1959 Australian Labor Party leadership spill

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1959 Australian Labor Party
Leadership spill

← 1956 16 February 1959 1960 →
  Herbert V. Evatt.jpg Eddie Ward 1956.jpg
Candidate H. V. Evatt Eddie Ward
Caucus vote 46 32
Percentage 58.97 41.03

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 held on 16 February 1959.


Senior Labor left-winger Eddie Ward unsuccessfully challenged ALP leader H. V. Evatt following Evatt's third defeat at the polls in the 1958 election. Evatt was re-elected by a lower than expected margin of only 14 votes.[1] The closeness of the ballot further highlighted the dissatisfaction with Evatt's leadership.

At the same caucus, Arthur Calwell was re-elected as deputy leader unopposed.


The following table gives the ballot results:

Name Votes Percentage
H. V. Evatt 46 58.97
Eddie Ward 32 41.03

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Dr. Evatt Back as Party Leader". The Canberra Times. 17 February 1959. p. 1.