A House on the Hill: Labor’s New Australia and the 1946 Federal Election

Alex Burston-Chorowicz


The Australian Labor Party won the 1946 federal election defeating the new Liberal Party and securing itself a second term. The Chifley government has received much attention in labour history, concentrating on government policy and Chifley himself, but there has been little attention paid to the 1946 election, which gave Labor a mandate to carry out its much-lauded postwar reconstruction policies.This article has three main objectives. It first explores the historical context surrounding the 1946 election by highlighting Australia’s position in the postwar world and the domestic political ramifications. Second, it provides a narrative of Labor’s election campaign. The third and most important objective is to critically evaluate the nature of Labor’s campaign, analysing themes, policy objectives and public discourse that Labor displayed during the campaign.


Labour history; Australian history; political history

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