Australia’s Best Prime Minister

Jan 30, 2012

Q. Choosing from the following list, who do you think has been Australia’s best Prime Minister?

Term of office Total

19 Jan 2009

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Aged 18-34 Aged 35-54 Aged 55+
John Curtin 7 Oct 1941 – 5 Jul 1945 4% 2% 4% 1% 3% 1% 2% 3%
Ben Chifley 13 Jul 1945 – 19 Dec 1949 2% 1% 2% 1% 1% 1% 1% 3%
Robert Menzies 19 Dec 1949 – 26 Jan 1966 11% 11% 4% 18% 4% 4% 8% 21%
Harold Holt 26 Jan 1966 – 19 Dec 1967 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1%
John Gorton 10 Jan 1968 – 10 Mar1971 1%
William McMahon 10 Mar 1971 – 5 Dec 1972 1%
Gough Whitlam 5 Dec 1972 – 11 Nov 1975 9% 9% 15% 1% 18% 8% 9% 10%
Malcolm Fraser 11 Nov 1975 – 11 Mar 1983 3% 3% 1% 3% 6% 3% 6%
Bob Hawke 11 Mar 1983 – 20 Dec 1991 12% 15% 23% 5% 22% 12% 21% 10%
Paul Keating 20 Dec 1991 – 11 Mar 1996 8% 6% 12% 2% 10% 7% 6% 4%
John Howard 11 Mar 1996 – 3 Dec 2007 28% 33% 8% 61% 5% 33% 31% 35%
Kevin Rudd 3 Dec 2007 – 24 Jun 2010 20% 15% 21% 6% 27% 25% 15% 6%
Julia Gillard 24 Jun 2010 – present na 3% 8% 4% 6% 2% 2%

Note: Percentages based on those who gave an answer.

33% thought that John Howard has been Australia’s best Prime Minister, 15% chose Kevin Rudd and 15% Bob Hawke.

Among Liberal/National voters, 61% chose John Howard and 18% Robert Menzies. With 23%, Bob Hawke received the highest rating from Labor voters, just ahead of Kevin Rudd on 21% with Gough Whitlam on 15%. Greens voters favoured Kevin Rudd (27%) and Bob Hawke (22%).

While John Howard received similar scores across age groups, the 18-34 group were more likely to favour Kevin Rudd (25%), the 35-54’s Bob Hawke (21%) and the 55+ group Robert Menzies (21%). Compared to the results when this question was asked 3 years ago (when Kevin Rudd was Prime Minister), John Howard (+5%) and Bob Hawke (+3%) have improved their ratings while Kevin Rudd’s has dropped 5%.

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