John Winston Howard called at Government House in Canberra on 30 November 2007 to hand in the resignation of his government. This was dated 3 December, the day Governor-General Michael Jeffery commissioned the new Labor government ministers.
Howard formally conceded the loss of his seat on 12 December 2007, 2 weeks after the election, when final counting gave him 42,251 votes and the new Member for Bennelong, Maxine McKew, 44,685 votes.
In his first year out of office, Howard travelled extensively overseas. In Washington DC in March 2008, he received the Irving Kristol Award for conservative leadership from the American Enterprise Institute. In the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June, he was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia.
Howard published his memoirs, Lazarus Rising: A Personal and Political Autobiography, in 2010 and another book, The Menzies Era, in 2014. He was Chairman of the International Democrat Union from 2002 to 2014. He continues to contribute to public life with occasional speeches and comment.
- Costello, Peter and Peter Coleman, The Costello memoirs, Melbourne University Press, 2008.
- Hartcher, Peter, To the bitter end: the dramatic story of the fall of John Howard and the rise of Kevin Rudd, Allen & Unwin, 2009.
- Howard, John, Lazarus rising: a personal and political autobiography, Harper Collins, 2010.
- Maddox, Marion, God under Howard: the rise of the religious right in Australian politics, Allen & Unwin, 2005.
- Manne, Robert (ed.), The Howard years, Black Ink, 2004.
- Salusinsky, Imre, 'Relaxed and comfortable', Weekend Australian Magazine, 23 October 2010, pp.12–16.
- Van Onselen, Peter and Philip Senior, Howard's end: the unravelling of a government, Melbourne University Press, 2008.