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The Myth Of The Ten-Week Election Campaign In 1984

A popular view of the 1984 Federal Election is that Bob Hawke and the ALP suffered a swing against them because of the “long ten-week campaign”.

In just the past few weeks, as speculation about Malcolm Turnbull’s intentions has grown, the claim has been made repeatedly.


Monash University academic Nick Economou said Hawke “called an election that ran for ten weeks”.

The estimable William Bowe, in Crikey, referred to “the 10-week marathon” in 1984.

Writing in Fairfax Media, Michael Gordon discussed “Bob Hawke’s experience in 1984, when he went into a 10-week campaign with soaring approval ratings and suffered a 2 per cent swing and lost a swag of seats.” [Read more…]

Maxine McKew On Rudd’s Overthrow, Political Debate And The ALP

The former Labor member for Bennelong, Maxine McKew, speaks about the nature of political debate, the overthrow of Kevin Rudd and the state of the Labor Party today.

McKew’s book, Tales from the Political Trenches, is released this weekend. McKew has given this interview to Fairfax’s Michael Gordon. Fairfax newspapers today carry extracts from the book.

McKew laments the decline of political debate and says the next election is looming as a “contest of fears”. She says the Labor leadership was decisively settled last February but calls for a “settlement” with Kevin Rudd. She ponders whether Labor can pull off a 1993-style come-from-behind win.