1954 Australian Labor Party leadership spill

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1954 Australian Labor Party
Leadership spill motion

← 1951 21 October 1954 1956 →
  Herbert V. Evatt.jpg No image.svg
Candidate H. V. Evatt Spill motion
Caucus vote 52 28

Leader before election

H. V. Evatt

Elected Leader

H. V. Evatt

A leadership spill of the Australian Labor Party (ALP), then the opposition party in the Parliament of Australia, was rejected on 21 October 1954.


On 5 October 1954 Evatt gave an aggressive speech against 'disloyal elements' within the Labor Party, which aimed "to deflect the Labor Movement from the pursuit of established Labor objectives and ideals."[1] The speech caused ructions within the ALP leading many to question Evatt's position.

Labor's caucus rejected by 52 to 28 votes a motion for a spill moved by Senators George Cole and James Fraser. Deputy leader Arthur Calwell and Allan Fraser would have stood for election as Leader and deputy leader respectively in the event of a spill occurring.[2] After the ballot, Evatt insisted on counting the names for and against, which only furthered his opponents animosity.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Bolton, G. C. (1996). "Evatt, Herbert Vere (Bert) (1894–1965)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. 14. Melbourne University Press. ISSN 1833-7538. Retrieved 10 January 2015 – via National Centre of Biography, Australian National University.
  2. ^ "Dr. Evatt retains leadership". Illawarra Mercury. 21 October 1954. p. 1.