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


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.


RSS 2.0

Don't blame Julia, blame Labor

By Graham Young - posted Monday, 11 March 2013

It was predictable that Julia Gillard would get the blame for Labor's performance in the Western Australian election, but that's part of Labor's problem – it's not Gillard that is to blame, it is Labor.

Seeking to shift blame for an election defeat and cure the problem by knifing a leader is a manifestation of the Labor disease.

We conducted a qualitative poll the day of the election and it is safe to say that the election was fought primarily on state issues, and one of those state issues was the poor performance of the state Labor party.


Federal Labor did play a part, but as an entity in its own right, not because of its leader, and as an example of the failure of "brand" Labor.

You can see the relationship between the state and federal Labor brands by looking at Newspoll figures since the last WA election.

While Colin Barnett only just slipped over the line in 2008, winning against expectations, his position dramatically improved in mid to late 2010, as you can see from the graph below.

Newspoll doesn't have WA results between March and September in 2010, so it's difficult to know when the deterioration actually happened, but it probably happened at the same time as federal Labor went down in the polls, which was a function of Kevin Rudd, not Julia Gillard.

The federal election was in August 2010, and Kevin Rudd was deposed in June, but the dive in the ALP vote happened in May.


The deterioration in the polls was the reason that Kevin Rudd was removed. Julia Gillard briefly broke that trend by winning the 2010 federal election, but it reasserted itself very quickly.

So the deterioration in Labor's vote happened at both levels of government at around the same time, but probably during Kevin Rudd's reign. So perhaps we should blame him?

  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.

18 posts so far.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with 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 18 comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy