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John Gorton
, 1970

by Victor Greenhalgh


The Rt. Hon. Sir John Gorton GCMG AC CH (1911-2002), elected Liberal Prime Minister in 1968, resigned from the office in 1971 after a party motion of confidence resulted in a tied vote. Gorton won the leadership of the Liberal Party after the death of Harold Holt. He had been elected in the Menzies landslide of 1949, but adopted different policies and a style unlike that of the Menzies era. It was hoped that he would be able to stand up to the aggressive new Labor leader, Gough Whitlam, but his most damaging opponents were to be from within his own party. He ended his career as an Independent, resigning from the Liberal Party after Malcolm Fraser won the leadership in 1975.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Gift of Paul and Wendy Greenhalgh 1999
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
Accession number: 1999.13