Anthony Albanese Labor leadership
(Image: AAP/Dean Lewins)

As the window for Labor’s leadership ballot drew to a close and Anthony Albanese remained the prime contender, readers took some time out to imagine what Albanese’s ALP will look like — and more importantly, how he can reinvigorate Australia’s progressive vote. Elsewhere, readers discussed the part played in the election by religious voters.

On Anthony Albanese’s Labor

Sean Whalen  writes: With the elevation of Anthony Albanese to the Leadership of the Labour Party, I fervently hope for a revival of traditional Labour Values, a return to the vision so emphatically enunciated by the late J.B. Chifley in his “light on the hill” address. Albanese has the passion of the good and great including John Curtin, Ben Chifley, Franklin D. Roosevelt et al. We need an opposition ably led by a leader with passion, determination and most importantly vision for a better way forward. I fervently hope and believe Anthony Albanese is such a person.

Robin Taylor writes: My 91 year old, life-time Liberal voting mother was surprisingly subdued about the Morrison win. “Not really sure they deserved it.” She was, however, unequivocal about her surprising support for Albanese. “I like him, he is a true Labor man — frank and honest. Even if I don’t always agree with him.” Let’s hope he can help put an end to the tribe of political dervishes (on both sides) that have so poisoned political policy debate.

Maureen Stepanoff writes:  I have been very impressed with and strongly supported the Labor Party throughout these past few years when they have pulled themselves together to present so much better a united front and stability also have developed a very far-seeing, clear, well-reasoned and fair set of policies. Nevertheless my gut reaction to Albanese as Labor leader has a major reservation… does he have to most of the time look so bad-tempered and threatening? Photos of him smiling or even looking relaxed and anything but angry are very few! Look where Morrison’s big cheesy grin has got him in general public perception, it was certainly not his stated policies that got him his recent win! So perhaps some insiders could encourage Albanese to un-furrow that frown, lighten up a bit, and even occasionally smile?

On religious voters

David Peetz: The preliminary regression analyses I’ve undertaken at an electorate level of the 2019 results compared to 2016 indicate that one of the biggest predictors of a swing to the Coalition was a percentage of the electorate who were self-described Christian. About half of the additional swing to the Coalition in Queensland was explained by this, i.e. by there being a higher percentage of Christian identifiers in Queensland than elsewhere. But (and this is important) this doesn’t mean that Christians or Christianity won the election for Morrison. It’s possible that overall this was a negative for him, just less so amongst Christians (who overall represent a little over half of voters). So this doesn’t tell us why he won, just part of why Queensland did better for the Coalition.

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Peter Fray

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