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Archives for January 1983

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…]