RIP Malcolm Fraser

Malcolm Fraser has died aged 84.

He is the first Australian Prime Minister I can recall. He served almost exactly the same term (1975 to 1983) as Sir Robert Muldoon did in NZ. This probably aggravated them both equally, as they famously did not get on.

He won the 1975 election in a landslide of 91 seats to 36. They also had 35 out of 64 seats in the Senate.

In 1977 they won almost as well 86 seats to 38. The Senate had them with 35 out of 62 seats.

In 1980 it was a comfortable 74 seats to 51 and the Senate was 31 out of 64.

He lost office to Bob Hawke in 1983, holding just 50 seats out of 125.

He was never a hugely a popular leader of the Liberals and after his defeat drifted well to the left of the Coalition, and probably regarded by most Coalition figures with the same disdain UK Conservatives had for Edward Heath.

Fraser has gone to the left of Labor, calling for Australia to abandon its alliance with the US. In the 2013 elections he did a TV endorsements for a Green Senator.

He started his tenure as PM hated by the left for the way he came into office through the sacking of Whitlam. He finished his political life lionised by many on the left and scorned by his former party.

I quite liked him when he was PM, because he wasn’t Muldoon 🙂

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