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33 responses to “Does Labor need a primary vote in the low 40s to win?”

  1. Lefty E

    I’d say more 8-9% is more likely than 7%, but its quite true the shift from Brown to Milne will reduce their voteshare from 2010 (which lets not forget was peak GRN), and hence increase the ALPs need for a good PV.

    I agree 40% is about where they’ll need to be in 2013.

  2. Mark Bahnisch

    Yes, I think Dennis is largely right. You also have to allow for about 15% leakage to the Coalition from Greens preferences, Lefty E.

    I don’t know that the shift from Brown to Milne is the only factor at work, though. It is one.

  3. Paul Norton

    The Newspoll and Morgan Poll series for this year have the Greens averaging 10 per cent with ranges of 9-11 percent and 8.5-12 per cent respectively. The most recent Nielsen Poll had the Greens on 11 per cent. The Greens results in the current round of State, Territory and local elections have been down on the previous round (that included 2010 federally when the Greens polled 11.8%) but up on the round before that (that included 2007 Federally when the Greens polled 7.9%).

    In short, such evidence as we have is pointing to a Greens vote of about 10 per cent in September, although how much of the approximately 2 per cent decline compared to 2010 is going back to Labor is not clear.

    Since Nate Silver’s success last November it is wisest not to speculate on outcomes much outside the range of what the published polls suggest.

    The complicating factor (certainly in Queensland) will be the KAP vote and where its preferences go.

  4. Lefty E

    Yeah, Im not sure what the other factors are – some on the left want to argue it was ‘dealing with the devil’ and therefore ‘owning’ the ALPs CO2 package, and its ‘market’ implications, but I dont buy that one at all: the CO2 price itself was the GRNs idea, and is a good old fashioned piece of redistribtuive social democracy. Put a levy on bad behnaviour and distribute the proceeds.

    Its working, too.

    The ALP brought an ETS into it. Credit to GIllard for combo’ing them up, but its a product of minority govt. Without Bandt we’d have had an ETS straight up. GRN voters understand this.

    As to other factors, may well be. Third parties dont do well in baseball bat elections – though Im not yet sure 2013 will be one. Im not sure SHY has been that effective, and some impact may be felt in SA.

    Other factors?

  5. Paul Norton

    Also, in 2010 Greens preferences generally split roughly 80-20 between Labor and the Coalition, with considerable seat-to-seat variation.

  6. Paul Norton

    Lefty E @4:

    Other factors?

    I think there’s enough evidence now to say that participation in government (as in Tasmania), or in some arrangement to enable government to be formed (as at Federal level until recently), costs the Greens votes from two quarters – people who disagree with decisions made or supported by the Greens in such circumstances, and people who feel that by playing such a role the Greens are compromising their (actual or perceived) principles. The NSW local government elections, ACT elections, current polling for the Greens in Tasmania and actual election results in Tasmania in the early 1990s all tend to support this contention.

  7. Lefty E

    You’re probably right Paul.

    Mind you, If there’s any such thing as a vote drop I can live with – its one resulting from participation in govt!

  8. patrickg

    Lefty I think the biggest factor lies in the “protest” vote factor – a factor that helped the Dems for many years as well. Last election’s was spectacularly high because many people didn’t want to vote for either major party. Gillard’s unpopularity has deepened since then, as Abbott is super-unpopular, also. People have to strong public figures to vote “against” – as Australians love to do – without that ambiguity and uncertainty, and I think the vote will go down.

    I personally don’t think Brown/Milne has much to do with that 3% cream on top they got last time. But then I would think that, as I have a lot of time for Milne.

  9. Lefty E

    Milne is actually winning me round, Patrick. She has substance, and does a good soundbite to back it up, and isnt afraid to buck inane ‘common sense’ when she needs to (eg when people assert ‘its illegal to get in the way of llegal whaling’!).

    Something about her public voice has improved too in recent years.

  10. Cindel Towani

    [Moderator note: morphing your nym and other details to evade previous bans is a breach of the comments policy. Bye!]

  11. Lefty E

    Were you a GRN voter though Cindel? Its not particularly relevant unless you were, or youre vote was potentially up for grabs.

  12. jane

    @10, I’m with you on Milne. Not a patch on Bob Brown.

    WRT 4 September, I’m inclined to agree with Dennis Atkins.

    Unsure about which way the Greens preferences will jump, but no matter what, to direct any preferences to the Liars Party would seem to go against all Greens principles. We’ll see on 4/9/13.

  13. Charlie

    Not exactly on topic, but in search of the 40+% PV will Kevin be back next week?

  14. Terry

    Much may hinge on what happens to Stephen Conroy’s media reform bill. If that fails to get the Lower House numbers due to Craig Thomson’s vote, ironies would be heaped upon ironies.

  15. Terry Flew
  16. Mark Bahnisch

    Might be better to post that on Saturday Salon, Terry. Not really on topic for this thread.

  17. Terry Flew

    I thought the Saturday Salon mods had said that “spill” posts go over here.

  18. tigtog

    I think Mark’s forgetting the new regime, Terry – “spill” posts belong on Overflow, not on the Salon.

  19. Guy

    In my entirely unscientific estimation, I’d be very surprised if the Greens only brought in 7-8% – I think they will still be close to the 10% mark come September. Having said that, it does seem the Green vote is not going to hit the same heights as the last election. Like Mark says, the absence of Bob Brown is one key factor, but there are also other issues.

    It’s hard to see Labor winning without a primary vote at least matching and probably shading by 1-2% what they got in 2010. To be frank it is hard to see them getting that on their current trajectory.

  20. Mark

    Sorry, Terry and tigtog. Force of habit!

  21. alexinbogota

    @8 I think there’s a third group – those who don’t want to vote for a major party. When the Greens were a ‘protest’ party they were an option, now they have re-branded, and through experience more clearly become, a party ‘interested in governing’, there are people who won’t vote for them and will go Sex or whatever else is on the ballot.

    As to the question posed by Kim/Dennis I think it’s more of: what does the ALP primary need to be in each state that matters. A primary in the mid 30s in WA is fine (as they’ve got hardly any seats to lose!) but in NSW is a disaster.

  22. Paul Norton

    alexinbogota @21, I think your first paragraph is quite correct.

  23. Salient Green

    The Greens assylum seeker policy shines a light on the moral shortcomings of too many Australians. The execrable position taken by the majors and the torrid and nasty public debate earlier in this government’s term didn’t do us much good.
    The heavy focus on gay marriage seems to have taken the focus off environmental issues to many.
    Christine Milne needs to call attention to what the Greens have achieved environmentally. We will still lose a percent or too but no way would it drop down to the 7%.

  24. Mr Denmore

    I’d like to see Peter Whish Wilson playing a more public role for The Greens. They need to combat the ‘fairies at the bottom of the garden’ stereotyping and point out the marriage of convenience between the ALP rustbucket union base and the denialist social conservatives of the coalition. Of course, they’ll never get a fair deal from the media, particularly the reactionary forces at News Ltd, which is why they need to talk over their heads. But I would’t write them off yet.

  25. Doug

    I’m guessing a national vote for the Greens of around 9%. While the media treatment will undoubtedly knock off the protest vote component I suspect it might firm up the support of ex-ALP voters who cannot stomach what their party has done on asylum seekers.

  26. Chris

    A good point about what component of the Green vote in the past has simply been a protest vote. I wonder whether they’ll be able to handle the transition from a protest party to one that has to take responsibility for the inevitable downsides to making decisions.

    I wish that they Greens and ALP would come to a coalition arrangement much like the Libs and Nationals and stop fighting each other quite so publicly. After all I don’t think there are many people out there who believe that the Greens would ever support a liberal party into government no matter what the policies.

  27. David Irving (no relation)

    Chris, don’t forget the Greens were in coalition with the Libs in Tasmania years ago (although, predictably, it ended in tears). I suspect we could work with a Turnbull government (but not Abbott, of course).

  28. Lefty E

    I’m guessing a national vote for the Greens of around 9%.

    \

    Im going with that too.

  29. Terry

    Keeping a “3″ in front of the ALP figure would appear to be the pressing issue at the moment.

    http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2013/03/17/nielsen-56-44-to-coalition-4/

  30. Lefty E

    Hmmm. That Nielsen’s bad.

    My estimation of Bob Gosford’s bold prediction just went up a few points. Only to about “possible” – up from “we’ll see”.

  31. Martin B

    While many polls give the Greens a vote of 10 or 11 per cent nationally, almost all real election outcomes see this coming in much closer to 7 per cent.

    At the most recent NSW, Vic, SA and Tas state elections the Greens received a swing towards them.
    At the most recent Qld state election the Greens received a 0.8% swing against them, while in NT it was 1.0%.

    Only in the ACT and WA have the Greens suffered a significant swing against them in the most recent general election.

    Now there may well be broader political factors at operation to lead one to argue that Greens support will drop substantially, or reasons to argue that opinion polling overstates Greens support, but contrary to Atkins’ claim actual election results do not provide this evidence, unless one is prepared to generalise from the WA election to all of Australia.

    As far as preferences go, there is always leakage, but at a federal level Greens preferences to ALP are as strong as, or stronger than National preferences to Liberal, for example.

  32. Lefty E

    As far as preferences go, there is always leakage, but at a federal level Greens preferences to ALP are as strong as, or stronger than National preferences to Liberal, for example

    Good point!

  33. Tim Macknay

    the CO2 price itself was the GRNs idea, and is a good old fashioned piece of redistribtuive social democracy. Put a levy on bad behnaviour and distribute the proceeds.

    Its working, too.

    You mean the extension of the fixed price period from 1 year to 3 years was the Greens’ idea.

    The ALP brought an ETS into it. Credit to GIllard for combo’ing them up, but its a product of minority govt. Without Bandt we’d have had an ETS straight up. GRN voters understand this.

    You mean credit to the Canberra bureaucrats in the AGO/DCCEE who designed the CPRS, the CEF package and Howard’s 2007 ETS, all of which are minor variations on the same policy. They were the ones who “combo’ed them up”.

    The Greens can, however, take credit for making it happen, as given Rudd’s and then Gillard’s backdowns in 2010, without the Greens holding the BOP we wouldn’t have a carbon price at all. Here’s hoping the Conservatives don’t get hold of the Senate in this year’s election.