The Australian Labour Party (ALP) is expected to take office next week after Saturday's (2 November) General Election win.
The Australian Labour Party (ALP) is expected to take office next week after Saturday's (2 November) General Election win. The ALP, under the leadership of Mr. Gogh (pronounced Goff) Whitlam, will be taking power for the first time in twenty-three years. The ALP won an outright majority in the one-hundred-and-twenty-five seat House of Representatives. For the previous twenty-three years, Australia was ruled by a conservative coalition of the Liberal Party and the Country Party.
The ALP will take power when the counting of votes in seven marginal seats is completed. Political observers expected this would be about ten days from Monday (4 December). Mr. Whitlam promised that, when he is Prime Minister, he would establish diplomatic relations with The People's Republic of China; would abolish conscription; take a stronger line against france on nuclear bomb tests in the Pacific Ocean; and reduce Australian forces serving in South East Asia. There was speculation that the Australian dollar would be revalued upwards; that there would be more resistance to foreign investment and takeovers; and that immigration to Australian would be reduced sharply.
The Prime Minister-elect became leader of the Labour Party in 1967 at the age of fifty-one. He is now fifty-six.
The outgoing Prime Minister, Mr. William McMahon, became Liberal Party leader last year, when Mr. John Gorton left the leadership after an internal party dispute. Political observers predicted that Mr. McMahon's future as Liberal Party leader was in doubt, and that it was possible he would leave political entirely. Former Prime Minister John Gorton announced after the election that he would be a contender for the Liberal Party leadership.