Poll Bludger: what Labor, Libs can take from ACT election

Leaving national implications aside, the major parties can both take heart from the gains made at the expense of the Greens in Saturday's ACT election.

William Bowe — Editor of The Poll Bludger

William Bowe

Editor of The Poll Bludger

There are two constants in the aftermath of any state or territory election: that the significance of the result beyond the immediate jurisdiction will be exceedingly difficult to read, and that attempting to do so will nonetheless be the first order of business for outside observers fixated on the federal scene.

That goes especially for the Australian Capital Territory, home to a demographically unrepresentative and highly educated electorate with a better sense than most of the distinctions between federal and local issues. It thus behoves us to prioritise concrete local implications ahead of obscure national ones, as unsexy as they may be.

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4 thoughts on “Poll Bludger: what Labor, Libs can take from ACT election

  1. Gratton Wilson

    Nobody has the moral right to govern if they do not have enough elected members to govern. Tony Abbott has made loud and constant claims that Federal Labor is illegitimate although there was no way that the Coalition had the numbers to govern. To solve this trivial impediment, he constantly demanded another election to get what he wanted. If a another election didn’t bring him the result he wanted, would we have to have another and another and another until he was granted his “Right to Rule” expectations. The Liberals do not have enough seats in their own right to govern in the ACT, do they have the blatant hypocrisy to offer to trade with the Australian Greens? Would that give them moral entitlement? The Greens have always said that they are prepared to negotiate with the large Parties, would this be a step too far?
    As for the Liberal Party have they ever had the numbers to govern without having to negotiate deals with the Nationals? Is that moral?

  2. mattsui

    Very little of anything that goes on in our halls of power can be rightly called “Moral”.
    My personal opinion. Labor supporters who shifted left to protest at the lack of action on climate change are – now the cprs deed is done – going back to Labor. Cashed up blue collars are falling for the Coalition line about the world ending and leaving Labor. The result is a rightward shift putting the Greens back to about where they should expect to be. In Tasmania and the ACT, that still leaves them with some influence on Government. Elswhere, they will go back to chasing upper house possies – except in Queensland and the NT, where they will continue to hide from the spotlights of the hunting fraternity (LNP).

  3. Tom Greenwell

    Having warned about the difficulties of extrapolating from election results of a state or territory, particularly the ACT, Bowe ignores an important point regarding the decline in the Green vote. The Green vote fell by about 4.9%. A brand new party with Greenish policies – Bullet Train for Canberra – grabbed 4% of the vote. It’s not the whole explanation for the Greens’ performance but it’s very likely part of it. It’s a local factor that deserves consideration prior to concluding the ACT election makes it “clearer than ever that their electoral successes of the previous federal term represented a high watermark rather than an ongoing tide”.

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