Australian Electoral Commission

Prime Ministers and Opposition Leaders

Updated: 5 February 2016
Prime Ministers since 1901
Name Party Period in office Length of term
Barton, Sir Edmund PROT 01.01.1901 – 24.09.1903 2 years, 8 months, 24 days
Deakin, Alfred PROT 24.09.1903 – 27.04.1904 7 months, 4 days
Watson, John Christian ALP 27.04.1904 – 17.08.1904 3 months, 21 days
Reid, George Houstoun (later Sir George) FT1 18.08.1904 – 05.07.1905 10 months, 18 days
Deakin, Alfred PROT1 05.07.1905 – 13.11.1908 3 years, 4 months, 9 days
Fisher, Andrew ALP 13.11.1908 – 02.06.1909 6 months, 21 days
Deakin, Alfred PROT 02.06.1909 – 29.04.1910 10 months, 28 days
Fisher, Andrew ALP 29.04.1910 – 24.06.1913 3 years, 1 month, 26 days
Cook, Joseph (later Sir Joseph) LIB 24.06.1913 – 17.09.1914 1 year, 2 months, 25 days
Fisher, Andrew ALP 17.09.1914 – 27.10.1915 1 year, 1 month, 11 days
Hughes, William Morris ALP 27.10.1915 – 09.02.1923 7 years, 3 months, 14 days
NAT LAB 14.11.1916 – 17.02.1917
NAT 17.02.1917 – 09.02.1923
Bruce, Stanley Melbourne NAT1 09.02.1923 – 22.10.1929 6 years, 8 months, 14 days
Scullin, James Henry ALP 22.10.1929 – 06.01.1932 2 years, 2 months, 16 days
Lyons, Joseph Aloysius UAP 06.01.1932 – 09.11.1934 7 years, 3 months, 2 days
UAP1 09.11.1934 – 07.04.1939
Page, Earle Christmas Grafton CP1 07.04.1939 – 26.04.1939 20 days
Menzies, Robert Gordon (later Sir Robert) UAP 26.04.1939 – 14.03.1940 2 years, 4 months, 4 days
UAP1 14.03.1940 – 29.08.1941
Fadden, Arthur William (later Sir Arthur) CP1 29.08.1941 – 07.10.1941 1 month, 9 days
Curtin, John ALP 07.10.1941 – 05.07.1945 3 years, 8 months, 29 days
Forde, Francis Michael ALP 06.07.1945 – 13.07.1945 8 days
Chifley, Joseph Benedict ALP 13.07.1945 – 19.12.1949 4 years, 5 months, 7 days
Menzies, Robert Gordon (later Sir Robert) LP1 19.12.1949 – 26.01.1966 16 years, 1 month, 8 days
Holt, Harold Edward LP1 26.01.1966 – 19.12.1967 1 year, 10 months, 23 days
McEwen, John CP1 19.12.1967 – 10.01.1968 23 days
Gorton, John Grey LP1 10.01.1968 – 10.03.1971 3 years, 2 months
McMahon, William (later Sir William) LP1 10.03.1971 – 05.12.1972 1 year, 8 months, 25 days
Whitlam, Edward Gough ALP 05.12.1972 – 11.11.1975 2 years, 11 months, 7 days
Fraser, John Malcolm LP1 11.11.1975 – 11.03.1983 7 years, 4 months
Hawke, Robert James Lee ALP 11.03.1983 – 20.12.1991 8 years, 9 months, 10 days
Keating, Paul John ALP 20.12.1991 – 11.03.1996 4 years, 2 months, 20 days
Howard, John Winston LP1 11.03.1996 – 03.12.2007 11 years, 8 months, 22 days
Rudd, Kevin Michael ALP 03.12.2007 – 24.06.2010 2 years, 6 months, 21 days
Gillard, Julia Eileen ALP 24.06.2010 – 27.06.2013 3 years, 3 days
Rudd, Kevin Michael ALP 27.06.2013 – 18.09.2013 2 months, 22 days
Abbott, Anthony John LP1 18.09.2013 – 15.09.2015 1 year, 11 months, 28 days
Turnbull, Malcolm Bligh LP1 15.09.2015 – present  

Entry in brackets indicates title bestowed while member was serving in Federal Parliament.

1 Coalition Government

Leaders of the Opposition since 1901
Name Party Period in office Length of term
Reid, George Houstoun (later Sir George) FT 09.05.1901 – 18.08.1904 3 years, 3 months, 10 days
Watson, John Christian ALP 18.08.1904 – 05.07.1905 10 months, 18 days
Reid, George Houstoun (later Sir George) FT 07.07.1905 – 16.11.1908 3 years, 4 months, 10 days
Cook, Joseph (later Sir Joseph) ANTI-SOC 17.11.1908 – 26.05.1909 6 months, 10 days
Deakin, Alfred FUSION 26.05.1909 – 02.06.1909 8 days
Fisher, Andrew ALP 02.06.1909 – 29.04.1910 10 months, 28 days
Deakin, Alfred LIB 01.07.1910 – 20.01.1913 2 years, 6 months, 20 days
Cook, Joseph (later Sir Joseph) LIB 20.01.1913 – 24.06.1913 5 months, 5 days
Fisher, Andrew ALP 08.07.1913 – 17.09.1914 1 year, 2 months, 10 days
Cook, Joseph (later Sir Joseph) LIB 08.10.1914 – 17.02.1917 2 years, 4 months, 10 days
Tudor, Frank Gwynne ALP 17.02.1917 – 10.01.1922 4 years, 10 months, 25 days
Charlton, Matthew ALP 16.05.1922 – 29.03.1928 5 years, 10 months, 14 days
Scullin, James Henry ALP 26.04.1928 – 22.10.1929 1 year, 5 months, 27 days
Latham, John Greig NAT 20.11.1929 – 07.05.1931 1 year, 5 months, 18 days
Lyons, Joseph Aloysius UAP 07.05.1931 – 06.01.1932 9 months
Scullin, James Henry ALP 07.01.1932 – 01.10.1935 3 years, 8 months, 25 days
Curtin, John ALP 01.10.1935 – 07.10.1941 6 years, 7 days
Fadden, Arthur William (later Sir Arthur) CP 08.10.1941 – 23.09.1943 1 year, 11 months, 16 days
Menzies, Robert Gordon (later Sir Robert) UAP/LIB* 23.09.1943 – 19.12.1949 6 years, 2 months, 27 days
Chifley, Joseph Benedict ALP 21.02.1950 – 13.06.1951 1 years, 3 months, 24 days
Evatt, Herbert Vere ALP 20.06.1951 – 09.02.1960 8 years, 7 months, 21 days
Calwell, Arthur Augustus ALP 07.03.1960 – 08.02.1967 6 years, 11 months, 2 days
Whitlam, Edward Gough ALP 08.02.1967 – 05.12.1972 5 years, 9 months, 28 days
Snedden, Billy Mackie LP 20.12.1972 – 21.03.1975 2 years, 3 months, 2 days
Fraser, John Malcolm LP 21.03.1975 – 11.11.1975 7 months, 22 days
Whitlam, Edward Gough ALP 27.01.1976 – 22.12.1977 1 year, 10 months, 26 days
Hayden, William George ALP 22.12.1977 – 03.02.1983 5 years, 1 month
Hawke, Robert James Lee ALP 03.02.1983 – 11.03.1983 1 month, 9 days
Peacock, Andrew Sharp LP 11.03.1983 – 05.09.1985 2 years, 5 months, 26 days
Howard, John Winston LP 05.09.1985 – 09.05.1989 3 years, 8 months, 5 days
Peacock, Andrew Sharp LP 09.05.1989 – 03.04.1990 10 months, 26 days
Hewson, John Robert LP 03.04.1990 – 23.05.1994 4 years, 1 month, 21 days
Downer, Alexander John Gosse LP 23.05.1994 – 30.01.1995 8 months, 8 days
Howard, John Winston LP 30.01.1995 – 11.03.1996 1 year, 1 month, 12 days
Beazley, Kim Christian ALP 19.03.1996 – 22.11.2001 5 years, 8 months, 3 days.
Crean, Simon Findlay ALP 22.11.2001 – 02.12.2003 1 year, 11 months, 10 days
Latham, Mark William ALP 02.12.2003 – 18.01.2005 1 year, 1 month, 16 days
Beazley, Kim Christian ALP 28.01.2005 – 04.12.2006 1 year, 10 months, 6 days
Rudd, Kevin Michael ALP 04.12.2006 – 03.12.2007 11 months, 29 days
Nelson, Brendan John LP 03.12.2007 – 16.09.2008 9 months, 13 days
Turnbull, Malcolm Bligh LP 16.09.2008 – 01.12.2009 1 year, 2 months, 15 days
Abbott, Anthony John LP 01.12.2009 – 18.09.2013 3 years, 9 months, 17 days
Shorten, William Richard ALP 13.10.2013 – present  

* LIB from 16.10.1944

Note: The Liberal Party (LIB) of Alfred Deakin and Sir Joseph Cook is a different party to the Liberal Party of Australia (LP).

Party Abbreviations

ALP: Australian Labor Party; CP: Country Party; FT: Free Trade; LP: Liberal Party of Australia; LIB: The Liberal Party; UAP: United Australia Party; NAT: Nationalist; PROT: Protectionist; NL: National Labor.