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.

“My friends, I commenced my remarks in speaking of how the choice on the 24th of November had very much crystallised around the issue of economic management. The economy isn’t everything in life, we all know that, but a strong economy is central to the capacity of this nation to deliver the things that we all want.”

John Howard

Liberal/National coalition

Delivered at Brisbane, Qld, November 12th, 2007

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“At Mr Howard’s policy launch on Monday there was nothing on climate change. Nothing on water. Nothing on hospitals. Nothing on infrastructure. And whatever amount of money Mr Howard may yet throw at these long standing challenges over the next ten days, it just not going to be real. The truth is, it’s all just too late to be believable.”

Kevin Rudd

Australian Labor Party

Delivered at Brisbane, Qld, November 14th, 2007

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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.