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List of Australian Leaders of the Opposition

Below is a list of Australian Leaders of the Opposition.[1] The Leader of the Opposition in Australian Federal Politics is a Member of Parliament in the House of Representatives. The position is held by the leader of the party not in government that has the most seats in the House. When in parliament, the Leader of the Opposition sits on the left-hand side of the centre table, in front of the Opposition and opposite the Prime Minister. The Opposition Leader is elected by his or her party according to its rules. A new Opposition Leader may be elected when the incumbent dies, resigns, or is challenged for the leadership.

Leader of the Opposition of the Commonwealth of Australia
Coat of Arms of Australia.svg
Bill Shorten-crop.jpg
Incumbent
Bill Shorten

since 13 October 2013
Official Opposition of Australia
Shadow Cabinet of Australia
StyleThe Honourable
(Formal)
Leader of the Opposition
(Spoken)
Member of
Reports toParliament
Term lengthWhile leader of the largest political party not in government
Inaugural holderGeorge Reid
Formation1 January 1901

The Commonwealth of Australia is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system and is based on the Westminster model. The term Opposition has a specific meaning in the parliamentary sense. It is an important component of the Westminster system, with the Opposition directing criticism at the Government and attempts to defeat and replace the Government. The Opposition is therefore known as the "Government in waiting" and it is a formal part of the parliamentary system. It is in opposition to the Government, but not to the Crown; hence the term "Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition".[2]

To date there have been 34 Opposition Leaders, 18 of whom have served terms as Prime Minister.[3] The current Leader of the Opposition is Bill Shorten of the Australian Labor Party, following an election of the new Parliamentary Labor Leader by caucus and ALP members on 13 October 2013. The current Deputy Leader of the Opposition is Tanya Plibersek of the Australian Labor Party, following her election on 14 October 2013 by the Labor Caucus. Tanya Plibersek is the fourth woman to hold the position of Deputy Opposition Leader.

Contents

List of Leaders of the OppositionEdit

No. Leader Party Constituency Took office Left office Prime Minister
1 George Reid     Free Trade Party East Sydney (NSW) 19 May 1901 17 August 1904   Barton 1901–03
  Deakin 1903–04
  Watson 1904
2 Chris Watson     Labour Party Bland (NSW) 18 August 1904 5 July 1905   Reid 1904–05
(1) George Reid     Free Trade Party East Sydney (NSW) 7 July 1905 16 November 1908   Deakin 1905–08
  Anti-Socialist Party
  Fisher 1908–09
3 Joseph Cook     Anti-Socialist Party Parramatta (NSW) 17 November 1908 26 May 1909
4 Alfred Deakin     Commonwealth Liberal Party Ballaarat (Vic) 26 May 1909 2 June 1909
5 Andrew Fisher     Labour Party Wide Bay (Qld) 2 June 1909 29 April 1910   Deakin 1909
(4) Alfred Deakin     Commonwealth Liberal Party Ballaarat (Vic) 1 July 1910 20 January 1913   Fisher 1910–13
(3) Joseph Cook     Commonwealth Liberal Party Parramatta (NSW) 20 January 1913 24 June 1913
(5) Andrew Fisher     Labor Party Wide Bay (Qld) 8 July 1913 17 September 1914   Cook 1913–14
(3) Joseph Cook     Commonwealth Liberal Party Parramatta (NSW) 8 October 1914 17 February 1917   Fisher 1914–15
  Hughes 1915–23
 
6 Frank Tudor     Labor Party Yarra (Vic) 17 February 1917 10 January 1922  
 
 
 
7 Matthew Charlton     Labor Party Hunter (NSW) 25 January 1922 29 March 1928
  Bruce 1923–29
8 James Scullin     Labor Party Yarra (Vic) 26 April 1928 22 October 1929
9 John Latham     Nationalist Party Kooyong (Vic) 20 November 1929 7 May 1931   Scullin 1929–32
10 Joseph Lyons     United Australia Party Wilmot (Tas) 7 May 1931 6 January 1932
(8) James Scullin     Labor Party Yarra (Vic) 7 January 1932 1 October 1935  
 
 
 
 
 
Lyons 1932–39
11 John Curtin     Labor Party Fremantle (WA) 1 October 1935 7 October 1941
  Page 1939
  Menzies 1939–41
  Fadden 1941
12 Arthur Fadden     Country Party Darling Downs (Qld) 7 October 1941 23 September 1943   Curtin 1941–45
13 Robert Menzies     United Australia Party Kooyong (Vic) 23 September 1943 19 December 1949
  Liberal Party   Forde 1945
  Chifley 1945–49
14 Ben Chifley     Labor Party Macquarie (NSW) 19 December 1949 13 June 1951  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Menzies 1949–66
15 H. V. Evatt     Labor Party Barton (NSW) 1940–58
Hunter (NSW) 1958–60
20 June 1951 9 February 1960
16 Arthur Calwell     Labor Party Melbourne (Vic) 7 March 1960 8 February 1967
 
 
 
Holt 1966–67
17 Gough Whitlam     Labor Party Werriwa (NSW) 8 February 1967 2 December 1972
  McEwen 1967–68
  Gorton 1968–71
  McMahon 1971–72
18 Billy Snedden     Liberal Party Bruce (Vic) 20 December 1972 21 March 1975   Whitlam 1972–75
19 Malcolm Fraser     Liberal Party Wannon (Vic) 21 March 1975 11 November 1975
(17) Gough Whitlam     Labor Party Werriwa (NSW) 11 November 1975 22 December 1977   Fraser 1975–83
20 Bill Hayden     Labor Party Oxley (Qld) 22 December 1977 3 February 1983
21 Bob Hawke     Labor Party Wills (Vic) 3 February 1983 11 March 1983
22 Andrew Peacock     Liberal Party Kooyong (Vic) 11 March 1983 5 September 1985  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Hawke 1983–91
23 John Howard     Liberal Party Bennelong (NSW) 5 September 1985 9 May 1989
(22) Andrew Peacock     Liberal Party Kooyong (Vic) 9 May 1989 3 April 1990
24 John Hewson     Liberal Party Wentworth (NSW) 3 April 1990 23 May 1994
  Keating 1991–96
25 Alexander Downer     Liberal Party Mayo (SA) 23 May 1994 30 January 1995
(23) John Howard     Liberal Party Bennelong (NSW) 30 January 1995 11 March 1996
26 Kim Beazley     Labor Party Brand (WA) 19 March 1996 22 November 2001   Howard 1996–2007
27 Simon Crean     Labor Party Hotham (Vic) 22 November 2001 2 December 2003
28 Mark Latham     Labor Party Werriwa (NSW) 2 December 2003 18 January 2005
(26) Kim Beazley     Labor Party Brand (WA) 28 January 2005 4 December 2006
29 Kevin Rudd     Labor Party Griffith (Qld) 4 December 2006 3 December 2007
30 Brendan Nelson     Liberal Party Bradfield (NSW) 3 December 2007 16 September 2008  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rudd 2007–10
31 Malcolm Turnbull     Liberal Party Wentworth (NSW) 16 September 2008 1 December 2009
32 Tony Abbott     Liberal Party Warringah (NSW) 1 December 2009 18 September 2013
  Gillard 2010–13
  Rudd 2013
33 Chris Bowen     Labor Party McMahon (NSW) 18 September 2013 13 October 2013   Abbott 2013–15
34 Bill Shorten     Labor Party Maribyrnong (Vic) 13 October 2013 Incumbent
  Turnbull 2015–18
  Morrison 2018–present

List of Deputy Leaders of the OppositionEdit

Leader Party Constituency Took office Left office Leader
Joseph Cook     Commonwealth Liberal Party Parramatta (NSW) 26 May 1909 2 June 1909   Deakin 1909
Gregor McGregor     Labor Party Senator for South Australia (SA) 2 June 1909 29 April 1910   Fisher 1909–10
Joseph Cook     Commonwealth Liberal Party Parramatta (NSW) 1 July 1910 20 January 1913   Deakin 1910–13
Sir John Forrest     Commonwealth Liberal Party Swan (WA) 20 January 1913 24 June 1913   Cook 1913
Gregor McGregor     Labor Party Senator for South Australia (SA) 8 July 1913 7 September 1914   Fisher 1913–14
Sir John Forrest     Commonwealth Liberal Party Swan (WA) 8 October 1914 17 February 1917   Cook 1914–17
Albert Gardiner     Labor Party Senator for New South Wales (NSW) 17 February 1917 March 1927   Tudor 1917–22
  Charlton 1922–28
James Scullin     Labor Party Yarra (Vic) March 1927 29 March 1928
Arthur Blakeley     Labor Party Darling (NSW) 29 March 1928 1929   Scullin 1928–29
Ted Theodore     Labor Party Dalley (NSW) 1929 22 October 1929
Henry Gullett     Nationalist Party Henty (Vic) 20 November 1929 7 May 1931   Latham 1929–31
John Latham     United Australia Party Kooyong (Vic) 7 May 1931 6 January 1932   Lyons 1931–32
Frank Forde     Labor Party Capricornia (Qld) 7 January 1932 7 October 1941   Scullin 1932–35
  Curtin 1935–41
Billy Hughes     United Australia Party North Sydney (NSW) 9 October 1941 14 April 1944   Fadden 1941–43
  Menzies 1943–49
Eric Harrison     United Australia Party Wentworth (NSW) 14 April 1944 19 December 1949  
  Liberal Party  
 
 
 
H. V. Evatt     Labor Party Barton (NSW) 19 December 1949 13 June 1951   Chifley 1949–51
Arthur Calwell     Labor Party Melbourne (Vic) 13 June 1951 9 February 1960   Evatt 1960–67
Gough Whitlam     Labor Party Werriwa (NSW) 7 March 1960 8 February 1967   Calwell 1960–67
Lance Barnard     Labor Party Bass (Tas) 9 February 1967 5 December 1972   Whitlam 1967–72
Phillip Lynch     Liberal Party Flinders (Vic) 20 December 1972 11 November 1975   Snedden 1972–75
  Fraser 1975
Frank Crean     Labor Party Melbourne Ports (Vic) 11 November 1975 22 December 1975   Whitlam 1975–77
Tom Uren     Labor Party Reid (NSW) 22 December 1975 22 December 1977
Lionel Bowen     Labor Party Kingsford Smith (NSW) 22 December 1977 11 March 1983   Hayden 1977–183
  Hawke 1983
John Howard     Liberal Party Bennelong (NSW) 11 March 1983 5 September 1985   Peacock 1983–85
Neil Brown     Liberal Party Menzies (Vic) 5 September 1985 17 July 1987   Howard 1985–89
Andrew Peacock     Liberal Party Kooyong (Vic) 17 July 1987 9 May 1989
Fred Chaney     Liberal Party Senator for Western Australia (WA) 1989–90
Pearce (WA) 1990
9 May 1989 24 March 1990   Peacock 1989–90
Peter Reith     Liberal Party Flinders (Vic) 24 March 1990 13 March 1993   Hewson 1990–94
Michael Wooldridge     Liberal Party Chisholm (Vic) 13 March 1993 23 May 1994
Peter Costello     Liberal Party Higgins (Vic) 23 May 1994 19 March 1996   Downer 1994–95
  Howard 1995–96
Gareth Evans     Labor Party Holt (Vic) 19 March 1996 19 October 1998   Beazley 1996–2001
Simon Crean     Labor Party Hotham (Vic) 19 October 1998 22 November 2001
Jenny Macklin     Labor Party Jagajaga (Vic) 22 November 2001 18 September 2006   Crean 2001–03
  Latham 2003–05
  Beazley 2005–06
Julia Gillard     Labor Party Lalor (Vic) 4 December 2006 3 December 2007   Rudd 2006–07
Julie Bishop     Liberal Party Curtin (WA) 3 December 2007 18 September 2013   Nelson 2007–08
  Turnbull 2008–09
  Abbott 2009–13
Anthony Albanese     Labor Party Grayndler (NSW) 18 September 2013 14 October 2013   Bowen (interim) 2013
  Shorten 2013–present
Tanya Plibersek     Labor Party Sydney (NSW) 14 October 2013 Incumbent

See alsoEdit

 
In the Australian House of Representatives, the Leader of the Opposition sits at the front table to the left of the Speaker's Chair (on the right-hand side in this photo).

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Denotes an Opposition Leader who had previously been Prime Minister.
  2. ^ Denotes an Opposition Leader who later became Prime Minister.
  3. ^ Gough Whitlam refused to use the title Leader of the Opposition between the dismissal of his government in November 1975 and the first meeting of the new parliament in February 1976. During the election campaign in December 1975 he styled himself as the Leader of the Majority in the House of Representatives.[4]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Maiden, Samantha (18 November 2010). "Altar egos clash over Wills and Babykins". The Australian. Retrieved 31 March 2011.
  2. ^ Jaensch, Dean (1997). The Politics of Australia. Melbourne: MacMillan Education Australia. p. 100. ISBN 0-7329-4128-8.
  3. ^ "A House for the nation". Commonwealth of Australia. Archived from the original on 30 August 2007. Retrieved 14 December 2007.
  4. ^ Gough, Whitlam. "Whitlam Speeches – 1975 Election Policy Speech". Whitlam Dismissal. Archived from the original on 16 November 2006. Retrieved 12 April 2006.