seven consecutive victories, in the aftermath of the disastrous split in the ALP. In 1977, Malcolm Fraser secured his second massive victory against the ALP, in an election that ended Gough Whitlam’s political career.

With three outings, December 10 is the single most popular day for federal elections in Australian political history. Two elections have been held on each of August 21, December 13 and December 16. With a total of 12 elections (26.7%), December is the single most popular month for elections.

The last December election was in 1984, when Bob Hawke won the second of his four victories for the ALP. Hawke turned 87 yesterday.


Turnbull Now 23rd Longest-Serving Prime Minister

Malcolm Turnbull is now Australia’s 23rd longest-serving prime minister.

TurnbullTurnbull is the nation’s 29th Prime Minister. Whilst he has not yet reached a year in office, he has surpassed the terms of 6 of the other 28 who have held the office since 1901.

Turnbull has been prime minister for 10 months and 18 days, a total of 324 days. After overthrowing Tony Abbott in a Liberal Party leadership ballot on September 14, 2015, he was sworn in as PM on September 15.

If Turnbull is still Prime Minister on December 9 this year, he will overtake Joseph Cook’s 452 days in office. Cook’s Liberal Party won office in 1913 with a majority of one, as Turnbull has just achieved. He went to a double dissolution election less than halfway into his term and was comfortably defeated by the ALP’s Andrew Fisher, who then became the second man to serve three terms in the top job.

Turnbull has overtaken the time in office of 2 Labor and 4 non-Labor PMs: Frank Forde (ALP, 8 days), Earle Page (Country Party, 20 days), John McEwen (Country Party, 23 days), Arthur Fadden (Country Party, 39 days), Chris Watson (ALP, 113 days) and George Reid (Free Trade, 321 days). [Read more…]