Australia: Rebuke to a High Flyer

When full-scale national election campaigning began three months ago, the ruling Liberal coalition was expected to have little difficulty protecting its majority of 38 in the 125-seat Parliament. Last week, with the final votes still being counted, it was apparent that the Liberals held power—but only just. In the closest tally in years, the opposition Labor Party seemed likely to trim Prime Minister John Gorton's comfortable margin to at best a half-dozen seats.

Almost as soon as the campaigning began, it became apparent that the most important issue of the election was the P.M. himself. Gorton, 58, took over the...

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