Between 1917 and the early 1930s the Right achieved political hegemony in Australia. Based largely upon neglected contemporary sources, this article maintains that the politics of loyalism to nation and empire contributed significantly to the Right’s electoral domination. The first section of the article traces the successful attempt of the Nationalists and their allies to tar the Australian Labor Party (ALP) with the brushes of disloyalty and extremism mainly during federal elections. The second section examines the nature of the ALP’s response around the tenets of ‘true Australianism’. The third section describes and explains the mixed picture in terms of state elections. The conclusion evaluates the overall national situation.