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John Howard

Prime Minister of Australia 1996-2007


John Howard ... Prime Minister of Australia

John Howard ... Prime Minister of Australia

Photo: Sandra Mu / Getty Images

  • Prime Minister John Howard, Australian Prime Minister from 1996 to 2007, lost his position when the Australian Labor Party swept into power in the federal elections of November 24, 2007. He was succeeded by Australian Labor Party Leader Kevin Rudd who was sworn in as Australia's 26th Prime Minister on December 3, 2007.

  • In his own New South Wales electorate of Bennelong, John Howard lost his seat to Australian Labor Party candidate and former Australian Broadcasting Corporation journalist Maxine McKew. It was the first time since 1929 that a sitting Prime Minister lost in his own electorate.

Victory in 2004

Mr Howard was returned to office in 2004 following the Liberal-National Coalition win in the federal elections held that year.

The Prime Minister entered his fourth term after eight years in office.

He campaigned on his stated achievements of fiscal responsibility, low unemployment and low interest rates.


Opposing him for the Prime Ministership in 2004 was federal Opposition Leader Mark Latham of the Australian Labor Party who only 10 months earlier had been elected to head his party.

The Liberal-National Coalition needed to win 76 seats in a federal House of Representatives of 150 Members and was seen to have surpassed that figure within three hours of the close of voting at 6pm, October 9.

Prime Minister since 1996

John Winston Howard was sworn in as Prime Minister of Australia on March 11, 1996, becoming the 25th person to occupy the office of Australian Prime Minister since Federation. This followed the Coalition’s federal election victory on March 3, 1996.

The Prime Minister represented the federal seat of Bennelong in Sydney's north-western suburbs for 33 years.

Elected to Parliament in 1974, he was returned as a Member of the Australian House of Representatives at every election since then.

He became Leader of the Parliamentary Liberal Party in September 1985 and held this position until May 1989. He was returned to leadership in January 1995.

Leadership changes

    After the Liberal-National Coalition defeat in the elections of 1987, Howard was replaced as Parliamentary Leader of the party by Andrew Peacock who had created a name for himself in foreign affairs.

    The Coalition lost the 1990 elections and Peacock was supplanted by then Shadow Treasurer John Hewson. After another Coalition election defeat, Hewson was replaced by Alexander Downer.

    Howard resumed leadership of the Parliamentary Liberal party in 1995, becoming Prime Minister in 1996.

Biographical highlights

John Winston Howard was born in Sydney on July 26, 1939.

He joined the Young Liberal Movement at the age of 18.

He graduated from Sydney University with the degree of Bachelor of Laws in 1961.

John Howard is married to Janette, a teacher by profession with whom he has three children: Melanie, Tim and Richard.

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