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Labor's gone in Victoria « Previous | |Next »
November 29, 2010

I was in the Qantas Club late this afternoon on my way back to Adelaide when I saw John Brumpy around 5pm concede the inevitable---the Lib-Nat Coalition had won the state election in Victoria. Brumpy Labor had been in denial since Saturday night, with their talk of a hung parliament and implementing their agenda.

That was never going to happen. There was no-one to negotiate with --the ever optimistic Greens had failed to gain any seats in the Legislative Assembly--and Labor would have had to provide a speaker. Both sides would refuse to field a Speaker, and Victorians would be forced back to the polls within three months. It was more likely to be a Lib-Nat Coalition victory of 45-43, which is what happened, due to late voter surge to the Coalition.

LeakB Brumpy.jpg

Labor defended the seats it has held since 1999 in Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo only to lose the wide arc of seats extending south of the Yarra along the southern bayside sandbelt (Frankston and Carrum) and those east to the eastern foothills (Prahran, Malvern, Burwood, Oakleigh and Mount Waverley). This part of suburban Melbourne shifted to the Liberals.

Labor was walloped by those in white suburbia not the working class battlers. Labor did not see it coming. They must be shell shocked. They expected to be returned with a reduced majority. They did not expect their liberal middle class base to desert them.

The Nationals, in effect, hold the balance of power in the lower House. Would they vote with Labor to bring down the Liberal government? Hardly. It is unclear whether the under performing Greens retain the balance of power in the Legislative Council or that the Lib-Nat Coalition will hold it by one.

Already we have Labor's right wing narrative from Bill Shorten, Mark Arbib etc: the party forgot its suburban heartland to battle the Greens in the inner city seats. It concentrated on the politics of the inner city urban seats instead of the politics of the endless miles of suburban mortgage belt. Labor's true values are to found in the suburbs that rejected Labor.

This kind of self-serving "analysis" ignores that Brumby Labor had became a creature of corporate power over everyday life --almost a corporate booster party powered by the money flowing from the construction and transport industry--that consolidated the power of the Right in Victorian Labor.

It also ignores that The Greens are Labor's de facto Coalition partner - many Labor MP's are returned on Green preferences and Labor has to work with The Greens in the upper house. It is a potential Coalition because Labor has yet to work out how to effectively work with its left of centre ally.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 8:06 PM | | Comments (8)


By the time we get around to the next federal election most of the states will have dumped Labor and they could be seen as an alternative by the voters. LOL

It looks like it Les. NSW is bound to dump Labor. No surprises there. It will be a wipeout. A landslide of epic proportions.

re: "Labor was walloped by those in white suburbia not the working class battlers."

there was deep discontent and anger in the east and south east suburban Melbourne --a lot of angst amongst the white, working class voters towards a centre-left party that was tapped by the Coalition.

Do they feel left behind by too much change in Melbourne? There has been extraordinary population growth in Melbourne and services shave not kept up.

The Lib-Nat populist message of law and order certainly resonated in the outer suburbs. They proposed stiff minimum sentences so that judges and prosecutors wings were clipped, plus a big rise in police numbers, particularly on public transport.

The bungled automated ticketing system for public transport also resonated withe the Lib-Nat Coalitions' government waste and mismanagement message.

Melbourne is a city divided. The new electoral maps paint a picture of a Melbourne where Labor still dominates the west and much of the north and northwest. But the Liberal Party has now regained control of the east and much of the southeast.

We are going to hear lots of stories from those on the right of centre that the Green threat is puffed up. They've reached their electoral limit; there are no votes in the radical Green agenda; the Green's issues are not those that matter to the Australian electorate; the Greens are a party of the extreme; etc etc

Reading some where Baillieu's first move is an announcement on suspended sentences for serious crimes. He says this will not happen from now on, which is interesting given above comments concerning the influence of a Laura Norder faction in the new government.
they made themselves contemptible by beating up on the Greens rather than challenging the libs.

Yes and Arbib and Shorten represent Labor's true values do they. These guys just havent worked out that they are arseholes have they.