Five Prime Ministers: a crisis, a political aberration or the new normal?

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Abstract

On 26 June 2013, former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd reclaimed the leadership of the ALP and prime ministership from Prime Minister Julia Gillard after a protracted destabilisation process that had lasted just over three years. Rudd claimed he was the only one who could defeat then Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, yet as it turned out on 7 September 2013, the ALP was comprehensively defeated and Tony Abbott became the new Prime Minister. However, by 9 February 2015, Prime Minister Abbott had endured a “near death experience” and was given six months by his party to become more consultative or risk a challenge to his leadership. On 14 September 2015, after an uneventful day in Question Time, that challenge came, and by late evening Malcolm Turnbull was the new Prime Minister of Australia. This paper provides a chronology of what happened in each case and why. Moreover, it examines the broad significance of the change in prime ministerships. Does it say something about the changing nature of the electorate or something about how politics is now conducted? What is the overall significance for contemporary Australian politics and the prime ministership in particular?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFrom Abbott to Turnbull: A New Direction?
Subtitle of host publicationAustralian Commonwealth Administration 2013-2016
EditorsChris Aulich
Place of PublicationVictoria
PublisherEcho Books
Chapter14
Pages323-342
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9780994577887
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

Name
PublisherEcho Books, Independent publishing house

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  • Cite this

    WALSH, M. (2016). Five Prime Ministers: a crisis, a political aberration or the new normal? In C. Aulich (Ed.), From Abbott to Turnbull: A New Direction?: Australian Commonwealth Administration 2013-2016 (pp. 323-342). Echo Books.