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Achievements: ALP 1987 Federal Election Video For Party Members

This is an ALP video distributed to party members during the 1987 Federal election campaign.

Introduced by Immigration Minister Mick Young, the man who ran the ALP’s It’s Time campaign in 1972, the video gives some insight into the thinking inside the Labor government as it faced the electorate in an early double dissolution election.

Featuring Prime Minister Bob Hawke, Education Minister Senator Susan Ryan, Social Security Minister Brian Howe and Foreign Minister Bill Hayden, it is clear that the government is concerned that ALP members and supporters are less than enthusiastic about the government’s achievements. Whilst the Hawke government is now lauded for its program of economic reform, many of these policies were greeted sceptically in the 1980s.

The early election of July 11, 1987 was called to capitalise on divisions in the Coalition, particularly from the Joh for PM campaign of Queensland Premier Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen. John Howard was the Opposition Leader, having deposed Andrew Peacock in 1985.

The Labor government increased its majority in the election, although its share of the two-party-preferred vote declined from 51.8% to 50.8%. The ALP’s primary vote declined from 47.5% to 45.8%.

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Malcolm Farnsworth
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