Holt's 1966 landslide election victory

Title:
Holt's 1966 landslide election victory
NFSA ID:
29176
Year:
1966
Courtesy:
Cinesound Productions
Category:
Access fees

A Cinesound Review newsreel story about the first - and only - federal election fought by Harold Holt when he was prime minister. The election took place on 26 November 1966.

The most contentious issue was Australia’s conscription of young men to fight in the Vietnam War. Opposition leader Arthur Calwell was opposed to conscription and promised to withdraw Australian troops from Vietnam if elected. Holt was committed to increasing troop numbers and had the support of the US administration.

Over six million people cast their votes, making it the biggest turn out in Australia’s history. It was a resounding victory for Holt with a major swing towards the Liberal–Country Party coalition government who won a record majority. Holt’s victory was even greater than any of those of his predecessor, Sir Robert Menzies.

A month after the election defeat, Opposition leader Arthur Calwell retired and was succeeded by Gough Whitlam.