Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here’s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.


 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate

Subscribe!
Subscribe





On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.
___________

Syndicate
RSS/XML


RSS 2.0

Vic Libs smart anti-Greens preference strategy

By Graham Young - posted Wednesday, 24 November 2010


Labor will probably win the Victorian election, but they could have won by more if the Liberals had preferenced the Greens.

Most political commentators were struggling to understand why the Liberals have decided against preferencing the Greens.

The mainstream argument runs that by directing preferences to the Greens in seats like Melbourne, the Liberals would have created a problem for Labor on its left flank, forcing it to run two campaigns. They would also have cost Labor a number of seats (some seemed to think up to four) which could have gone to the Greens, and possibly others in blue collar conservative areas as they adopted more left-wing policies to counter the Greens, thus losing voters in the centre.

Advertisement

This sort of "fronts" analysis might work well in analysing military battles, but it doesn't really cut it in politics.

I'll admit to initially being puzzled about the decision myself as I bought the fronts argument.

I also had another reason for thinking that it would be smart politics.

While the Liberals can't win the Labor seats where the Greens are competitive, they can determine who can. This gives them a long-term strategic advantage.

Normally these seats are reserved for Labor high-flyers and talent. By handing them to the Greens the Liberals deny the Labor Party opportunities to inject strong talent into the parliament.

Then if the Liberals switch preferences back to Labor the election after next, they also deny the Greens the opportunity to build a strong presence in the lower house.

Advertisement

So directing preferences to the Greens could indeed change the nature of the Greens/Labor relationship making it more difficult for Labor to hold onto seats on its left and its right.

So why did the Liberals forego these advantages?

Some commentators have decided that the Liberals are incompetent while Barrie Cassidy in this piece puts it down to an ideological position, and Ted Baillieu's inherent honesty.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. All


Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

4 posts so far.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with del.icio.us Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

Graham Young is chief editor and the publisher of On Line Opinion. He is executive director of the Australian Institute for Progress, an Australian think tank based in Brisbane, and the publisher of On Line Opinion.

Other articles by this Author

All articles by Graham Young

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Photo of Graham Young
Article Tools
Comment 4 comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend
Advertisement

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy