The link between Victoria's 1964 and 2014 elections

The Beatles visited Melbourne's Town Hall in 1964, but Premier Henry Bolte decided to keep his distance from the Fab Four and the screaming crowds.

The Beatles visited Melbourne's Town Hall in 1964, but Premier Henry Bolte decided to keep his distance from the Fab Four and the screaming crowds.

Premier Henry Bolte on the campaign trail in 1964 at Rowntree's Confectionary factory.

Premier Henry Bolte on the campaign trail in 1964 at Rowntree's Confectionary factory.

Increased traffic on Melbourne's roads became an election issue for the first time at the 1964 election. St Kilda Road in 1964 ahead of Moomba weekend.

Increased traffic on Melbourne's roads became an election issue for the first time at the 1964 election. St Kilda Road in 1964 ahead of Moomba weekend.

TELEVISION was in its infancy and the less-than-telegenic Henry Bolte was premier when Victorians went to the polls in June 1964.

Cold War tensions were at an all-time high, Australians still bought their groceries with pounds, shillings and pence, businessmen wore trilby hats, stores shut on Sundays, women were not allowed in public bars and hotels still closed before dusk at six o'clock sharp.

Yet, in spite of those significant differences, there are many similarities between the 1964 and 2014 state elections. 

Reporters criticised the campaign as being "uneventful." Geelong, Ballarat and Melbourne's south-eastern suburbs were set to decide which party formed government. The Country Party (now the Nationals) complained Labor and Liberal were too city-centric.

Mr Bolte was a country-based MP who became leader in unexpected circumstances and was known for his keen interest in thoroughbred racing.

Opposition Leader Clive Stoneham was accused on being too close to the state's trade unions and had to battle perceptions of being drab and humourless.

Even their pre-election spiels were remarkably similar to their distant successors Denis Napthine and Daniel Andrews.

Mr Bolte told voters the real issue at the 1964 election was "the continuation of stable government for Victoria. "Nothing has happened to warrant a change of government," he said.

"But there is a danger that the state's future will be jeopardised if it falls into the hands of...socialists who want to seize power to further their own sectional needs."

Mr Stoneham reflected what Mr Andrews would say 50 years later, particularly focusing on education. 

"Labor proposes action on education, housing, health and other problems," the opposition leader said. "The Liberals propose nothing. They place reliance on frightening the electors."

While the leaders may change, the speeches have altered little five decades on.

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