Elections Matter - Ten Federal Elections that Helped Shape Australia


Elections Matter

Ten Federal Elections that Helped Shape Australia

Edited by Benjamin T. Jones, Frank Bongiorno and John Uhr

Elections Matter gives a fascinating historical perspective for today's election watcher. Enduring issues ripple through the diversity in the case studies, spiced with speculation about 'what if?' key elections had gone the other way. This book is a resource as well as a good read.” 
Michelle Grattan

“A timely reminder that election outcomes really do matter. The writers take their readers on a journey through some of Australia's most significant election outcomes, reminding us that there are real differences to choose between when voting. The book illustrates not only that elections matter, but that the choices voters make profoundly shape the democracy in which they live. Australia would look very different if the elections covered in this book had gone the other way.”
Peter van Onselen

In a world of fake news and populist politics, elections can seem like theatre. With growing rates of informal votes and a perceived narrowing of differences between the major parties, do Australian elections really matter? Taking ten examples, this book argues that elections do matter (even when it seems they don’t). It is not just elections with memorable jingles or triumphant campaigns from opposition to government that can shape the nation. Could it be that the Labor loss in 1969 formed the country more than the famous win in 1972? Or did the return of the Coalition in 1954 have more impact than securing government in 1949?

Elections Matter looks at prime ministers and policies that never were and examines how the democratic process could have produced a different country. Had key elections taken a different turn, Australia might have had a different constitution, a different head of state, different health and education systems and a different foreign policy approach. This book looks at ten elections that powerfully shaped Australia.


Elections: Aren’t They All the Same? — Benjamin T. Jones
1. 1901: Getting the Job Done — Marian Simms
2. 1910: Fisher Leads Labor to Victory — John Uhr
3. 1929: The Patrician and the Orator — Alex Millmow
4. 1940: What to Do in an Electoral Draw — Benjamin T. Jones
5. 1954: Did Petrov Matter? — Bridget Brooklyn
6. 1969: ‘Our Politics Are No Longer Frozen’ — Richard Reid
7. 1987: Labor Makes It Three — Frank Bongiorno
8. 1996: Lazarus Rises — Jill Sheppard
9. 2001: Boats, Terror and Legacy — Marija Taflaga
10. 2010: Another Hung Parliament — Isobelle Barrett Meyering
Conclusion: A New Normal? — Benjamin T. Jones
Appendix: How Australians Vote — Michael Maley

More information about this book

More Information
Publisher NameMonash University Publishing
Item Dimensions135mm wide x 210mm high
Contact NameMonash University Publishing
Contact Emailpublishing@monash.edu
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