Leader of the Opposition (Australia)

The Leader of the Opposition is a politician who leads the official opposition in Australia. The Leader of the Opposition in Australian federal politics by convention, is a Member of Parliament in the House of Representatives. The position is held by the leader of the party not in government that has the most seats in the House. When in parliament, the Leader of the Opposition sits on the left-hand side of the centre table, in front of the Opposition and opposite the Prime Minister. The Opposition Leader is elected by his or her party according to its rules. A new Opposition Leader may be elected when the incumbent dies, resigns, or is challenged for the leadership.

Leader of the Opposition of the Commonwealth of Australia
Incumbent
Anthony Albanese

since 30 May 2019
Official Opposition of Australia
Shadow Cabinet of Australia
StyleThe Honourable
(Formal)
Leader of the Opposition
(Spoken)
Member of
Reports toParliament
Term lengthWhile leader of the largest political party not in government
Inaugural holderGeorge Reid
Formation1 January 1901
Websiteanthonyalbanese.com.au

The Commonwealth of Australia is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system and is based on the Westminster model. The term Opposition has a specific meaning in the parliamentary sense. It is an important component of the Westminster system, with the Opposition directing criticism at the Government and attempts to defeat and replace the Government. The Opposition is therefore known as the "Government in waiting" and it is a formal part of the parliamentary system. It is in opposition to the Government, but not to the Crown; hence the term "Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition".[1]

To date there have been 34 Opposition Leaders, 18 of whom have served terms as Prime Minister.[2] The current Leader of the Opposition is Anthony Albanese of the Australian Labor Party, following an election of the new Parliamentary Labor Leader by caucus and ALP members on 30 May 2019. The current Deputy Leader of the Opposition is Richard Marles, who was elected deputy leader of the ALP on the same date.

List of Leaders of the Opposition

No. Leader Party Constituency Took office Left office Prime Minister
1 George Reid   Free Trade East Sydney (NSW) 19 May 1901 17 August 1904   Barton 1901–03
  Deakin 1903–04
  Watson 1904
2 Chris Watson   Labor Bland (NSW) 18 August 1904 5 July 1905   Reid 1904–05
(1) George Reid   Free Trade / Anti-Socialist East Sydney (NSW) 7 July 1905 16 November 1908   Deakin 1905–08
  Fisher 1908–09
3 Joseph Cook   Anti-Socialist Parramatta (NSW) 17 November 1908 26 May 1909
4 Alfred Deakin   Liberal Ballaarat (Vic) 26 May 1909 2 June 1909
5 Andrew Fisher   Labor Wide Bay (Qld) 2 June 1909 29 April 1910   Deakin 1909
(4) Alfred Deakin   Liberal Ballaarat (Vic) 1 July 1910 20 January 1913   Fisher 1910–13
(3) Joseph Cook   Liberal Parramatta (NSW) 20 January 1913 24 June 1913
(5) Andrew Fisher   Labor Wide Bay (Qld) 8 July 1913 17 September 1914   Cook 1913–14
(3) Joseph Cook   Liberal Parramatta (NSW) 8 October 1914 17 February 1917   Fisher 1914–15
  Hughes 1915–23
 
6 Frank Tudor   Labor Yarra (Vic) 17 February 1917 10 January 1922  
 
 
 
7 Matthew Charlton   Labor Hunter (NSW) 25 January 1922 29 March 1928
  Bruce 1923–29
8 James Scullin   Labor Yarra (Vic) 26 April 1928 22 October 1929
9 John Latham   Nationalist Kooyong (Vic) 20 November 1929 7 May 1931   Scullin 1929–32
10 Joseph Lyons   United Australia Wilmot (Tas) 7 May 1931 6 January 1932
(8) James Scullin   Labor Yarra (Vic) 7 January 1932 1 October 1935  
 
 
 
 
 
Lyons 1932–39
11 John Curtin   Labor Fremantle (WA) 1 October 1935 7 October 1941
  Page 1939
  Menzies 1939–41
  Fadden 1941
12 Arthur Fadden   Country Darling Downs (Qld) 7 October 1941 23 September 1943   Curtin 1941–45
13 Robert Menzies   United Australia Kooyong (Vic) 23 September 1943 19 December 1949
  Liberal   Forde 1945
  Chifley 1945–49
14 Ben Chifley   Labor Macquarie (NSW) 19 December 1949 13 June 1951  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Menzies 1949–66
15 H. V. Evatt   Labor Barton (NSW) 1940–58
Hunter (NSW) 1958–60
20 June 1951 9 February 1960
16 Arthur Calwell   Labor Melbourne (Vic) 7 March 1960 8 February 1967
 
 
 
Holt 1966–67
17 Gough Whitlam   Labor Werriwa (NSW) 8 February 1967 2 December 1972
  McEwen 1967–68
  Gorton 1968–71
  McMahon 1971–72
18 Billy Snedden   Liberal Bruce (Vic) 20 December 1972 21 March 1975   Whitlam 1972–75
19 Malcolm Fraser   Liberal Wannon (Vic) 21 March 1975 11 November 1975
(17) Gough Whitlam   Labor Werriwa (NSW) 11 November 1975 22 December 1977   Fraser 1975–83
20 Bill Hayden   Labor Oxley (Qld) 22 December 1977 3 February 1983
21 Bob Hawke   Labor Wills (Vic) 3 February 1983 11 March 1983
22 Andrew Peacock   Liberal Kooyong (Vic) 11 March 1983 5 September 1985  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Hawke 1983–91
23 John Howard   Liberal Bennelong (NSW) 5 September 1985 9 May 1989
(22) Andrew Peacock   Liberal Kooyong (Vic) 9 May 1989 3 April 1990
24 John Hewson   Liberal Wentworth (NSW) 3 April 1990 23 May 1994
  Keating 1991–96
25 Alexander Downer   Liberal Mayo (SA) 23 May 1994 30 January 1995
(23) John Howard   Liberal Bennelong (NSW) 30 January 1995 11 March 1996
26 Kim Beazley   Labor Brand (WA) 19 March 1996 22 November 2001   Howard 1996–07
27 Simon Crean   Labor Hotham (Vic) 22 November 2001 2 December 2003
28 Mark Latham   Labor Werriwa (NSW) 2 December 2003 18 January 2005
(26) Kim Beazley   Labor Brand (WA) 28 January 2005 4 December 2006
29 Kevin Rudd   Labor Griffith (Qld) 4 December 2006 3 December 2007
30 Brendan Nelson   Liberal Bradfield (NSW) 3 December 2007 16 September 2008  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rudd 2007–10
31 Malcolm Turnbull   Liberal Wentworth (NSW) 16 September 2008 1 December 2009
32 Tony Abbott   Liberal Warringah (NSW) 1 December 2009 18 September 2013
  Gillard 2010–13
  Rudd 2013
Chris Bowen (acting)[3]   Labor McMahon (NSW) 18 September 2013 13 October 2013  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Abbott 2013–15
33 Bill Shorten   Labor Maribyrnong (Vic) 13 October 2013 30 May 2019
  Turnbull 2015–18
  Morrison 2018–
34 Anthony Albanese  
 
Labor Grayndler (NSW) 30 May 2019 Incumbent

List of Deputy Leaders of the Opposition

Leader Party Constituency Took office Left office Leader
Joseph Cook   Commonwealth Liberal Party Parramatta (NSW) 26 May 1909 2 June 1909   Deakin 1909
Gregor McGregor   Labor Party Senator for South Australia (SA) 2 June 1909 29 April 1910   Fisher 1909–10
Joseph Cook   Commonwealth Liberal Party Parramatta (NSW) 1 July 1910 20 January 1913   Deakin 1910–13
Sir John Forrest   Commonwealth Liberal Party Swan (WA) 20 January 1913 24 June 1913   Cook 1913
Gregor McGregor   Labor Party Senator for South Australia (SA) 8 July 1913 7 September 1914   Fisher 1913–14
Sir John Forrest   Commonwealth Liberal Party Swan (WA) 8 October 1914 17 February 1917   Cook 1914–17
Albert Gardiner   Labor Party Senator for New South Wales (NSW) 17 February 1917 March 1927   Tudor 1917–22
  Charlton 1922–28
James Scullin   Labor Party Yarra (Vic) March 1927 29 March 1928
Arthur Blakeley   Labor Party Darling (NSW) 29 March 1928 1929   Scullin 1928–29
Ted Theodore   Labor Party Dalley (NSW) 1929 22 October 1929
Henry Gullett   Nationalist Party Henty (Vic) 20 November 1929 7 May 1931   Latham 1929–31
John Latham   United Australia Party Kooyong (Vic) 7 May 1931 6 January 1932   Lyons 1931–32
Frank Forde   Labor Party Capricornia (Qld) 7 January 1932 7 October 1941   Scullin 1932–35
  Curtin 1935–41
Billy Hughes   United Australia Party North Sydney (NSW) 9 October 1941 14 April 1944   Fadden 1941–43
  Menzies 1943–49
Eric Harrison   United Australia Party Wentworth (NSW) 14 April 1944 19 December 1949  
  Liberal Party  
 
 
 
H. V. Evatt   Labor Party Barton (NSW) 19 December 1949 13 June 1951   Chifley 1949–51
Arthur Calwell   Labor Party Melbourne (Vic) 13 June 1951 9 February 1960   Evatt 1960–67
Gough Whitlam   Labor Party Werriwa (NSW) 7 March 1960 8 February 1967   Calwell 1960–67
Lance Barnard   Labor Party Bass (Tas) 9 February 1967 5 December 1972   Whitlam 1967–72
Phillip Lynch   Liberal Party Flinders (Vic) 20 December 1972 11 November 1975   Snedden 1972–75
  Fraser 1975
Frank Crean   Labor Party Melbourne Ports (Vic) 11 November 1975 22 December 1975   Whitlam 1975–77
Tom Uren   Labor Party Reid (NSW) 22 December 1975 22 December 1977
Lionel Bowen   Labor Party Kingsford Smith (NSW) 22 December 1977 11 March 1983   Hayden 1977–83
  Hawke 1983
John Howard   Liberal Party Bennelong (NSW) 11 March 1983 5 September 1985   Peacock 1983–85
Neil Brown   Liberal Party Menzies (Vic) 5 September 1985 17 July 1987   Howard 1985–89
Andrew Peacock   Liberal Party Kooyong (Vic) 17 July 1987 9 May 1989
Fred Chaney   Liberal Party Senator for Western Australia (WA) 1989–90
Pearce (WA) 1990
9 May 1989 24 March 1990   Peacock 1989–90
Peter Reith   Liberal Party Flinders (Vic) 24 March 1990 13 March 1993   Hewson 1990–94
Michael Wooldridge   Liberal Party Chisholm (Vic) 13 March 1993 23 May 1994
Peter Costello   Liberal Party Higgins (Vic) 23 May 1994 19 March 1996   Downer 1994–95
  Howard 1995–96
Gareth Evans   Labor Party Holt (Vic) 19 March 1996 19 October 1998   Beazley 1996–2001
Simon Crean   Labor Party Hotham (Vic) 19 October 1998 22 November 2001
Jenny Macklin   Labor Party Jagajaga (Vic) 22 November 2001 18 September 2006   Crean 2001–03
  Latham 2003–05
  Beazley 2005–06
Julia Gillard   Labor Party Lalor (Vic) 4 December 2006 3 December 2007   Rudd 2006–07
Julie Bishop   Liberal Party Curtin (WA) 3 December 2007 18 September 2013   Nelson 2007–08
  Turnbull 2008–09
  Abbott 2009–13
Anthony Albanese   Labor Party Grayndler (NSW) 18 September 2013 14 October 2013   Bowen 2013
Tanya Plibersek   Labor Party Sydney (NSW) 14 October 2013 30 May 2019   Shorten 2013–19
Richard Marles   Labor Party Corio (Vic) 30 May 2019 Incumbent   Albanese 2019–

See also

Notes

    References

    1. Jaensch, Dean (1997). The Politics of Australia. Melbourne: MacMillan Education Australia. p. 100. ISBN 0-7329-4128-8.
    2. "A House for the nation". Commonwealth of Australia. Archived from the original on 30 August 2007. Retrieved 14 December 2007.
    3. "Hon Chris Bowen MP". Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 26 October 2019.
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