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Whitlam expelled in 1966


The patronising flippancy of youth
Colwyn Bay/Manchester
Less than a year before becoming ALP leader, Gough Whitlam was about to be expelled by the Federal Executive for gross disloyalty by seven votes to five.
Not having realised the severity of the situation until the meeting began, Whitlam had spent the weeks before campaigning in a by-election in Dawson, Queensland, which the Labor candidate won on a swing of over 10%. The party federally otherwise having seemed to give the seat up as a lost cause, this apparently endeared him to many in the state party, including the new MP, Rex Patterson.
Patterson, overhearing leader Arthur Calwell's glee at Whitlam's impending expulsion whilst consulting with Allan Fraser about the possibility of the latter taking the deputy leadership in the resulting election, hastily phoned leading lights of the Queensland executive, who informed their federal representatives that they would not be voting to expel if they knew what was good for them. Whitlam instead survived by the same margin of seven to five.
Suppose Patterson doesn't visit Fraser's office at the right time on his first day in Parliament. The ALP expels its deputy leader. How does this affect the election later that year? Is Fraser the new deputy leader? Does he, or someone like Jim Cairns, succeed Calwell in 1967? Can the ALP now win in 1969 after all? Or, without Whitlam's reforms, can they not win even in 1972? If they do, what does Australia look like with a different Labor government - perhaps one which never gets dismissed?