Caught flat-footed: The Greens without Gillard
Today at The Guardian I have a piece on the Greens’ strategic dilemmas after cosying up so close to the Gillard government.
With the political class loathed by many ordinary voters, it should be no surprise the Greens have suffered politically and in the polls from their association with Gillard and the “old Labour” project she represented. But it is not easy for the Greens to go back and admit their strategy was flawed, because such a move would undercut their ability to spruik the legislative wins that the strategy delivered.
Despite being much more politically conservative than the Greens, Rudd poses an even bigger problem for them: much of his popularity is derived from his outsider status. It’s the kind of status that the Greens previously traded on to win a large swathe of disaffected voters from the ALP’s left flank. After 18 months of being trashed by his own colleagues Rudd is now even more able to present himself as the true anti-politics populist, coming to sweep aside the old establishment that has failed ordinary Australians.
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The green vote goes up and down little regard what they say or do. There is a hard core of green voters and the rest vote for green from time to time for expressive voting reasons. they vote aginst other parties, not for the greens.
Lindsay Tanner notes that:
As for demographics, John Black found that Greens 07 were very well-paid inner-urban renters who made extensive use of public transport and had few religious convictions. Most are inner-urban dwellers in their 20s and 30s, sending their one rather indulged child to a private school. They tend not to have children until their late 30s, if at all, which makes them even richer and gives them lots of spare time to organise local political activities and annoy the rest of us.
In retirement, their income from superannuation is second only to that of the average Liberal. They’re still rich compared with Labor voters and they are still dependent on income from shares through super.
In all phases of life, Greens are distinct from the typical Labor, Liberal or Nationals demographic but remain supportive of Labor for social rather than economic reasons. Not unlike middle-class Catholics in the 1950s and 60s.
Spilt voting is good for the soul. Vote with your heart and then follow your wallet and second preference the Libs as 20% of green voters do.
The greens take more from Labour than they give back in preferences. Voting green is not a mechanism to turning a liberal into a labour supporter.
As a group, the green voters are richer the average liberal voter. The Greens are siphoning the votes of angry Labor voters to the Liberals via preferences.