1990 Liberal Party of Australia leadership election

A spill of the leadership of the Liberal Party of Australia took place on 3 April 1990, following the defeat of the Liberal Party at the federal election five days earlier. The spill was won by John Hewson over Peter Reith by 62 votes to 13.[1] Reith was then elected deputy leader of the Party.

Liberal Party of Australia
leadership election, 1990

← 1989 3 April 1990 1993 →
Candidate John Hewson Peter Reith Alasdair Webster
Caucus vote 62 13 5
Percentage 75.5% 16.2% 8.3%
Seat Wentworth (NSW) Flinders (Vic.) Macquarie (NSW)

Leader before election

Andrew Peacock

Elected Leader

John Hewson

An election for the deputy leadership of the party was held, as under Liberal Party rules, all leadership positions are declared vacant after a general election, no matter what the outcome.

Background edit

Despite winning a slim majority (50.10 percent) of the two-party vote in the 1990 election, the Coalition came seven seats short of government. Andrew Peacock stood down as leader less than a year since he replaced John Howard, and supported his Shadow Treasurer John Hewson to replace him.

Candidates edit

Potential candidates who declined to run edit

Results edit

Liberal Party of Australia
deputy leadership ballot, 1990
← 1989
1993 →
Candidate Peter Reith David Jull Fred Chaney
Final ballot 44 (55.7%) 34 (44.3%) Eliminated
Seat Flinders (Vic.) Fadden (Qld.) Pearce (WA)

Deputy Leader before election

Fred Chaney

Elected Deputy Leader

Peter Reith

The following tables gives the ballot results:

Leadership ballot edit

Name Votes Percentage
John Hewson 62 75.5
Peter Reith 13 16.2
Alasdair Webster 5 8.3

Deputy leadership ballot edit

Name Final ballot Percentage
Peter Reith 44 55.7
David Jull 35 44.3
Fred Chaney Eliminated

Other candidates:[3]

Aftermath edit

After his election as leader, Hewson endorsed former leader Peacock as his deputy, which caused a furore with Howard supporters, however, Peacock had no interest in becoming deputy leader again and withdrew happily. Peter Reith was instead elected deputy in a close contest against Peacock supporter David Jull.[4][5]

References edit

  1. ^ Canberra Times, 4 April 1990
  2. ^ March of Patriots: The Struggle for Modern Australia. Written by Paul Kelly.
  3. ^ "Up to six may try for Libs' deputy leader". The Canberra Times. 1 April 1990.
  4. ^ "Winner Hewson sets his agenda". The Canberra Times. Vol. 64, no. 20, 080. Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 4 April 1990. p. 1. Retrieved 3 October 2020 – via National Library of Australia.
  5. ^ Kelly, Paul (1994). The End of Certainty: Power, Politics, and Business in Australia. Allen & Unwin. pp. 192, 193. ISBN 1-86373-757-X.