Tragedy or farce? The repetition of Australian industrial relations history, 1929 and 2007

Raymond Markey*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The national elections of 1929 and 2007 are the only two in Australian history where the government lost office and the prime ministers lost their seats. Both right-wing governments undertook radical industrial relations reform attacking standards of work and shifting the balance of power to employers. Both election campaigns were dominated by industrial relations, and unions' grassroots mobilisation was critical in defeating the governments. The article utilises a diachronic comparative methodology to draw insights into the nature of Australian politics and the relationship between the unions and the Australian Labor Party.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-376
Number of pages22
JournalLabor History
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013


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