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.

“Ben Chifley spoke to us about that light on the hill in a different age, in a different nation, in a different time. President Barack Obama inspired a nation by saying ‘yes we can’. Well friends, I’m too humble to compare myself to either Ben Chifley or Barack Obama, but I am asking you, I am asking you when you vote on Saturday, to say, as you cast that vote: yes we will.”

Julia Gillard

Australian Labor Party

Delivered at Brisbane, Qld, August 16th, 2010

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“As a liberal, I support lower taxes, smaller government and greater freedom. As a conservative, I support a fair go for families and respect for values which have stood the test of time. As an Australian, I support policies which work and which don’t trifle with our country’s future. Mine is a genial pragmatic political creed based above all on respect for the people and the communities that have produced here perhaps the most free, fair and prosperous society on earth.”

Tony Abbott

Liberal/National coalition

Delivered at Brisbane, Qld, August 8th, 2010

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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.