Well, that’ll make the ALP Right factional bosses happy. In the first Newspoll since they rolled Kevin and installed Julia, they’ve improved their position against the real enemy:
The coalition’s primary vote support is unchanged on 40 per cent, but the Greens’ vote fell back five points to ten per cent.
Remember: the ALP Right hates the Greens, a party that by actually representing progressive voters in parliament would force the ALP to actually try to address our concerns between elections rather than completely ignoring them, as much as – if not more than – they hate Liberals. The above result is exactly, exactly what they wanted. The Green vote rising was making the ALP left (the timid, abused, patronised, maligned ALP left) worried that they couldn’t get away with just calling themselves progressive every election and then voting constantly for the Right’s conservative legislation, and they were starting to stand up to them a little bit, out of desperate self-preservation. The Greens represent the sort of policies that the ALP Right is so accomplished at killing within the ALP – except that on the floor of Parliament, they don’t wield the same power. When they argue with lefties in public, it highlights to progressive voters just how hostile they are to everything we believe: there’s a reason they want lefties “inside the tent” where they can be crushed quietly.
The ALP Right might pretend that the enemy is Tony Abbott, but except for industrial relations, it agrees with them on almost everything else. They can sympathise with the major party’s dilemma: pretending to represent opposing camps simultaneously. Also, they’ve both a strong self-interest in maintaining the present duopoly: something a representative, policy-based party threatens. And a strong alternative for voters undermines the big old parties traditional fall-back appeal: “at least we’re not the other guys”.
As I said, the ALP Right hates the Greens above all.
And, if the poll isn’t an aberration, the factions have succeeded in tricking some progressive voters into thinking that suddenly the ALP has changed. While Gillard flags an intention to lunge to the Right on policy, it appears that some lefty voters believe that she’ll suddenly represent them because – why? Because she was a lefty twenty years ago? Because she’s a straight-talking woman? It certainly can’t be because she’s promised to seriously address any progressive concerns better than Rudd did, because she hasn’t.
It’ll be a true indictment on the Australian electorate if a major party can fix up its electoral woes not be changing its policies, but by merely swapping salespeople. Seriously, who are these people who were going to vote Green who’ve now shifted to Labor? Why? Can they explain what they’re thinking?