July 11, 1987
The 1987 Federal election was called 6 months early by Labor Prime Minister, Bob Hawke, to capitalise on the disunity in the Opposition. It was the first winter election in Australian Federal political history and resulted in an increased majority for the Labor government, a result that saw it become the first Labor government to win 3 successive terms.
The double dissolution election was called to capitalise on the disunity in the Federal Opposition, led by John Howard. Former Liberal leader, Andrew Peacock, was dismissed from the Shadow Ministry by Howard in March, following Peacock’s comments to Victorian Opposition Leader, Jeff Kennett, in an infamous car phone conversation.
John Howard, new to the position since succeeding Andrew Peacock in 1985 following a botched attempt by Peacock to remove Howard as his deputy, was fighting a war on two fronts. It was the origin of Howard’s oft-repeated remark that in politics “disunity is death”.
The National Party was in disarray caused by the Queensland Premier, Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen, who had announced his intention to campaign for the Prime Ministership. The “Joh for PM” campaign split the Opposition and resulted in the loss of 4 seats in Queensland. The election campaign was marked by an embarrassing error in the Opposition’s tax policy.
The ostensible reason for the election, the rejection by the Senate of the government’s Australia Card legislation, barely featured in the campaign. Following the election, public hostility to the identity card proposal led to the government dropping the legislation.
State of the Parties
The ALP increased its majority in the election, with a net gain of 4 seats. It lost one seat in Victoria (Chisholm) and one in NSW (Reid) but gained 4 seats in Queensland (Fisher, Forde, Hinkler and Petrie) and one each in Tasmania (Denison) and the Northern Territory.
|House of Representatives Elections 1987|
- Apr 16, 2011: 1987 Flashback: Let’s Stick Together
- Dec 02, 1998: Enrolment Statistics State-By-State 1984-98
- Jun 01, 1988: Categories Of Informal Voting – 1987
- Jul 12, 1987: Hawke Labor Government Wins Third Term
- Jul 11, 1987: Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen Comments On The 1987 Federal Election Result
- Jul 11, 1987: Bob Hawke Claims Victory In 1987 Federal Election
- Jul 11, 1987: John Howard Concedes Defeat In 1987 Federal Election
- Jul 10, 1987: 1987 Federal Election: ALP TV Advertisements
- Jul 10, 1987: 1987 Federal Election: Liberal Party TV Advertisements
- Jul 10, 1987: 1987 Federal Election: Australian Democrats TV Advertisement
- Jul 01, 1987: Achievements: ALP 1987 Federal Election Video For Party Members
- Jun 25, 1987: 1987 Federal Election: John Howard’s Liberal Party Policy Speech
- Jun 23, 1987: 1987 Federal Election: Bob Hawke’s ALP Policy Speech
- Jun 22, 1987: 1987 Federal Election: National Party Policy Speech