Several conservative columnists (e.g., Gerard Henderson, with a copy-and-paste by Andrew Bolt; also, Piers Akerman) have discussed the outcome of the Fremantle by-election, where a Greens candidate looks to have claimed an ALP seat while the Liberal Party watched from the sidelines. They tend to frame it in terms of the ALP suffering and the Greens gaining ground, with the (apparently) unwitting assistance of the Liberal Party.

But are they failing to acknowledge that the ALP itself might be shifting to the right, in which case the Coalition is not just an accomplice but a potential victim? If the Greens take Labor’s share of votes on the left, there is a way for the ALP to maintain its share – and that is by eating into the Liberal and (perhaps less likely) National Party support base.

Get Crikey for $1 a week.

Lockdowns are over and BBQs are back! At last, we get to talk to people in real life. But conversation topics outside COVID are so thin on the ground.

Join Crikey and we’ll give you something to talk about. Get your first 12 weeks for $12 to get stories, analysis and BBQ stoppers you won’t see anywhere else.

Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
12 weeks for just $12.