Older Australians weigh in on their favourite PM

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Whether it was sentiment caused by the proximity to his death, his game-changing policies or his likeable persona, Bob Hawke is Australia’s favourite prime minister in the eyes of older Australians.

In our Friday Flash Poll: Who was the best Australian prime minister?, Bob Hawke took out the top spot with 35 per cent of the vote, followed by his nemesis at the time, John Howard, with 27 per cent of the vote.

“Hawke was the whole package. He was competent and a man of the people. He was brilliant and, along with Paul Keating, they were a magnificent team,” wrote YourLifeChoices member Paddington.

The rest of the pack weren’t even close. Third was Gough Whitlam with 14 per cent and fourth was Sir Robert Menzies with 10 per cent. Paul Keating came in fifth with five per cent.

“Gough Whitlam got my vote as the best PM, as he had the foresight to end conscription, which meant I did not have to go to a war that should not have involved Australia. He also got the raw deal when he lost office in 1975 and set up Labor for the next generation of Labor politicians, including Bob Hawke!” wrote Dobbo1.

When asked which prime minister has done the most for our country, the two favourites also led the charge. According to the survey respondents, Bob Hawke’s accomplishments resonated most, with 42 per cent of the vote. John Howard’s achievements, which included introducing strict gun laws post-Port Arthur, privatising public infrastructure and steering a ship of prosperity largely driven by the mining boom, gave him second spot with 25 per cent.

Third was Gough Whitlam, two votes ahead of Sir Robert Menzies, both with 11 per cent.

“For me, it was the great Gough Whitlam. He brought us into the 20th century. Free university, equal pay, racial discrimination act, moved us out of Vietnam, introduced Medibank and various social welfare reforms. On a personal note, he introduced the national sewerage program which made a big difference to many,” wrote Sundays.

And in fifth spot, most likely for enshrining compulsory super, was Paul Keating with six per cent.

“Paul Keating was, in my view, the only prime minister who had a vision for Australia, the only true statesman. I still always enjoy reading his comments on today’s sorry state of affairs. We haven’t had true leadership in this country, our Kiwi neighbours are more fortunate. The exchange rate says it all,” wrote Franky.

As well as John Howard performed in the ‘favourite’ polls, he also finished in the top three least favourites, in what could be called a ‘like him or hate him’ result.

Perhaps unsurprising to many YourLifeChoices members (and the rest of the country), the least favourite PM mantle went to Tony Abbott with 30 per cent of the vote. The swing against Mr Abbott was certainly apparent in his demise on the weekend, losing the seat of Warringah to independent Zali Steggall.

“Regardless of what side of politics at least you knew where both Howard and Abbott stood. Apart from Hawke and Keating and Morrison, the rest were/are chameleons at best and will sway whatever their minders and spin doctors deem will garner the most votes. I wonder whether (off the record) they sincerely believe that half of what they spout forth they sincerely believe in terms of Australia or their ideology?” wrote David.

In second spot on the least favourite list was strip-club attendee Kevin Rudd, on 15 per cent, and third was Australia’s most famous pair of eyebrows, John Howard, on 11 per cent.

“John Howard led us into war that we should not have entered, plus children and other refugees overboard,” wrote KB.

Rounding out the top five were Julia Gillard (nine per cent) and Gough Whitlam (seven per cent).

Scott Morrison has a lot to do to catch up to our former greats, but he certainly fared better than his Liberal predecessors Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull in the least favourite stakes. Is he up to the task of leading the nation? The weekend’s election results indicate he has the faith of the majority, including YourLifeChoices member Maureen.

“I think Scott Morrison is going to be my favourite PM. A wonderful honest caring man who will achieve great things for Australia and future generation Australians,” she wrote.

Were the 1980s and `90s a golden era of Australian politics? What did you think of Mr Abbott’s exit speech? Are you glad to see him go? Are you happy with the weekend’s results?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?



Total Comments: 36
  1. 0

    The comment ‘children overboard’ was fake news at its worst. Surely by now, people know the Navy were taking folk OUT of the water, not the reverse!

    • 0

      What was the excuse about trading wheat to a country we were in with? I noticed that was quickly hushed up by little war monger Howard.

    • 0

      Are you missing the point Thai T? If the navy were taking the folk out of the water, how did they get there in the first place?

  2. 0

    There is no doubt that Bob Hawke was the best ALP PM, and I expect that Scott Morrison, with a little divine help, can be the best PM.
    Tony Abbott put in a mammoth effort but was not supported by the party bureaucrats, who were too reliant on unreliable opinion polls.
    Malcolm Turnbull had too many personal opinions that were more ALP-like rather than those of the traditional LNP voters who he deserted.
    By MT kicking out TA, what he sowed, he reaped. Thank goodness the party rules have now changed to stop that lunacy.
    Most people expect leaders to be replaced in opposition, if necessary, but not in an elected government.
    John Howard was the last of the PMs who had the backing of a friendly Senate and so was better able to implement promises than his successors, Labor or Liberal.

    • 0

      Morrison will never be a good PM. He is as fake as what fake news can ever be. Clive Palmer’s $60 Million anti Labor campaigns are what got Morrison in. All was done to protect mining interests. Queensland is full of retirees on franking credits, the uneducated that don’t want to get educated and retrained for new job prospects and racists. That’s why the ALP never got in. Queenslanders deserve everything they get because they are a disgrace to Australia.

    • 0

      Don’t think so Jackie, the title of fake and shifty goes to Shorten. And Morrison outstrips him on every parameter of being. Labor got all the daft greens preferences, and would have happily accepted Palmer’s if they had been offered. Shorten also suffered from the fact his front bench were just slimy, and unbelievable. (The vile Plibersek and her husband who was imprisoned for importing heroin) So speaking of people who don’t want to get educated have you had a look at yourself. As Bob Hawke said, the electorate always get it right. The morons were blocked from government and the thinking people with a set of values that cared about what is best for Australia and its people.The ALP didn’t get in because they were smug with policies designed to harm not help, and they had the attitude as exemplified by supercilious self satisfied Wong, that were born to, therefore entitled to rule.

    • 0

      Rugby….Morrison does not believe in global warming but believes in Noah’s Ark? Bringing a lump of coal and a wearing a burqa in parliament proved nothing.

      Morrison is a weak debater and has been sacked from every job he had. He is not loyal, he proved that when he stabbed Turnbull in the back.

      The ALP wanted to rid Howard’s welfare for the rich and greedy. It’s not like as if they would have starved. Welfare should be for the poor not the rich.

    • 0

      Oh Jackie please. Mr Morrison did not stab anyone in the back at all. He supported (foolishly IMO) Mr Turnbull to the end. It was only when Mr Turnbull attempted to pre-empt the Mr Dutton lead overthrow by resigning and declaring the prime Ministership vacant, that Mr Morrison became one of three who were those finally voted on.

      Mr Shorten on the other hand stabbed not one but two previous Prime Ministers in the back to realise his own dream of leading the party and eventually the country. Sadly he failed at both!

    • 0

      I agree Jackie, Morrison is a buffoon, couldn’t lie straight in bed, wins first prize for verbal diarrhoea, good luck Australia, you’ve voted in a donkey and I apologise for the insult to donkeys.

    • 0

      Tood because you say it does not make it true. Back up your statement with some evidence. Judging by the result of the election most of Australian people disagree with you or are they all donkeys too?

    • 0

      jackie, you are completely wrong as you have completely misread the results, and Digby and KSS are completely right in their responses above. I never supported the Liberals as they stuffed part-pensioners with their nasty Assets Test changes of 2017, however Retiree voters (among others) foolishly voted them back in, so one has to live with that. That doesn’t alter the fact that Shorten, Tanya and Bowen made a complete mess of their opportunity to get things right and are responsible, and must pay for, their results.

  3. 0

    After the historical review at the death of Bob Hawke, they all added up to what Bill Shorten isn’t.

  4. 0

    Zali gives some hope from her speech post election wherein she promises to push for climate action as do some other independents and Greens and Labor. Hopefully, there will be some in the LNP who will be brave enough to go with their consciences and we know there are some good people there who know we must act soon.
    Sadly, we have no Hawke/Keating in government from now. People have not understood what is at stake but they will.

    • 0

      Climate Change – our climate changes every day and has done for millions of years – nothing man can do will ever change Mother Nature! They had to change from Global Warming because our planet was cooling so then went to Climate Change – if they expect to have some credibility they need to re-name again! Also our planet has been greening thanks to CO2 – take CO2 away and everything dies including us!
      So be very careful what you wish for!

    • 0

      Bridgit, I along with a lot of other people hope you are right. But what if you are wrong, are you willing to risk the lives of your descendants? I am not!

    • 0

      A pity Ms Steggall does not have the integrity to stand up and admit she only succeeded in gaining the seat due to the fullsome backing and downright dirty tactics of Get Up. She should have been unequivocal in condemning the appalling tactics for her so called supporters including the stabbing on Friday night/Saturday morning of supporters for Mr Abbott. She wasn’t! She was tepid in her rebuttal of the appalling advertisement referencing surf lifesaving and virtually silent over the disgraceful graffiti on Mr Abbott posters. No wonder though given she was almost entirely backed by Get Up. She politicised the Christchurch shootings by adding a politcal hashtag to her supposed post of condolences then cried foul when pulled up on it.

      Whether the electorate wanted to change their representative or not, Ms Steggall was derelict in her duty and totally disingenuous in offering herself up as “moderate with heart” she professed to be in her victory speech.

    • 0

      Climate change is Fake News – look at the raw data
      As Bill Clinton (a Democrat – same as Labor) said – “Its the Economy – Stupid”

    • 0

      Bridgit…Yes climate change has been around since this planet was first formed. Humans are in plague proportions polluting and destroying the environment and other species, not providing an opportunity for the planet to regenerate. Remember nature can live without humans but people can’t live without nature.

    • 0

      Ask any farmer and they will agree that the climate is changing, the question is whether it is a natural occurrence or manmade. I think it is a bit of both especially as humans are breeding like cockroaches and so much of nature and other species are being destroyed. So humans need to cut down on their destruction become wiser on water and resources use, do things differently and that doesn’t mean closing down every coal fired energy station at the drop of the hat but in a intelligent fashion and work to renewables. Unfortunately the divide has become too wide with the for and against and the rational middle ground has been lost.

    • 0

      Global warming has an effect on climate change, there is no deception about these two terms, its basic high school physics.

      The same as basic high school chemistry says that carbon dioxide is a colourless odourless gas and doesn’t always relate to smoke.

      The question that should be getting asked is, how does corbon dioxide in the upper atmosphere prevent heat escaping from the planet? Its well supported by science but its one that I don’t understand.

      Attacks by activists on places of employment will not fix global warming. The companies that are doing it, know they are doing it and to change will cost them billions. There has to be some kind of deal made with governments. I could see Bob Hawke or Paul Keating in this role but not Bill Shorten

      They are not going to make a deal with a bunch of vegans and no hopers looking for something to complain about.

  5. 0

    The only reason Steggall got in was because of GetUp – she attended their after party on Saturday – which has confirmed she has been lying about her status! She will be a 1 term horror story and Warringah is about to repent at leisure ha ha

    • 0

      Ah no, she was brilliant in her speech and if she is half as good as she promises to be, lucky us and we will need the likes of her.

    • 0

      I have to agree Bridgit. Ms Steggall has displayed appalling judgement during this election process, and her ‘supporters’, that turquoise army, were intrusive and many abusive. We will see how she stands up when she has to do it alone.

    • 0

      Get Up values are much preferred to far right liberals anyway. You have ScoMo out the front spruiking tax fear and labor is coming after your money and the invisible team somewhere else. No one likes Michaela Cash for instance so she was absent. People were deprived of the full picture and full story. Get Up and the unions are preferable to that brigade of far right lovers of big corporations and climate deniers.

    • 0

      I don’t get it Paddington, if the getup retards are preferred to the right thinking people who blocked the high spending high taxing labor government acceding to government, then how come we have a Morrison government. Oh that’s the right right the majority of the electorate voted them (and kept Labor out). The majority of people don’t share your views. accept it and move on. As much as I despite the thought, there will be Labor governments in the future. Few governments last more than 9 years (as will be case for Liberals at the next election) and Labor may get in if they have a decent believable leader who doesn’t come across as a smarmy conman. or at other times a plodding dullard. If people were deprived of the full picture and story, that just shows how incompetent and lacking in intelligence the Labor front bench are, after all they had 6 years to get people to understand their policies.

    • 0

      I thought from Steggall’s speech this a.m. that she is supporting Liberal on most things and trying to convince them of the worthiness of her views about climate change.

  6. 0

    Calling Queenslanders uneducated because we can see more than you can – will not win you brownie points!
    If you have the jobs that people can be retrained for then please don’t keep it to yourself!

    • 0

      I know some Bridgit. They are my relatives and yes they are not too bright lol!
      One can barely read and write. A good person but not able to understand the implications!
      And poor as church mice, with no home and just surviving financially. By some standards on here, not even doing that.
      A couple have not voted LNP thankfully. One is a Labor member another a Green!
      I am ashamed of Qld being from there many years ago. Their values have been skewed.
      The huge senate sheet would have confused some with Liberal lucky enough to get first position on the sheet.

    • 0

      Bridgit… It makes me sick when miners and loggers cry about not enough work and that Australia should not move forward because they are entitled to to such work because their families have done it for generations.

      The average Australian will have to acquire new job skills several times though out their life and these LAZY FOOLS blame their ignorance on environmentalists and immigration in the form of race discrimination.

      They are too lazy to get retrained for work that can move Australia forward. Mining won’t. Miners get paid less than ever. The profits never stay in Australia. The industry polluted and destroys the environment.

      Polluting our souls and water can only cause cancers and other diseases. Yes they are stupid because they are incapable of thinking outside the square and will dig an early grave for themselves and their children.

    • 0

      The most important thing is that the old whore Abbott is gone!

  7. 0

    Gough Whitlam as a student (no Vietnam and no uni fees)
    Bob Hawke when the economy was in a mess
    John Howard for his superannuation reforms
    Kevin Rudd & Julia Gillard (total screw-ups)
    Paul Keating (we found out he knew nothing about economics)
    Malcolm Turnbull(a labor voter leading the liberal party! who would have thought it)
    Most disappointing:
    Malcolm Fraser (ultimately revealed as a left winger)
    Tony Abbott (great overall, but a few appalling captains picks)

  8. 0

    If the stupid Liberals are going to give the country tax breaks where does the money come from for improved services. The last few years have shown the Liberals to be highly dysfunctional as a government and now they have another three years to do more damage. Peter Dutton is waiting in the wings to become El Presidente and Michaela Cash is one of the most dispicable politicians I have ever seen. And good old Josh, never seen him answer a direct question yet. And Scoblow, anyone noticed his personality tweak in the last couple of years. My what a short memory some of you have so good luck to Australia for the next three years. I guarantee pensioners, the homeless and Newstart won’t see any assistance from our benevalant leaders.

    • 0

      You will have to eat your worlds as LNP policies will grow the economic pie allowing ScoMo to improve spending on welfare and social services

    • 0

      I think we will see a great improvement where the economy is concerned..unless other issues on the world stage set us back..i.e. US and Iran problems.

  9. 0

    Worst Prime Morons ever? Abbott and Howard.



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