New South Wales election guide

The Poll Bludger’s New South Wales election guide is now operational – all 30,000 or so words of it. Virtue is of course its own reward, but if you think my labours deserve a little extra you are invited to follow the directions here. Further embellishments, like candidate photos and local issue summaries, will be added in due course. Please drop me a line if you spot any errors, particularly if they’re of a kind likely to invite ridicule. With that out of the way, I really am going to be keeping a low profile around here in the next four weeks or so; heavy duty state election coverage will commence thereafter.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

197 comments on “New South Wales election guide”

Comments Page 2 of 4
1 2 3 4
  1. I think people have too harshly judged Debnams role in the removal of Brgoden and similarly, there is a misconception that Brogden would be doing exceptionally better. Correct me if I am wrong, but wasn’t it the actions of Brogden who established this virtually insurmountable task for the Coalition due to the swing towards the government at the 2003 election. Whilst I dont believe in Karma, what goes around, does come around. And with Brogden this became a reality.
    Debnam has toned down his approach in recent times, and I do believe that the policies are starting to take some good shape. The biggest issue is the ridiculous swing that is needed, the responsibility of which, lies with the performance at the last election under Brogden.

  2. On the SMH: I stand corrected – it used to be notorious that the SMH had never supported Labor in a century but I wasn’t aware they had broken their tradition in 2003.

    On Victoria: I must say I don’t remember it the way Stewart does. We (Labor) thought we would pick up a few country seats given Bracks’s Ballarat origins, but no-one expected the sweep that took place. We were worried that we might actually lose seats in Melbourne. In the week before the election the shadow cabinet was out doorknocking in Dandenong North, a Labor-held seat. In fact we picked up (I think) four Melbourne seats. The day before the election Ewen Hannan wrote in The Age: “Labor supporters will be crying in their beers tomorrow night because Kennett will be easily re-elected.” (He hasn’t been allowed to forget that.) Moral: late swings and under-the-radar swings can still happen.

    On the Greens: The Greens are a niche party. 10% of the electorate loves them, 90% hate them. They will never progress beyond about 10% of the vote – this has been the case in Germany and NZ.

    On NSW politics: It’s curious that everyone says they want an alternative to the Labor/Coalition two party system, but no-one does anything about it. The only viable centre party, the Democrats, is on the verge of extinction. The Greens can’t be the alternative because they are a left-wing niche party. Right-wing populism seems to be the only other brand on offer.

  3. Someone up there said “I hope that someone stands in Swansea as surely this would be an easy gain for a decent independent” – not so. The candidate is Robert Coombs of the MUA. He’s impressive, friendly, smart and was heavily involved in the Patrick’s issue (being son of John Coombs). He’s exactly the sort of candidate needed to win that seat – stevedores are mightily well respected up there. And he has no links with the former candidate. For the record I think the Labor candidate in Balmain is outstanding, and helped by the fact that she is a cleanskin, who has no association with the current government. I have no doubt that Marrickville is safe for Labor.

    Bracks vs Kennett doesn’t work. In that case you had a hubristic premier and a steady, reliable opposition leader who was able to steal the march without anyone really noticing. In this case you have a steady premier versus a most unpredictable and inexperienced pollie who steals the march on things nobody believes. I suspect Debnam is going to be the Latham of the Liberal Party. He’s too chaotic for the voters to like.

    I don’t doubt that the government is in trouble, but can’t see much change here.

    Of course, in the best of all possible worlds an election would clear out the dead wood in all factions in both parties. But that’s not going to happen.

  4. re Adam: well, I was assisting in some negotiations with the ALP (from the Greens perspective) and on Monday things were looking decidedly grim. The message we heard back on Wednesday was things were looking interesting, especially in some of the country seats, and then on Friday (and given the comments we were hearing back from Greens members) it was seeming that there had been a shift in voters thinking over the period of the week. The last couple of fed elections have shown up the same last-week swing (in the Fed case to Govt) which hadn’t really been showing prior. If Debnam settles and his campaign starts to function smoothly, and Iemma’s starts to falter the electors may sense this and change direction. Latham copped this in the last week, even though things were unravelling prior to that.

    On the Greens being a niche party (‘10% of the electorate loves them, 90% hate them’) – this is very broad brush stroke approach, especially since we have seen votes in different state & territories of between 5%-18%, and in electorates up to 39% primary. Scrutineering has proved interesting, especially in the number of ALP voters who number directly to the Greens (1 ALP, 2 Green) and the number of ALP voters commenting that they would have voted for the Greens but they didn’t want the Liberals to win (and thereby confirming that they didn’t understand preferential voting).

    As to European results, numbers vary between different states, nations and regions – at the last Finnish elections the Greens came in second in Helsink with 23%, in Belgium Ecolo polled 23% in 1999, and in European elections have polled exceptionally well. I think it too simplistic to just say ‘they’ll never attract more that 10%’. As to the Australian Democrats, they face the same problems parties of their ilk have faced across Europe – diminished results.

    I reiterate, the real problems for the ALP aren’t going to show up at this election but at subsequent elections, especially in relation to Councils. 2011 will be the election where the Coalition could win Government, so long as they don’t lose further ground.

  5. I’m not sure whether Geoff R is referring to the Greens just in NSW or nationally when he says we never try to appeal beyond about 10% of the vote. If the latter then the fact that at the last six Tasmanian state elections we’ve got over 10%, and 18% in one case needs a little explaining.

    Likewise Adam’s comments about how the Greens will never score more than 10%. Looking at the results from the Australian electoral study (and yes I know the response rate is too low to rely on it too strongly) you see a more complex picture, with a substantial pool of people who rate the Greens quite well, giving up scores of 7,8, or 9 out of 10, but are still not voting for us. Why not is an interesting question – clearly we are doing something wrong not to get these votes. The polls are not suggesting this will change this time, but to say it never will strikes me as improbable.

  6. On a different tack, the polls I have seen (not being up there have missed anything in the SMH) have not shown a strong vote for independents. This seems very odd to me. Most of the discussion on here is about how we are likely to see more strong independents, and whether they win or not you would expect this election would draw in enough independents to raise the statewide vote significantly.

    What is more, given how bad the majors look I would have thought that lots of people would be telling pollsters they would be voting independent, even if it turned out there was no one worth voting for in their seat and they went back to the majors. Yet it doesn’t seem to be happening. Any ideas?

  7. Statewide samples less than a thousand will have a substantial margin of error – a margin that might be as large as an conceivable independent vote.

  8. I think that the vote for independents will not show up in opinion polls. The reason for this is that nearly all votes for independents will take place in seats with strong votes for independents (ie. it’s not equally spread across the state), thus they do better than their proportion of the vote. Thus a 6% vote for independents can yield quite a large number of seats.

  9. Interested Third Party – just as an aside I hear that all the old ALP greats are making an appearance at Robert Coombs fundraiser tonight, along with the good folk of the MUA., so he is a very popular fellow.

    And re Verity Firth as ALP candidate in Balmain, she isn’t exactly a political cleanskin either is she – with the family, Sydney Council and staffer connections through the NSW ALP. Not saying anything wrong with that but Verity brings a more experienced background/team than ‘cleanskin with no association with the current government’ implies. I suspect also she’ll be safe – my query is whether there’s a chance that the Libs will pref greens in Balmain which would change things surely (mind you the Lib candidate seems to think he’s got Balmain in the bag himself from the candidates’ forum the other day…)?

  10. Adam why was I able to see Kennett losing a swag of seats 6 months out from 1999 and the ALP didn’t.

    I expect the Lemma Government to be returned with a lost of a handful of seats like Tweed, I really don’t see the Liberals having a very good night.

  11. My prediction for the NSW Greens:

    Two Upperhouse seats
    No lower house seats

    The Greens aren’t that interesting in NSW.

    I’d rather speculate on whether One Nation can get 2% and snag an LC seat without Pauline splitting the vote, or the Democrats can maintain their seat.

  12. Hurstville was abolished in 1999. If Iemma is still your local member, you are now in the seat of Lakemba. If you are on the roll, you should receive a letter from the NSW Electoral Commission this week or next telling you what electorate you are in and confirming your enrolment. If you don’t hear from them by the end of next week, you might not be correctly enrolled. You have until 2 March (or maybe 5 March but I’d go for the earlier date) to get your enrolment correct.

  13. If you were a Liberal, I’m sure any positive would make a better night than 1999 and 2003.

    At the moment those positives are likely in a few general areas each with a few seats in play:
    The Northern Beaches (v Independants)
    The Sutherland Shire (v ALP)
    The Macarthur (v ALP)
    The Central Coast (v ALP)
    North West Sydney (v ALP)
    The Upper House (as compared to 1999) – maybe 1-2 more quotas

    If two or three of the regions shift any seats into the Liberal column, that would dramatically bolster their talent pool, and give the party room more views from different parts of the Sydney/Coast.

    Debnam knows how important this is, and has taken precautions in preselection along with others to ensure strong candidates are chosen, not just those who have the numbers in the branches.

  14. I’m sure the Libs will improve their position in the upper house, but that will likely not come at the expense of the ALP, more at the expense of the crossbenches.

  15. dovif,

    You can check your enrolment on the AEC website. Go to the following address and enter you details.

    You should receive a response like:
    Your enrolled address is ………..
    Your Federal Division is……….
    Your State Electoral District is…….
    Your Local Government Area is……

  16. Emily, I didn’t mean cleanskin in the sense that Ms Firth is free of Labor party ties (of course, her family ties are very impressive, and her credentials as staffer etc are impeccable), I just meant she is a fresh face for Labor, especially in the context of a seat that has been represented by a longstanding minister.

    Also, no whiff of scandal surrounds her.

    BTW, I got a new electoral card in the mail. Did anyone else? I’ve been at the same address for years, so I wondered if the AEC isn’t trying to work around the new restrictions on when you can update your voting details.

  17. I got my electoral card from the AEC in the mail yesterday. I presume everyone has to display this at the polling booth, in order to cast a vote on March 24?
    John Watkins: a much better media performer than Iemma! He would have been my pick to succeed Carr.
    Peter Debnam will have to sack a lot of public servants to pay for all the election promises – I’m sure Michael Costa and the ALP dirt unit are furiously looking for that black hole in the costings.

  18. I’m pretty sure that it’s voluntary, but the electoral card makes it a lot easier on the polling booth workers and probably speeds up the whole process.

  19. R my point above about independents and polls. I would think the situation would be something like this:

    5 Independents win clearly, average primary vote 40%
    5 Independents thereabouts, average primary vote 30%
    10 Independents do well but not close to winning, average primary vote 15%
    50 Independents have a go but their campaign never takes off, average vote 3%.

    That only translates to a statwide average of 7%, not much higher than the polls are showing. However, polls often overstate the independent vote, because some people want to vote for a strong independent and tell the pollsters this, only to discover there isn’t one running in their seat. This time it looks like the polls may be understating.

  20. Ben Raue (11.07) is correct that the cards are voluntary. I’m almost certain that there is no provision for requiring an elector to produce any form of identity, whether that’s desirable or not. The cards were used in the Victorian election, and are just a device for speeding things up. God knows how slow the process would have been had some electors not presented with those cards on 25 November.
    Since recollections of 1999 in Victoria are being discussed, I offer mine. As a rusted on Labor partisan and an incurable optimist, I was hoping that Labor might pick up 4-6 seats which would have been enough to deprive Jeff Kennett of his Liberal absolute majority. My optimistic scenario suggested that Kennett would find this intolerable, as the Nationals would begin to flex their muscles. I figured that a Kennett resignation some time after the 1999 election might then usher in an opportunity for Labor to come through. That is a progression which some posters here are forecasting as feasible for the NSW Liberals.
    I’ve two other anecdotes which conform with Adam’s recollection of a Labor victory being a bolt from the blue, rather than bmwofoz’ and Stewart J’s version.
    Early on election night, Terry Bracks was offered a bottle of wine, with the condition by the donor that they drink it “when Labor wins”. She said something to the effect that she hoped it cellared well, indicating what her and presumably her husband’s expectations were.
    On Terry Lane’s program, the National Interest the following day, Terry introduced Brian Costar (then at Monash, now Swinburne) with the description of “former Professor of Politics at Monash University”, on the grounds that as the professional observer, his failure to anticipate the actual result would lead to him offering his resignation.
    I also recall the Labor Party’s desperation to shore up its existing seat of Dandenong North, referred to by Adam.
    I’m sure that on all sides of politics, and from the perspective of almost all observers, this was a shock of thunderbolt proportions.
    I know too little of NSW politics to comment sensibly, but I’d be interested if anyone closer to the scene than me sees anything of 1988, when Unsworth Labor was comprehensively beaten by Nick Greiner, within two years of Neville Wran’s departure. As far as I can tell, Debnam is no Greiner, and I suspect that the margin was much more achievable in 1988 than in 2007.

  21. We could also recall the 1991 NSW election. In the week before the election all the talk was about who would replace Bob Carr, the failed Opposition Leader, after Greiner easily won a second term. What happened? Greiner was ambushed, lost his majority, became embroiled in the Metherell affair and was forced out. Carr went on to glory (of sorts). Moral: NO ELECTION IS OVER TILL IT’S OVER. Opinion polls are decreasing in reliability and predictive power (for reasons I will explain if asked). While I agree that there are few positive signs for the Libs at present, that doesn’t mean there can’t be another under-the-radar swing.

  22. If you would like to list more Greens candidates on your election page their names can be found at The Greens have pre-selected about 80 lower hosue candidates about 60 of which are up on the web. Candidates for all 93 seats will be posted on the Greens site over the next few weeks.

  23. Yes, I think cautionary tales are the order of the day here. The Libs should be well in front, and everyone (polls, pundits, punters and contributors to this blog) seems to think that they have no chance of winning government. Sure, the maths is against them and they have a dud leader, but one should always be wary of a sure thing.

  24. I actually feel that the Liberals did have a good chance to repeat 1988 when Carr first resigned, and the joke was that “Iemma is Italian for Unsworth”. I could easily have seen Brogden playing the role of 21st Century Greiner, and indeed I reckon a lot of people who are very scared off by the Debnam alternative would see Brogden as making a good premier.

  25. With reference to Peter Fuller and Adam above:

    This is not 1988 over again, Nick Greiner was ready to take over and all in control. They just had to win on the day -also remember he had authority in the party as well as he had picked up a good swing as leader in 1984. Unsworth was dead in the water when Neville Wran’s seat of Bass Hill was lost in the byelection (a swing of 23% if I recall) and Unsworth won his own seat of Rockdale (after transferring from the upper house) by only 52 votes.

    In 1991 I recall being told by someone who is now a NSW minister that the ALP were petrified of winning when they came so close as they were not ready- and if you recall the Carr government was a shambles for the first 18 months and a reaction to the Carr Govt was a big contributor to the Liberal win in 1996. Nick Greiner was similar in 1991 to Jeff K. in 1999 that no one realised that all the bits of the community that were pissed off would come together on the day as a protest vote – I suppose Wayne Goss in 1995 was no dissimilar. I sometimes wonder if the Libs in 1991 may have been better off if they had not reduced the size of the parliament from 109 to 99. Fiddling the size of parliament being an old NSW tradition carried on by both sides.

  26. The redistribution of 1987(?) was criticised in some quaters for being significantly pro-Labor. Minchinbury (not Badgery’s Creek as suggested by Geoff R above) was a particularly bizarely shaped seat (which Labor still managed to lose). It should be remembered that after the first two years Greiner was extremely unpopular and the papers of the day were widely predicting a Labor win. This all changed in the third and subsequent years, so that Carr only scrapped in in 1995. However the 7 years of the Coalition were still the shortest term in NSW government since the great depression.

    In the Western Suburbs, Labor was devestated when Elizabeth Kirby, the sole Democrat in the L.C., changed her mind and voted at the last minute for a reduction in the number of members and a further redistribution. The legend, at least amongst Labor members in the west, is that Labor would have won easily in a 109 seat house.

    However let me reassure you that Iemma is no Unsworth and Debnam is certainly no Greiner.

  27. If you want to know more about the 1988/1991 elections and redistributions, you should chase up my publication “NSW Elections 1984 to 1991: A Comparative Analysis”, NSW Parliamentary Library Reserach Service Background Paper 1994/2, or “Changing Boundaries, Changing Fortunes: an analysis of the NSW Elections of 1988 and 1991”, NSW PLRS Occassional Paper No. 7, 1998. Or if you want the history of the period rather than just the numbers, read my history of the 1991 election in “The People’s Choice: Electoral Politics in 20th Century NSW”, Michael Hogan and David Clune (eds).

    The boundaries used in 1988 were drawn in such a manner that the Coalition needed a swing of more than 6% before significant numbers of seats fell, and also guaranteed the Coalition could only win a narrow majority. Despite winning 56% of the 2PP vote at the 1988 election, the swing for the Coalition to lose its majority was only 1.3%.

    Cutting the number of seats before the 1991 election was the method adopted by the Greiner government to overcome this problem. It did lift the swing to lose to about 2.8%, still a disadvanatge for the Coalition, but an overconfident campaign, and not enough attention paid to local contests, cost the government dear. As calculated for those publications, had the 109 seats been used, the result of the 1991 election would probably have been a minority labor government, not a minority Coalition.

    The dramatic turnaround in the Greiner government’s popularity in 1990 coincided with problems with labor governments in WA, SA and Victoria. As various building societies and banks collapsed in 1990, and governments were forced to slash public spending and raise taxes, the public mood changed. In NSW, voters were suddenly aware that depsite the tough few years Greiner had inflicted with various economic reforms, it was clear these reforms had something to do with NSW avoiding the financial disasters that occurred interstate.

    And always remember this fact. In two decades of political life, Bob Carr only gave up keeping his diary once. That was six months before the 1991 election, when Carr wrote that ‘prospects got too depressing to record’. The Labor Party’s confidence in the result can be revealed by the fact that they only bothered to order in two cartons of beer for head office on election night. No one was expecting a celebration. And there was certainly lots of un-drunck champagne at the Liberal function at the Intercontinental Hotel.

  28. Re Memories of 99. I remember constantly saying to people “labor will do better than people expect”. But it still never occurred to me that they would win. I was unusual in thinking they would pick up more than half the seats they needed. I even thought it possible they might get to a point of being 2-3 seats short and the Libs being scared of by-elections. This generally made me considered a nutter.

    Handing out at the Benalla by-election I found myself on the same booth as one of the newly minted Labor MPs. She said that in the weeks before the election she realised she was in with a chance. After the election she talked with all the other MPs, and discovered they had also concluded this at the time, but that they had all thought this was something local to their seat, and maybe a few surrounding ones (no doubt some put it down to their own genius). She said none of them had a clue they might pick up the swing they did across the state.

    All that said, I don’t see many parallels between this and 99. If there was to be a shock result I’d think the similarities to Qld 95 would be greater, though without the single issue costing a raft of seats.

  29. I know we are always wiser with the benefit of hindsight, but as far as under-the-radar results go, Qld ’95 and Vic ’99 have three things in common which just are not present here:

    Firstly, in both instances, there were regions of the electorate that were ripe for the picking. In Qld, it was the 3 or 4 seats down in the southern suburbs that revolted against Goss in relation to the Gold Coast motorway. The Borbridge led opposition milked that for all its worth. That was the difference between Goss ultimately being defeated (admittedly it took another 6 months) and being returned with a heavily reduced majority. I remember G Richardson saying on election night ” I hope its a really good road, I really do, because its going to cost Wayne Goss government”. In Victoria it was the Liberal seats in the middle of the state responding to that brilliant “dripping tap” ad – surely one of the best used in state election campaign. I remember the shock when Kennett’s heir-apparent in Ripon (his name escapes me) was unseated. Once again, several seats responding to a specific message making all the difference between defeat and a close run thing for the incumbent. Where is the sleeper issue here? Is anyone willing to nominate one? Antony, on the ABC website some time back, suggested the transport issue hitting ALP in the outer suburbs but it seems to me that the sort of seats in question are just two far out of reach.

    Secondly, Bracks and Borbridge were switched-on and did not enter the campaign as damaged goods. I cannot think of one thing Debnam has done right! Closely aligned to this, both Bracks and Borbridge had competent supporting cast. Whatever you might think of them and their policies, you cannot deny the likes of Thwaites and Brumby in Vic and Sheldon and Santoro were an asset rather than a liability (in each case, there were anumber of others). Who are Debnam’s assets? O’Farrell and Goward aside, the NSW Liberals have displayed amateurism on par with One Nation and Stoner is a disgrace when you line him up against the likes of Cutler, Murray and even Armstrong.

    Thirdly, Bracks and Borbridge went into an election with their comrades in Canberra sitting on the opposition benches. Accordingly, they weren’t having to factor-in a protest vote against the Federal Government. In my opinion, there is absolutely no doubt that Federal issues can encroach on a state campaign with devastating effect – e.g Qld 1974, SA 1975 and 1989 and WA 2001. The only question is the degree.

    For what its worth, I am struggling to see the Coalition making a net gain off the ALP and the possibility of a net loss overall is certainly not out of the question. I don’t think Peter Black will be toppled in Murray-Darling (now notionally NP) and I can’t see the Nats getting even close in Monaro or Tweed. There might be a couple of shockers for the ALP but where are they? Does anyone want to pick them? In other words, if the Opposition makes a net gain, it will be by virtue of winning back seats from Independents that should not even be in the mix, like Hawkesbury and Pittwater

  30. Chris from Edgecliff: Kennett’s heir-apparent was Rob Knowles, who was attempting to transfer from the Upper House province centred on Ballarat (from memory). Knowles lost, and the Liberal Party lost the by-election for the Upper House province.

    I’ve been impressed with Stoner’s performance compared to other National Party leaders – he actually often seems reasonable to me, which is a nice surprise (I grew up in Qld when Joh was Premier, so my baseline for the National Party is quite low!).

  31. Knowles thought he was Kennett’s heir, but I don’t think anyone else did. Elder even less so. Kennett intended being around for a long time and groomed no heir. That’s one of the reasons the Vic Libs fell in such a hole after the election. With Kennett, Knowles, Gude and Stockdale gone their talent pool was very shallow, and it still is.

  32. Interesting comments so far on this thread, a very good read and good to see the varying opinions.

    I believe the pendulum will swing towards the Coalition in this election. It has to. I cannot see the ALP gaining any more ground out of this election. The Coalition has the best chance it has had in years to at the very least take back some of what it has lost to the ALP over the past 8 years. I think it is likely that we could well end up with a hung parliament.

    I believe the Coalition can win Murray-Darling, Monaro, Wollondilly and Penrith. Tweed may be out of the Nationals reach given the high green vote in the area. Port Stephens, Menai, Miranda and Camden could well have large swings but may be not enough to unseat the ALP. Riverstone looks interesting. Given the way people vote federally in this part of the world, don’t be surprised if there is a huge swing against the ALP here.

    As for the Independents, most of them will still be there after March 24. Tamworth and Hawkesbury are the only seats I see the Coalition with a real chance of winning. In the case of Hawkesbury, the Liberals will win it. I seriously cannot see it falling out of the hands of the Liberals (then again, they said that about Pittwater). Newcastle will be another interesting contest, and I reckon this will go to an independent. It’s just a matter of which independent wins it.

    Anyways, just my two cents worth.

  33. Ah yes, sorry folks, clearly wrong about the personalities regarding Ripon -Rob Knowles was indeed who I was thinking of when I rightly or wrongly described him as Kennett’s “heir-apparent”.

  34. Election campaigns level the playing field and give opportunities for a credible opposition. In Victoria 1999 and Qld 1995 the opposition won the campaign. it wasn’t just the Tollway in Qld labor lost Barron River and Mulgrave. Debnam’s chance is to focus on services and practical proposals to fix them, but the ruling faction in the NSW Libs seems to be easily diverted into nutty-right culture wars politics, as John Howard (if not his detractors) knows this stuff is at most the icing on the cake.

  35. Anyone who seriously thinks the Greens have a good chance of picking up a lower house seat: Balmain, Marrickville, or otherwise; need only refer back to the recent Victorian election. There, it was not a matter of if, but how many: Richmond, Northcote, et cetera, et cetera; then Labor brought in the big, bald artillery and the Greens were left to make a What We’ve Gained speech when all was done and dusted. Any reasonably organised ALP will have enough energy and resources to effectively quash a Green challenge, no matter how promising.

  36. Quite so, Daniel. The very high profile that Garrett has given Labor’s environment policies, and the complement Howard and Turnbull have paid him by attacking him so strongly, will boost Labor’s standing with inner city voters. This, together with good choice of candidates in the inner city seats, will greatly strengthen Labor’s ability to repel Green challenges in Balmain and Marrickville. I think the Greens will go backwards in these seats. They would do better to concentrate on trying to win three seats in the upper house.

  37. Yes, the way the Greens talk up a) their prospects, and b) their moral standing is a bit galling. The Greens (and I say this as someone who is genuinely sympathetic to what they actually stand for) need to learn that the only way to gain real power is to learn how to compromise. In other words, the Greens will never amount to anything other than a feel-good talking shop until they learn how to strategically sell out. Achieving half of what you believe is of a whole lot more practical value than staying ideologically pure and achieveing nothing. Garrett (and even Turnbull!) will achieve more (in the way of practical outcomes) for the environment than Bob Brown ever will.

  38. I would contest that Victoria 06 is an ideal example of what will happen in Balmain and Marrickville this year, Bracks is still a popular Premier of 7-8 years, while Iemma is an electorally-untested leader of a very unpopular government. The issue in NSW is that the opposition is worse. I would like to see a large rise in the Indie/Green vote, including in those seats, that results in some serious representation and hopefully a hung parliament producing an ALP gov’t with again an indie/Green balance of power. It’s possible but not exactly an ideal bet as it’s a little specific! We can dream.

    As regards to NSW Labor’s environmental policies, Anvil Hill may yet turn out to be a major wedge issue for Labor (if it becomes a bigger issue, it’ll lose ’em seats in the Hunter or Inner sydney, kinda depends on how they play it) and there are the perennials of climate change and desalination. Both play OK for Labor and badly for the coalition, but a green vote is going to be on the cards for at least some of the disaffected major party voters. We’re allowed to hope out loud!

Comments are closed.

Comments Page 2 of 4
1 2 3 4