Each election, Prime Ministerial candidates lay out their parties’ platforms in campaign speeches. These speeches are more than just historical records; they tell us about national concerns and political obsessions, wars and drought, industry and society. They speak to – and in some cases, exploit – our aspirations and our fears. We’ve collected speeches by successful and unsuccessful candidates from every election from 1901 right up to the present day.

“That course I refuse to follow. The times are too critical. For any National leader to-day to deceive the people by promises which, either for financial or constitutional reasons, he could never redeem, would constitute a betrayal of the obligations and duties resting upon him which would never be forgiven.”

Stanley Bruce

Nationalist/Country coalition

Delivered at Dandenong, Vic, October 5th, 1925

Read Speech

“Australian Labor stands for the establishment and expansion of industry in all its forms. Industry furnishes an ever increasing local market for the consumption of local products. Tariff protection is one of the methods by which national economic expansion can be secured. Labor endorses not only protection at the customs but every method whereby the self-sustaining power of the nation can be extended. ”

Matthew Charlton

Australian Labor Party

Delivered at Sydney, NSW, October 9th, 1925

Read Speech

Here is a sample of the data visualisations available on our explore page.

This graph highlights the frequency of the usage of the word over time.