Head of ANU School of History, Professor Frank Bongiorno together with Dr Benjamin T. Jones and Prof John Uhr have recently published a new co-authored book examining election history in Australia.
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?