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.

“May not this old fabric, when compared with the more palatial structures of these modern days, indicate to us the ageless principle of Liberalism, which as the generations pass, constantly renews itself and makes its appeal—always adequate and wise—to the new times and conditions in which we live.”

Joseph Cook

Commonwealth Liberal Party

Delivered at Parramatta, NSW, July 14th, 1914

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“The great vital problems that confront us in Australia today are principally these:- Industrial unrest; increase cost of living; operations of trusts and combines. They are interactionary both in their relationship and their effect.”

Andrew Fisher

Australian Labor Party

Delivered at Bundaberg, Qld, July 6th, 1914

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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.