Jul 25, 2012

Could a Greens-Lib deal knock off Danby, Ferguson, Shorten?

If the Victorian Liberals were smart at the next federal election they could do a deal with the Greens to shore up Bandt in Melbourne and undermine some key Labor Right ministers who are particularly hostile to the Greens.

Stephen Mayne — Journalist and Founder

Stephen Mayne

Journalist and Founder

In terms of proportionality and editorial priority, The Age took a very pro-Labor approach in leading Monday’s opinion page with Shaun Carney’s attack on federal Greens MP Adam Bandt. Carney was fulminating over Bandt’s “garbage” prognosis of the Melbourne byelection on Network Ten’s Meet The Press:


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13 thoughts on “Could a Greens-Lib deal knock off Danby, Ferguson, Shorten?

  1. Paul Coghlan

    Labor needs to somewhat distance itself from the fundementalism of
    the Greens. Many traditional Labor supporters view them as wankers
    who saddled them with a carbon tax rather than a more palatable ETS
    and sat on their purist arses while the refugees risk drowning. Despite
    this, can you imagine a Green voter preferencing Tea Party Tony?

  2. geomac62

    And if the Liberals ran a progressive candidate, why wouldn’t the Greens swap preferences with the Liberals to finish off a hostile character like Danby?
    Thats a big if , finding a progressive liberal . Bandt no matter what Mayne has written was clearly trying to put spin on the by election . Its black and white . I get in on lower primary vote and its ok but labor get in on the same basis and it is not . What happened to your vote Stephen ? I,m not sure what you got but last I read you were a fair bit below your prediction of 7% . That may have improved by now or maybe not as I haven,t checked final results .
    I see no advantage in Labor bagging the Greens but equally wonder why the Greens claim the plaudits for things Labor has got through parliament while bagging Labor when it sees the opportunity . They both have a common foe and should address that situation .

  3. Russell

    The Greens and the Liberals have far more in common than just the cynical back-room deals Mayne is suggesting (proposing?) here. Greens voters are largely affluent, tertiary educated, Anglo and either live in wealthy inner city enclaves, or prestigious “sea change” retreats like Byron Bay. They are about as distant from Labor voters as its possible to get.

    Mayne is totally correct, the two parties should get together, work out some grubby preference swapping strategy and start seriously on their mutual project: “destroying” Labor. After all, that is both party’s stated aim.

  4. Timmy O'Toole

    Well said Russell. Mayne, the narcissist-cum-moral crusader par excellence, has a few things in common with the Greens. His distaste for the ALP has ruined any semblance of a rational, clear sighted analysis.

    Take Batman. Stephen Mayne thinks Ferguson can lose if the Libs preference the Greens… it’s a flawed analysis. Let’s pretend that Ferguson’s vote drops by 10% (to 42%), it goes straight to the Greens (they would be on 33%) and the Libs stay the same on 20%. At the last election about 80% of Liberal preferences went to the Greens. Assuming that holds, add 18% to the Greens, and they win on 51%.

    Another scenario- the Greens increase by 9% and the Libs by 1%: ALP 42%, Greens 32%, Libs 21%. If you add 80% of the Liberal vote (16.8) to the Greens then they end up on 48.8% to Ferguson’s 51.2%.

    But my assumption of the Greens vote increasing that much is way too generous. Even with demographic changes in the electorate of Batman, the Greens won’t get a swing of 10% to them. At the 2010 election, the Green’s Victorian vote increased by just under 5%- largely ALP voters–whilst the Libs vote increased by less than 2%. Since the 2010 election, in national polling the Green’s vote has stabilised at 11-12% and the ALP vote has fallen from 38% to roughly 30%. Unlike at the 2010 election, ALP votes have overwhelmingly gone to the Coalition or uncommitted category- not the Greens. So my scenario of a 10% drop in ALP vote that goes straight to the Greens primary vote is highly unlikely—as is the chances of the Greens winning Batman.

  5. Andrew Bartlett

    I think the backlash from the average Greens voter if the Greens recommended preferences to the Libs in many seats would harm the Greens vote more that what might be gained by getting Liberal preferences in return. But perhaps Melbourne Ports could be an exception – Michael Danby has been little short of defamatory about the Greens for quite some time, well before the coordinated mouth foaming of various figures in the NSW right. It would still need a progressive Lib candidate against Danby though (if such people still exist in the Libs, I haven’t noticed many of late). Given that the Libs have long been engaged in criticisms of the Greens that is far more deranged than anything that’s come out of Labor (other than Danby), they might also find it difficult to now justify any sort of arrangement.

  6. rupert moloch

    “And if the Liberals ran a progressive candidate”

    Oh, you mean somebody like Dr Mal Washer? What a tremendous advocate for human rights that man is.

  7. Sam

    I can’t see such a move working at all. It would need Greens voters to go along en masse, and given that a significantly lower proportion of Greens voters follow the how to vote cards, that’s hardly likely to happen.

    Then there’s the ramifications to the Greens’ image. Even if it’s only done for a moderate Liberal against someone like Danby, it’s still a vote of support for someone who will ultimately be part of a government that’s very much against everything that Greens and Greens voters stand for, and this is something that would be noted nationwide. It’ll destroy a much of the Greens’ veneer of political purity, and it’ll lead to some rethinking on the part of people who were going to vote Green because they consider Labor to be too conservative.

    And why would the Coalition even consider it? They’re sitting pretty right now and a deal with people they have routinely labelled extreme will invoke enough outcry from their base to make it far too high a price to pay to justify the remote possibility of picking up a couple of seats.

  8. Russell St. Melbourne

    I think the Greens will continue in their ‘positive message’ direction. If they start behaving like the others, they will become indistinguishable from the others.

  9. Marcus Ogden

    “After all, don’t forget that this precise scenario happened in Britain when the most progressive party, the Liberal Democrats, teamed up with the Conservatives to knock off a jaded and cynical Labour machine.”

    … whereupon their support collapsed from 23% at the 2010 election to 14% today.

  10. AR

    Until midway through the Rodent’s regime, all polling booths had huge beach towel sized sheets on the wall showing how the Senate vote would be distributed for the 97% who vote above the line. This ceased and they were replaced by books which had to be requested & examined at a separate table.
    Ban Reps/MLA HTV leaflets dispensed outside polling stations (a distressingly large proportion of the electorate believe these must be followed – the least likely to suffer this delusion would be Green voters) and put a poster by the polling booths (fewer trees need die than leaflets or the now deceased Senate posters).

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