Australian state Labor Party owes win to prime minister

By , Special to The Christian Science Monitor

Australia's popular prime minister, Bob Hawke, came through for his Labor Party in New South Wales. In elections over the weekend, the Labor government in Australia's largest state lost 11 seats but retained its majority in the legislative assembly, despite allegations of corruption in state administration.

Prime Minister Hawke - who enjoys the highest rating ever recorded for a federal leader in Australia - took a prominent part in the campaign. His presence is credited with helping the state Labor Party retain office.

Hawke wants to deal with a Labor government in New South Wales during the next federal election, expected to be in late '84 or early '85. He also owed a debt to Labor there, which backed him for national leadership.

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There seems to be little hard evidence to support charges of state corruption. But the premier called the election six months early partly because some of those charged are expected to be convicted in coming months.

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