A couple of weeks ago on 31 May 2013 was the centenary of the 1913 federal election, which went unnoticed. It was one of the most critical elections in Australian history and its story needs to be retold, writes John Ruddick
Between 1901 and 1910 Australia had eight Prime Ministerships with no party having a majority in either the House or the Senate. The backdrop to this period of political flux was the seemingly inexorable rise of Labor.
In 1901 Labor had just 14 seats in the House (out of 75) making it the smallest of the three parliamentary parties. In 1903 the Labor tally almost doubled to 23 and then strengthened in 1906 with 26 seats. The election of 1910 saw Labor not only win a clear majority in the House (42) but almost two thirds of the Senate. It was a historic victory - Labor was the first openly socialistic party to win a national election in the world.