Andrew Bolt had this short piece in yesterday’s Herald Sun arguing that Victoria is the most Left-wing state in the country. Bolt mentioned a few anecdotal points such as a supposedly Liberal Anglican church in Victoria and the failure of the pentecostals to take hold south of the Murray. But he did have some facts too:

Check Labor’s two-party preferred vote in the mainland states. In the 12 federal elections from 1949 to 1975, Labor’s vote was in fact highest in NSW eight times. But then a red mist fell on us and in seven of the 10 elections from 1980, Labor’s mainland state vote has been highest in Victoria.

This loosely ties in with this 7.30 Reportstory on Tuesday night asking why books about Labor issues and figures always outsell books about the Liberal Party. Former publisher and author Michael Duffy was quoted saying:

Australia’s intellectual culture, the people who read and write serious books, is very Left-wing. It’s perhaps more homogeneously Left-wing than any other country in the world and there are various historical reasons for that, such as the Vietnam War experience and the power of the dismissal. There’s just not an audience out there for books about Liberal people but as a general point the reason why intellectual people are drawn to Labor is for much of the last 30 years Labor has been the party of new ideas and intellectuals are drawn to new ideas.

Does that mean Melbourne is full of Lefty intellectuals who love to trawl book shops while their Sydney counterparts are at the beach or out on the harbour? Having the Fabian Society as a Melbourne-centric intellectual arm of the Labor Party supports this theory, and it’s certainly true that Victorians are the undisputed leaders when it comes to union marches.

But there are several aspects of Victoria which suggest the so-called Jewel in the Liberal crown is not full of rich red raggers – and Bolt’s paper, the Herald Sun, is a case in point. A more right wing News Ltd tabloid you will not find anywhere else in Australia, yet it has the highest penetration of any newspaper in the world. Similarly, 3AW provides a staple diet of Right-wing views and opinions and it’s Australia’s highest rating and most profitable talk radio station in the world.

That said, even the power of 3AW and the Herald Sun won’t be able to save the Liberal Party from another flogging at next year’s state election, although the Bracks government is far more centrist and responsible than the incompetent Lefties who had control towards the end of the Cain-Kirner years.

Similarly, Melbourne has Right-wing businessman John So as its twice popularly elected Lord Mayor, although this might reflect the fact that business owners get a disproportionately high amount of votes in council elections.

Only Sydney has been able to install a solid Lefty like Clover Moore as Lord Mayor and it is Brisbane that elected the only Liberal-stamped Lord Mayor in the country when Campbell Newman got up last year.