Australian federal election, 1990

Australian federal election, 1990


The 1990 election saw a swing to the Coalition as Australia was suffering from the late 80's/early 90's recession, but Labor won a fourth successive electoral victory with Hawke as leader, a level of political success which no previous Labor government or Labor leader had enjoyed. This was Bob Hawke's last election as Prime Minister and Australian Labor Party leader as he was replaced by Paul Keating in December 1991.

John Howard lost the 1987 election to Hawke, and Andrew Peacock was elected Deputy Leader in a show of party unity. But Peacock's supporters began to plot against Howard, and in May 1989 they mounted a party room coup which returned Peacock to the leadership. Peacock, now 50, cultivated a new mature image, enhanced by a second marriage to Margaret St George. Hawke's Treasurer, Paul Keating, ridiculed him by asking: "Can the soufflé rise twice?" and calling him "all feathers and no meat." Although Hawke's government was in political trouble, with high interest rates and a financial crisis in Victoria, Peacock failed to defeat Hawke at the 1990 elections and subsequently resigned.

This election saw the peak of the Australian Democrats' popularity under Janine Haines, and a WA Greens candidate won a seat in the Australian Senate for the first time - although the successful candidate, Jo Vallentine, was already a two-term senator, having previously won a seat for the Nuclear Disarmament Party at the 1984 election, and the Vallentine Peace Group at the 1987 election. As of 2008, this has been the only election where a third party (excluding splinter state parties and the Nationals) has won more than 10% in an Australian federal election.

External links

* [ 'Give a Damn: Vote Democrat 1' - 1990 commercial with Janine Haines]


* [ University of WA] election results in Australia since 1890
* [ AEC 2PP vote]
* [ election details]

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