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Labor Party


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(Australia) The oldest surviving political party in Australia. Founded in the 1880s and 1890s, the title of the Labor groups varied from state to state until 1918, when all adopted the name Australian Labor Party. It was replaced in 1916 by a Nationalist‐Country Alliance, until the general election of 1929 returned it to power under J. H. Scullin (1929–31). Labor split again over policy differences during the Great Depression. Some Labor followers combined with the Nationalist Party to form the United Australia Party under J. A. Lyons. Together with the Country Party it dominated federal and state politics until 1937, usually in coalition governments. The Labor Party was again in power (1941–49). A breakaway Labor group emerged in 1955 over the attitude of the Party to communism, a group of federal Labor members forming the new Anti‐Communist Labor Party, which later became the Democratic Labor Party.


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