This comprehensive study of the historic win by the Howard Coalition Government is the fourth collaborative venture between Marian Simms and John Warhurst. In their introduction and overview Simms and Warhurst provide a comprehensive account of politics between the 2001 and 2004 elections, including the delicate balancing act in the Senate, the impact of external factors, like the US Alliance, and internal factors like the troubled state of the Labor Party; and conclude with an analysis of the surprising aftermath of the election.

This book is divided into five parts. The first part provides analyses of the campaign, and is framed by John Warhurst’s detailed ‘week to week’ overview of the long six weeks. The second part provides ‘insider’ perspectives on the campaign. An important feature of this book, it provides insights from those key players who were at the centre of devising the campaigns and includes chapters by representatives from the Coalition, Labor, the Australian Democrats and the Greens. The third part reminds us that, as a federation, trends in Australia are rarely national but vary between, and at times within, the States and Territories. The fourth part of this volume, on social constituencies, discusses the role of gender, ethnicity and immigration, religion, and rural and regional interests. The final section covers the election results and their interpretation.

Contributions by David Adams, Andrew Bartlett, Clive Bean, Rodney Cavalier, Peter Chen, Brian Costar, Jennifer Curtin, Nick Economou, Tim Gartrell, Murray Goot, Marcus Haward, Simon Jackman, Dean Jaensch, Carol Johnson, James Jupp, Brian Loughnane, Malcolm Mackerras, Haydon Manning, Ian McAllister, Tony McCall, Narelle Miragliotta, Robert Phiddian, Marian Sawer, Campbell Sharman, Marian Simms, Elaine Thompson, Ian Ward, John Warhurst, Katrina Willis, Dennis Woodward, Sally Young.