Top 10 Australian Prime Ministers ranked from worst to best
Australia saw its first Prime Minister elected in 1901. Since then, 12 people have succeeded each other in this position, including one who was elected twice, for two non-consecutive terms. However, based on the survey that Starts at 60 conducted among its readers to try to determine which one did the best job, research shows that their popularity is far from equal. Indeed, as we all know, it is impossible to please everyone, but while the one who is considered the best Prime Minister Australia has ever known has achieved a popularity rating of 58.3%, 7 of the 12 other Prime Ministers – including the current leader of the country who has only been in office for two months – have a popularity percentage below 1%. So here is the top 10 Australian Prime Ministers ranked from the worst to the best.
Elected Prime Minister of Australia in 1968, John Gorton remained at the helm of Australia until 1971 as leader of the Liberal Party. However, his popularity and satisfaction rate is excessively low; only 0.3% of readers of Starts at 60 voted for him.
William McMahon, leader of the Liberal Party, succeeded John Gorton as Prime Minister of Australia in 1971 and remained leader of the country until 1972, a mere year and a half. Moreover, he did not achieve a better percentage of popularity than hyis predecessor, also achieving a result of 0.3%.
Australian Prime Minister from 2015 to 2018 – he was replaced as Liberal Party leader by Scott Morrison, the current Prime Minister, in the August 24, 2018 elections following a coup d’état within their party – Malcolm Turnbull managed to gain a little more appreciation than the two previous former prime ministers, but the difference is negligible. Indeed, he obtained only a meagre 0.6% appreciation.
While Malcolm Turnbull was unexpectedly replaced as leader of his party and the country, the latter had in turn overthrown Tony Abbott, who served as Australian Prime Minister from 2013 to 2015 as leader of the Liberal Party. Tony Abbott manages to rank 7th among Australia’s most popular prime ministers, but with a result equal to Malcolm Turnbull, or 0.6%.
Kevin Rudd was the predecessor of Tony Abbott, but also of Julia Gillard, who is a little higher in this ranking. He ruled Australia as Prime Minister for the first time from 2007 to 2010, and then from June 27 to September 18, 2013, for only 2 months and 22 days. However, as leader of the Labour Party, he did no better than his successors Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull, also escaping with a meagre 0.6% popularity among readers of Starts at 60.
Having succeeded Bob Hawke and preceded John Howard, both of whom are further down the list, Paul Keating was Prime Minister of Australia from 1991 to 1996. Before coming to power, it is important to note that he was Deputy Prime Minister of Australia from 1990 to 1991 and Minister of Finance from 1983 to 1991. Paul Keating is the first to score above 1% in this survey, with a low score, but better still, 2.7% popularity.
Julia Gillard, who succeeded Kevin Rudd, but was also replaced by him, was Australia’s head of state from 2010 to 2013. Just before that, from 2007 to 2010, she was Deputy Prime Minister of Kevin Rudd, who was then Prime Minister. Julia Gillard is the very first woman to come to power in Australia, and also the only one so far. Her popularity rate is not huge, but she still did better than many, garnering 4% satisfaction.
Prime Minister of Australia from 1972 to 1975, Gough Whitlam entered the Australian Parliament’s House of Representatives in 1952 as one of the members of the Labour Party. In 1960, he became the vice-president of his party, and finally became its leader 7 years later. Gough Whitlam lost the election in 1975 and was replaced by the country’s worst known prime minister, according to readers of Starts at 60. Perhaps this, among other things, is what earned him a good popularity rating of 15.2%?
Bob Hawke was the leader of the Labour Party and succeeded the worst prime minister of Australia in 1983. He remained in office until 1991, and received a 17% rating of popularity. We can say that his 2nd place in the Australian Prime Minister’s rankings is well deserved!
Although Bob Hawke has done quite well as Prime Minister, no one can match John Howard. Considered the best prime minister Australia has ever known, Howard remained in office from 1996 to 2007 as leader of the Liberal Party for nearly 12 years! He is the most appreciated of all the other leaders in the country and not just a little bit; he stands out greatly in the Starts at 60 survey by obtaining an incredible popularity rating of 58.3%!
As mentioned in the introduction, one of the 12 leaders in Australian history, Scott Morrison, scored less than 1%, literally 0%, but since he has only been Prime Minister since August 24, 2018, it is rather difficult to judge his work at this time. However, the only other former prime minister who exists and is not on the list either since he also received a 0% popularity rating from Starts at 60 readers is Malcolm Fraser, who held the position from 1975 to 1983. This shows that popularity is not for everyone!
Cover photo: LinkedIn | James Grant Hay