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Tony Abbott Moves Up A Notch

Tony Abbott today becomes the 22nd longest-serving of Australia’s 28 prime ministers, overtaking George Reid’s term of 10 months and 18 days.

Even though he has not yet served a full year, Abbott has overtaken six previous PMs: Frank Forde, Earle Page, John McEwen, Arthur Fadden, Chris Watson and George Reid.

Forde (1945), Page (1939) and McEwen (1967-68) were all stop-gap PMs, serving briefly following the deaths of Curtin, Lyons and Holt.

Fadden served briefly in 1941 but was voted out of office by the House of Representatives.

Watson, the first Labor PM, served for four months in 1904. He was succeeded by Reid, the only Free Trade PM, who lasted for just on 11 months in 1904-05.

Abbott will move up to 21st position on December 13 this year, when he overtakes Joseph Cook, who served for 1 year, 2 months and 25 days. Cook was prime minister a hundred years ago today when Australia joined Britain in declaring war on Germany.

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Malcolm Farnsworth
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