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Victoria: Labor squeezed? « Previous | |Next »
November 3, 2010

The state election in Victoria is underway, with Victorians voting on November 27. It looks as if the Brumby Government will be returned with a reduced majority. The Brumby government has a thumping majority - 55 of the lower house's 88 seats, compared to the Coalition's 32 - and the opposition would need to attract a landslide swing of about 6.5 per cent to snatch victory in its own right.

The real interest is how many inner city seats in Melbourne will the ALP lose to the Greens? Some say up to 4 (Melbourne, Richmond, Brunswick and Northcote). The Greens are the new third force and public transport is a hot issue in Melbourne's inner city seats. Labor now fights permanently on two fronts, the Greens on the Left and the Coalition on the Right.


It does look as if the ALP is increasingly being pushed to the centre as the progressive vote with its concern for equity, social justice and compassion)shifts to the Greens, and right wing Labor is increasingly willing to bash the Greens (the “attack the Greens at all costs” approach) and run smear campaigns --as they did in Tasmania.

Labor is not prepared to rule out preferencing the Greens. Nor will Brumby rule out striking a Gillard-style alliance with the Greens after the election in the event of a hung state parliament.

Brumby's spin is to use Victoria as "the engine room of the nation" to stamp himself as the face of the future. The ALP is the party of innovation whilst the Liberals are the party of conservatism. The spin is undercut by WA being the engine room of the nation and the Greens being the progressive party.

Climate change is going to hurt Brumby Labor given Victoria's historic dependence on brown coal and the symbolic significance of Hazelwood. Failure to act on climate change sunk federal Labor as a progressive party and its going to hurt Brumby Labor in Victoria.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 7:25 AM | | Comments (5)


Paul Kelly in The Australian says that:

Labor's institutionalised crisis is on frequent display; witness senator Doug Cameron's recent warning that Labor must move to the left to halt Green momentum. According to this logic, the more Labor fears the Greens, the more it will move Left to save its inner-city votes and seats, even though this gifts the centre ground majority to Tony Abbott. On the other hand, the more Gillard moves to the centre-right to fight Abbott, the more votes she loses to the Greens on the Left.This is Labor's new strategic dilemma.

From the perspective of the Liberals the more Labor is pulled to the Left to save its inner-city base, thereby gifting the Coalition a popular majority in the nation at large. Kelly says:
the more Green values and priorities occupy the media spectrum and define the centre-left of politics, the more the Coalition, dominant on the centre-right, will strengthen its hand with mainstream Australians. It is a variation on an old story: Labor wins when it holds the centre-right and loses when it moves to the Left.

Kelly assumes mainstream Australians are centre right. Are they?

"Kelly assumes mainstream Australians are centre right. Are they?"

Who knows? But that's an interesting question...

I wonder is anyone else is seeing what I,ve noticed down in my tiny patch of the swamp. What I've noticed (for quite some time) is that the people around me are quite liberal on most issues. Now howling lefties, but left-ish.

But... it seems to me that as the number of people in a group gets bigger, their mentality and outlook veers more and more to the right.

I'm not sure why it happens and I don't know if this applies to society a whole. Maybe it's just my small circle of acquaintances.

Or maybe it's a mob thing...

in return for preferences to The Greens the Liberals get a weakened ALP and the possibility of a hung parliament. If this happens, then they can deal themselves into negotiations on bills where an ALP minority government is seeking support.

I'm not sure we can call a 6% shift a landslide anymore. As its happening more often we may have to revise it to an 8% swing or above. 10% could be an Avalanche. 1-2% a Groundswell.3-6% a movement. 6-8% a Major movement.

On election day we will see a movement maybe even a Major movement. But no landslide.

The three negatives for Brumby are law and order, transport and water.These undercut the Brumby government's claim that it has the ability to tackle the imposing future challenges such as climate change and an ageing and rapidly growing population.