Julia 2010: The caretaker election

Julia 2010: The caretaker election

Edited by: Marian Simms orcid, John Wanna orcid

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This book provides a comprehensive coverage of one of Australia’s most historic elections, which produced a hung parliament and a carefully crafted minority government that remains a heartbeat away from collapse, as well as Australia’s first elected woman Prime Minister and the Australian Greens’ first lower house Member of Parliament.

The volume considers the key contextual and possibly determining factors, such as: the role of leadership and ideology in the campaign; the importance of state and regional factors (was there evidence of the two or three speed economy at work?); and the role of policy areas and issues, including the environment, immigration, religion, gender and industrial relations. Contributors utilise a wide range of sources and approaches to provide comprehensive insights into the campaign. This volume notably includes the perspectives of the major political groupings, the ALP, the Coalition and the Greens; and the data from the Australian Election Survey. Finally we conclude with a detailed analysis of those 17 days that it took to construct a minority party government.


ISBN (print):
ISBN (online):
Publication date:
Feb 2012
ANU Press
Social Sciences: Politics & International Studies, Social Policy & Administration

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  1. The Caretaker Election of 2010: ‘Julia 10’ versus ‘Tony 10’ and the onset of minority government (PDF, 101KB)Marian Simms and John Wanna doi

Part 1. Leaders, Ideologies and the Campaign

  1. Diary of an Election (PDF, 192KB)Marian Simms doi
  2. Bad Governments Lose: Surely there is no mystery there (PDF, 129KB)Rodney Cavalier doi
  3. The Ideological Contest (PDF, 119KB)Carol Johnson doi

Part 2. The Media and the Polls

  1. The New Media and the Campaign (PDF, 580KB)  – Peter John Chen doi
  2. To the Second Decimal Point: How the polls vied to predict the national vote, monitor the marginals and second-guess the Senate (PDF, 192KB)Murray Goot doi
  3. Debates, Town-Hall Meetings and Media Interviews (PDF, 111KB)Geoffrey Craig doi
  4. May the Less Threatening Leader of the Opposition Win: The cartoonists’ view of election 2010 (PDF, 7.3MB)Haydon Manning and Robert Phiddian doi

Part 3. The Parties’ Perspectives

  1. The 2010 Federal Election: The Liberal Party (PDF, 91KB)Brian Loughnane doi
  2. The Australian Labor Party (PDF, 117KB)Elias Hallaj doi
  3. The Greens (PDF, 201KB)Andrew Bartlett doi

Part 4. The States and Regions

  1. New South Wales (PDF, 107KB)Elaine Thompson and Geoff Robinson doi
  2. Victoria (PDF, 103KB)Nick Economou doi
  3. South Australia (PDF, 122KB)Dean Jaensch doi
  4. The Northern Territory (PDF, 94KB)Dean Jaensch doi
  5. Tasmania (PDF, 129KB)Tony McCall doi
  6. The Australian Capital Territory (PDF, 124KB) – Malcolm Mackerras doi
  7. Queensland (PDF, 318KB)Ian Ward doi
  8. Western Australia at the Polls: A case of resurgent regionalism (PDF, 102KB)Narelle Miragliotta and Campbell Sharman doi
  9. Rural and Regional Australia: The ultimate winners? (PDF, 111KB)Jennifer Curtin and Dennis Woodward doi

Part 5. Policies and Issues

  1. Managing Gender: The 2010 federal election (PDF, 403KB)Marian Sawer doi
  2. Immigration Issues in the 2010 Federal Election (PDF, 159KB)James Jupp doi
  3. The Influence of Unions and Business in the 2010 Federal Election: Claims of ‘slash and burn’ and ‘still no response and no answers’ (PDF, 147KB)John Wanna doi
  4. Environmental Issues and the 2010 Campaign (PDF, 115KB)Geordan Graetz and Haydon Manning doi
  5. Religion and the 2010 Election: Elephants in the room (PDF, 105KB)John Warhurst doi

Part 6. Election Results

  1. The Results and the Pendulum (PDF, 265KB)Malcolm Mackerras doi
  2. Electoral Behaviour in the 2010 Australian Federal Election (PDF, 181KB)Clive Bean and Ian McAllister doi
  3. Seventeen Days to Power: Making a minority government (PDF, 125KB)Brian Costar doi


Norman Abjorensen, of the ANU Crawford School of Public Policy, reviewed Julia 2012: The caretaker election in the recent Australian Journal of Politics and History (Volume 58, Number 3) . He provides historical context for the book, writing “for a whole range of reasons, the 2010 election is a landmark even in its own right, producing the first hung parliament in Australia in seven decades and leading to a politics, from government formation to policy, that has rarely been seen in the country before.” Abjorensen touches on a few of the articles from the book, highlighting “The acerbic Rodney Cavalier” and Carol Johnson’s “fascinating chapter” .

Abjorensen praises the book as a whole, declaring “A most useful component in this volume is an analysis of each state and territory which breaks down the big picture into its component parts, more accurately reflecting both the complexities and the crosscurrents woven into the whole.

“This will not be the last book written on the 2010 election — one of the most remarkable of all, in the words of Liberal Party federal director, Brian Loughnane — but it will become the essential starting point for all those that follow. It showcases Australian political analysis at its incisive and analytical best.”

(Norman Abjorensen, review of Julia 2010: The caretaker election, edited by Marian Sims and John Wanna, Australian Journal of Politics and HistoryVolume 58, Number 3, 2012, pp 465–466.)

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