Laurie Oakes

Laurie Oakes

Laurie Oakes, one of Australia’s foremost political commentators, has had a distinguished career in journalism that spans more than 30 years.

Oakes is renowned for his probing interviews and Canberra-shaking scoops, including the travel rorts saga, the Evans and Kernot affair and breaking stories on the Kevin Rudd-Julia Gillard leadership fight that changed the course of the 2010 election campaign.

By the age of 25, he was The Melbourne Sun-Pictorial’s Canberra bureau chief. While reporting for this paper, Oakes also provided political commentaries for the Seven Network’s Willesee At Seven program.

In 1978 he started his own political journal, The Laurie Oakes Report. The following year he joined Channel 10, where he stayed for five years before moving to the Nine Network.

For several years Oakes wrote about politics in The Age in Melbourne and The Sunday Telegraph in Sydney as well as the Bulletin magazine.

Oakes is Channel Nine’s Political Editor at the Canberra Press Gallery and News Limited columnist.

In 2010 he won the Gold Walkley Award for stories he broke during the 2010 election.

Articles by Laurie Oakes

Abbott’s jokes are no laughing matter

Abbott’s jokes are no laughing matter

09 Mar 13 He’s a card, that Tony Abbott. If he’s not widely known for his sense of humour, he should be. He…... Read more

Time for Labor to plan what to do when they lose

Time for Labor to plan what to do when they lose

23 Feb 13 The federal election might still be seven months away, but things are so grim for the Labor Party that minds…... Read more

The election campaign is still about these two men

The election campaign is still about these two men

02 Feb 13 As Tony Abbott pressed the flesh at a community morning tea in suburban Melbourne on Wednesday, there was a moment…... Read more

There will be an apocalypse under the government I lead

There will be an apocalypse under the government I lead

08 Dec 12 There’s precious little fun in politics these days. When our elected representatives are not slagging off at each other, they’re…... Read more

This parliament put the Christmas grinch out of work

This parliament put the Christmas grinch out of work

01 Dec 12 When parliament adjourned on Thursday night and MPs left Canberra for the long Christmas break, any sane person would have…... Read more

Oh my god, Gillard and Abbott agree on something

Oh my god, Gillard and Abbott agree on something

24 Nov 12 We are about to embark on the final parliamentary sitting week of the year, and it promises to be ugly.…... Read more

Whirling dervish Tony needs to keep fighting smarter

Whirling dervish Tony needs to keep fighting smarter

17 Nov 12 In a radio interview during the week, Tony Abbott gave a vivid description of his style in the ring when…... Read more

Pinocchio: The future of Australian politics

Pinocchio: The future of Australian politics

10 Nov 12 Back in March, when the US presidential election campaign was in its early stages, the Washington Post newspaper awarded Barack…... Read more

Standing on the edge of a fiscal cliff - in a stiff breeze

Standing on the edge of a fiscal cliff - in a stiff breeze

03 Nov 12 Wayne Swan will be Johnny-on-the-spot on Tuesday, holding talks in Washington on the day Americans vote to decide who will…... Read more

Joe Hockey sticks up for economic opportunism

Joe Hockey sticks up for economic opportunism

27 Oct 12 The policy bigwigs who heard Joe Hockey’s provocative speech to the Institute of Economic Affairs in London back in April…... Read more

The US leading us down an exciting but expensive path

The US leading us down an exciting but expensive path

20 Oct 12 The way the American media reported it, the second debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney during the week was…... Read more

An enraged sisterhood will protect Julia Gillard

An enraged sisterhood will protect Julia Gillard

13 Oct 12 On Wednesday night, the Prime Minister’s communications director, John McTernan, was with a group of Labor staffers in a Canberra…... Read more

Margie: A rare American-style spousal intervention

Margie: A rare American-style spousal intervention

06 Oct 12 Margie Abbott is not the first political leader’s wife to rush to the defence of a husband under pressure. The…... Read more

A debate about Labor that’s actually worth having

A debate about Labor that’s actually worth having

29 Sep 12 Bob Carr is a keen diarist. He kept a lively and detailed diary during his time in NSW politics, including…... Read more

Labor’s got a crazy plan that just might work

Labor’s got a crazy plan that just might work

22 Sep 12 Last Monday’s Newspoll created excitement on both sides of politics. It had Labor and the Coalition running neck and neck,…... Read more

Abbott invited this scrutiny of his student politics days

Abbott invited this scrutiny of his student politics days

15 Sep 12 Tony Abbott is hardly in a position to complain that his behaviour at university 35 years ago is being scrutinised…... Read more

Barnaby. Our next deputy prime minister?

Barnaby. Our next deputy prime minister?

08 Sep 12 The possibility that Barnaby Joyce could become deputy prime minister in a coalition government suddenly has Liberals - quite a…... Read more

If we flee Afghanistan now, we leave it to the terrorists

If we flee Afghanistan now, we leave it to the terrorists

01 Sep 12 When Australia joined the United States and other allies in sending forces to Afghanistan in 2001, the aim was crystal…... Read more

Have you heard the one about the politician who lies?

Have you heard the one about the politician who lies?

25 Aug 12 Let’s not beat about the bush. Tony Abbott tells lies. So what? Is there anything surprising about that? After all,…... Read more

Anyone but a politician for our next GG

Anyone but a politician for our next GG

18 Aug 12 Godwin Grech, the former senior bureaucrat at the centre of the so-called Utegate scandal three years ago, struck a chord…... Read more

How our pollies can get us to “medal” again

How our pollies can get us to “medal” again

11 Aug 12 Julia Gillard must be very glad she resisted the urging of Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates to attend the…... Read more

An unusual team; but Swan, Springsteen win gold

An unusual team; but Swan, Springsteen win gold

04 Aug 12 With the Olympics dominating the media, most Ministers and MPs opted to take things quietly this last week. They assumed…... Read more

Giving new meaning to the term Rats in the Ranks

Giving new meaning to the term Rats in the Ranks

30 Jun 12 When Tony Abbott visited the RSPCA in Canberra on Tuesday, one of the staff introduced him to a pet rat.…... Read more

Enough with the politics. Too many people have died

Enough with the politics. Too many people have died

23 Jun 12 The sinking of another asylum-seeker boat on its way to Australia, and the loss of life involved, should focus the…... Read more

Smith will need balls to tackle the top brass

Smith will need balls to tackle the top brass

16 Jun 12 There is great resistance at senior levels of the military to the idea of a Royal Commission into decades of…... Read more

We should be applauding, not donning a hair shirt

We should be applauding, not donning a hair shirt

09 Jun 12 Reserve Bank Governor Glenn Stevens put it eloquently yesterday when he complained that economic discussion in this country has “reached…... Read more

We’ll all be rooned, except the Coalition at the election

We’ll all be rooned, except the Coalition at the election

02 Jun 12 Back in 2001, on the Nine Network’s now defunct Sunday program, Tony Abbott invented a new word. Roonism. The then…... Read more

Mining money talks the loudest in Australian politics

Mining money talks the loudest in Australian politics

26 May 12 When North Queensland Liberal MP George Christensen got the idea of launching a new political organisation to counter what he…... Read more

Spoof sagas consume an “honourable” profession

Spoof sagas consume an “honourable” profession

19 May 12 Breakfast television viewers must have fallen out of their chairs in shock at Joe Hockey’s words last Sunday. “It is…... Read more

Saints and sinners, whores and lost souls

Saints and sinners, whores and lost souls

12 May 12 When Wayne Swan is at his desk he likes to work to music. He told journalists during the week that…... Read more

Everyone is wrong: Gillard will lead Labor to the election

Everyone is wrong: Gillard will lead Labor to the election

05 May 12 Here’s a novel thought. Julia Gillard might be right when she says she’ll lead Labor to the next election. It’s…... Read more

Gillard’s hypocrisy on the presumption of innocence

Gillard’s hypocrisy on the presumption of innocence

28 Apr 12 Journalists who report on politics for a living see plenty of hypocrisy. We’re seeing plenty now from Julia Gillard. She…... Read more

Gillard rallies her troops for the final round

Gillard rallies her troops for the final round

21 Apr 12 Every time Julia Gillard’s desperate Government looks at some policy or event as a potential circuit-breaker, things seem to get…... Read more

Love him or loathe him, a rare man of conviction

Love him or loathe him, a rare man of conviction

14 Apr 12 With Bob Brown’s resignation as leader of the Greens, Australia has lost its most important left-wing politician. There was a…... Read more

Wanted: Local champions for Queensland Labor

Wanted: Local champions for Queensland Labor

31 Mar 12 The photographs and the TV images should have brought home to those running the Labor Party the seriousness of the…... Read more

The Labor brand is damaged - and so is the product

The Labor brand is damaged - and so is the product

24 Mar 12 “When the tide goes out in Queensland,” a senior Labor figure said yesterday, “it goes out more quickly and more…... Read more

Abbott listens to Costello only when it suits him

Abbott listens to Costello only when it suits him

17 Mar 12 Nick Minchin is spot on. Making Peter Costello chairman of the Future Fund would have been a very bad decision.…... Read more

There’s no need for Stephen Smith to apologise

There’s no need for Stephen Smith to apologise

10 Mar 12 The gallant defenders of Fort Fumble, AKA Defence HQ in Canberra,  have heard the bugle call and trained their guns…... Read more

Brand new Carr adds razzle dazzle to Gillard front bench

Brand new Carr adds razzle dazzle to Gillard front bench

03 Mar 12 That’s one for the books. Julia Gillard unbotches something. Turns failure into success instead of the other way around. Bob…... Read more

The World According to Rudd: an insider’s guide

The World According to Rudd: an insider’s guide

25 Feb 12 Early last year, a former Rudd Government insider sat down to write about the experience. The resulting document - he…... Read more

This parliament’s found the art of trouble in spades

This parliament’s found the art of trouble in spades

18 Feb 12 Wayne Swan has a lot of fun in parliament comparing the opposition’s economic team to The Three Stooges. He casts…... Read more

Hockey is pucking around with dollars and sense

Hockey is pucking around with dollars and sense

11 Feb 12 Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey has been whacked around the head this week for denying he ever admitted a Coalition government…... Read more

Gillard’s mapping a route but will probably still be routed

Gillard’s mapping a route but will probably still be routed

04 Feb 12 Julia Gillard and her advisers believe they can see a narrow path to victory for Labor at the next federal…... Read more

We need smarter security, not beefed up security

We need smarter security, not beefed up security

28 Jan 12 Let’s not make any excuses for the morons associated with the Aboriginal tent embassy who sparked Thursday’s ugly events in…... Read more

Political pygmies could learn from giants of the past

Political pygmies could learn from giants of the past

10 Dec 11 Most Australians couldn’t give two hoots who runs the Australia Network. It is of no importance to them whether the…... Read more

Is the party over for Labor?

Is the party over for Labor?

03 Dec 11 When Gough Whitlam set out to reform the Labor Party and its structure in the 1960s, he was prepared to…... Read more

Exterminate! Exterminate! Slipper has target on his back

Exterminate! Exterminate! Slipper has target on his back

26 Nov 11 The ghost of Mal Colston is wandering the corridors of Federal Parliament, and some Labor people with long memories fear…... Read more

When Barack ‘Rockstar’ Obama came to town

When Barack ‘Rockstar’ Obama came to town

19 Nov 11 When Barack Obama met the Australian Cabinet on Thursday morning, Julia Gillard introduced Peter Garrett as “a former rock star”.…... Read more

Obama will help Gillard look positively prime ministerial

Obama will help Gillard look positively prime ministerial

12 Nov 11 Mixing with the great and powerful on the international stage does not always give Australian prime ministers a boost in…... Read more

Who’s feral now, Tony?

Who’s feral now, Tony?

05 Nov 11 It was an extraordinary complaint from Tony Abbott. “It’s very difficult to have a sensible debate,” he said, “when you…... Read more

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