1966 Australian Labor Party leadership spill

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1966 Australian Labor Party
Leadership election

← 1960 27 April 1966 1967 →
  Arthur Calwell 1966.jpg Gough Whitlam 1962.jpg
Candidate Arthur Calwell Gough Whitlam
Caucus vote 49 25
Percentage 66.21 33.79

Leader before election

Arthur Calwell

Elected Leader

Arthur Calwell

A leadership spill in the Australian Labor Party, the party of opposition in the Parliament of Australia, was held on 27 April 1966. It followed the long awaited challenge by party deputy-leader Gough Whitlam against incumbent leader Arthur Calwell. Calwell received 49 votes to Whitlam's 25 in a caucus ballot.[1] After claiming victory Calwell then announced that if Labor was defeated at the impending 1966 federal election, he would not stand for the leadership again.[2]


The following table gives the ballot results:

Name Votes Percentage
Arthur Calwell 49 66.21
Gough Whitlam 25 33.79


  1. ^ "Calwell defeats leadership challenge: Pledge of unity". The Canberra Times. 28 April 1966. p. 1.
  2. ^ Hocking, Jenny (2008), Gough Whitlam: A Moment in History, The Miegunyah Press, pp. 257–258, ISBN 978-0-522-85705-4