Liberal Party of Australia leadership election, 2007

Liberal Party of Australia leadership election, 2007

An election for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Australia was held on 29 November 2007. [http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,22829638-5005961,00.html Liberal leadership decided on Thursday] ] At the same time 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.

The Liberal-National coalition led by outgoing Prime Minister John Howard was defeated at the 2007 federal election by the Australian Labor Party led by Kevin Rudd.

Background

John Howard announced his resignation on election night after the coalition's defeat in the 2007 federal election. He had led the party since 1995 and been Prime Minister since 1996.

The deputy leader and outgoing treasurer Peter Costello had for a long time been publicly heralded as the natural successor to John Howard—and was publicly confirmed as such by Howard on 12 September. [ [http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2007/s2031023.htm John Howard on the latest round of leadership turmoil] ] [ [http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/11/26/2101030.htm?site=elections/federal/2007 Hopefuls eye Liberal power vacuum] ] However, on 25 November he announced he would not be a candidate for either leader or deputy leader of the party in opposition, saying that it was time for the party to move to the next generation, and that he himself would be leaving Parliament during the current term. [ [http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/no-more-follow-the-leader-as-costello-calls-it-quits/2007/11/25/1195975870432.html No more follow the leader as Costello calls it quits] ]

Election rules

Peter Costello announced on 27 November that the leadership and deputy leadership would be decided at a meeting held at midday on 29 November. All Liberal MPs and Senators were invited to attend, including those whose seats had yet to be decided, with the federal director deciding who would be eligible to vote based on the most up-to-date election results. Due to this, questions within the party were raised over the rules and legitimacy of the ballot. [ [http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/turnbull-rules-out-challenge-to-nelson/2007/12/08/1196813081585.html Turnbull rules out challenge to Nelsonndash Nationalndash smh.com.au ] ] The loss of John Howard in Bennelong meant that the election of a new leader had to be held much closer to the election than would normally occur.

Candidates

Outgoing Defence Minister Brendan Nelson and outgoing Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Malcolm Turnbull indicated they would run for the party leadership. Outgoing Minister for Health and Ageing Tony Abbott also initially indicated his intention to stand for leader, but on 28 November, one day before the leadership election, he announced that he would no longer be a candidate. [ [http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,22836392-2,00.html Tony Abbott pulls out of Liberal leadership race] ] Abbott said that he did not have enough support among the remaining Liberal MPs.

Prominent outgoing ministers such as Alexander Downer and Joe Hockey ruled themselves out of the election. [ [http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/11/26/2101876.htm?section=justin Downer says 'no enthusiasm' for Liberal leadership] ]

Outgoing Minister for Education, Science and Training Julie Bishop, Minister for Ageing Christopher Pyne and Minister for Vocational and Further Education Andrew Robb indicated they would run for the deputy leadership. [ [http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/robb-the-frontrunner-as-libs-second-banana/2007/11/26/1196036812259.html Robb the frontrunner as Libs' second banana] ]

Campaign

Malcolm Turnbull was the first candidate to announce his intention to lead the party and was said to have the largest support from Liberal MPs going into the ballot. [ [http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,22833250-421,00.html Turnbull's tilt gains strength] ]

Turnbull and Abbott proposed that the party should drop its support for the WorkChoices legislation following their defeat in the federal election. [ [http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2007/11/26/1196036812217.html?page=fullpage#contentSwap1 Libs turn on Howard] ] However Nelson said he would not support undoing WorkChoices. [ [http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,22829973-662,00.html Brendan Nelson will not support moves to undo WorkChoices] ]

Outcome

Brendan Nelson won the ballot for leader against Malcolm Turnbull, by 45 votes to 42cite news |title=Nelson wins Liberal leadership |url=http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/nelson-wins-liberal-leadership/2007/11/29/1196037040072.html |publisher="The Sydney Morning Herald" |date=29 November 2007|accessdate=2007-11-29 ] . Julie Bishop was elected deputy leader with 44 votes, against 25 for Andrew Robb and 18 for Christopher Pyne.cite news |title=Divided Liberals choose Nelson to lead|url=http://www.thewest.com.au/aapstory.aspx?StoryName=440979 |publisher="theWest.com.au" |date=29 November 2007|accessdate=2007-11-29 ]

Leadership election

Deputy leadership election

ee Also

Liberal Party of Australia leadership election, 2008

References


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