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image icon Australian Labor Party flyer for the 1943 federal elections

Australian Labor Party flyer for the 1943 federal elections
Australian Labor Party flyer for the 1943 federal elections
John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library


This is an Australian Labor Party flyer for the federal elections of August 1943, with 'how to vote' information for Western Australia on one side and campaign advertising, headed 'Labor looks before it leaps', on the other.

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Educational value

This resource is useful because it:

  • This asset shows a 'how to vote' flyer for the Senate and House of Representatives in Western Australia in 1943 - there were only five House of Representatives electorates in WA at this time and the Australian Labor Party (ALP) won all five seats in a landslide victory; candidates elected were John Curtin in Fremantle (1928-31, 1934-45), Thomas Burke in Perth (1943-55), Herbert Johnson in Kalgoorlie (1940-58), Nelson Lemmon in Forrest (1943-49) and D A Mountjoy in Swan (1943-46); in the Senate, four WA Labor candidates were successful: James Fraser (1937-56), Robert Clothier (1937-50), Richard Nash (1943-56) and the first woman Senator, Dorothy Tangney (1943-68); across Australia, Labor won every contested Senate seat in the 1943 election.
  • This asset is an example of ALP campaign advertising in the 1943 federal elections promoting the twin platforms of winning the war and planning for peace - the flyer features a number of slogans: 'Assure victory in war and security in peace - vote Labor', 'For the safety of Australia return the Curtin Government' and 'Avoid the pitfalls of peace, vote 1 Labor'; the ALP campaign promoted Labor as a stable effective wartime government and emphasised the importance of keeping John Curtin (1885-1945, Prime Minister 1941-45) as leader to ensure the continued success of the war effort in Australia.
  • This asset reveals the policies of the Labor Party in 1943 - as well as the immediate task of the 'successful prosecution of the war', the ALP visualised 'post-war reconstruction to be in the nature of a new social order based upon democracy and the right of all men and women to enjoy the fruits of honest toil'; Labor won another term and the Curtin Government was able to implement further programs in the areas of economic reform, social services and immigration, education, public broadcasting and foreign policy.
  • This asset illustrates how voting in the House of Representatives and the Senate was done in 1943 - all the boxes on the ballot papers had to be numbered; on the Senate ballot paper, this meant numbering candidates one to 11, while on the lower house papers, electors were warned 'You must vote for all candidates'.
  • This asset provides information about Australian society at the time of the 1943 elections - Australia was in the midst of the Second World War, but memories of the hardships of the Depression years were still strong in the minds of many people; Australians wanted organised planning from their government, not just to win the War but to ensure that peace brought greater prosperity and a fairer society for 'the masses, the workers, the producers, the soldiers'.
  • This asset shows that Dorothy Tangney was a Senate candidate in 1943 - Tangney, as the fourth candidate on the ALP ticket, filled a short-term vacancy and became the first female elected to the Australian Senate; she went on to become a veteran of the Parliament, representing Western Australia for 25 years until she retired in 1968.