Caught up in Labor’s crisis: The Greens in 2013

by · September 11, 2013


My post-election analysis, including the contradictions of the Greens vote, went up at the Overland website on Tuesday. Lots of good discussion and debate in the comments, also.

The Greens’ entry into the alliance was made possible because it took advantage of the rejection of both major parties in 2010, but with the ALP in crisis such an alliance could only taint the Greens by putting them in a position of defending labourism (as personified by Gillard) and of becoming identified with the political establishment voters increasingly revile.

The cost of governmental alliance can be seen most clearly in Tasmania, where the party is also in Coalition with Labor at state level and has been responsible for implementing unpopular austerity measures. The Greens’ primary vote there plummeted by a staggering 8.5 per cent in the Senate, and a similar amount across the state’s five lower-house seats in its worst result since 1998.

My contention that the Greens’ peak vote in 2010 rested in part on anti-political appeal is strengthened by the pattern of votes in Queensland, the east coast state with the weakest two-party system and where the Greens have always been relatively weak. In 2007 the party scored just 5.6 per cent in the lower house and 7.3 per cent in the Senate. In 2010 it rocketed to 10.9 and 12.7 respectively, taking advantage of anger at Labor’s crises. In 2013, it has crashed to 6.1 and 6.2 per cent. […]

Conversely, the Greens did best in inner Melbourne, predominantly around Adam Bandt’s well-resourced and strategically adroit campaign.

Read the post here.