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Blame them – not us

In the week before Christmas, most people are trying to remember if Uncle Mark and Uncle Barry can be seated close to each other without arguing about ‘the incident that ruined Christmas’ (which shook the family to it’s core in 1996), joining the crowds in the local shopping centre, checking the car for the ‘road trip’ to see the rellies or laughing at those doing any of the above because they are super-organised and had everything ready to go by December 1. The week before Christmas is also a good time for politicians to ‘bring out the trash’, better known as provide information that was promised but they really don’t want people to think too much about.

And so it was the week before Christmas in 2022. The Liberal Party released it’s review of the 2022 election campaign on 22 December. The reviewers, shadow Finance Minister Senator Jane Hume and former Liberal Party Director Brian Loughnane, who also happens to be married to ‘Sky after dark’ presenter Peta Credlin. identified one of the significant negatives was Scott Morrison, noting

“The prime minister’s standing with voters deteriorated significantly through 2021 to become a significant negative. The prime minister and the party were seen as ‘out of touch’,”

The Guardian reported

The review noted that “deep frustration among party members” about being locked out of preselection processes made them “reluctant to volunteer”.

The Coalition was forced to fight on multiple fronts: in teal seats where voters “had a different set of election priorities”, making a national election message difficult; while also losing votes to minor parties and independents who “broadly could be considered rightwing”.

Although the primary vote of both major parties decreased, Labor was able to benefit from a higher flow of preferences from minor parties both from its left (the Greens) and its right, with 35.7% of One Nation preferences flowing to Labor and 38.14% of United Australia votes.

The review called for greater outreach to culturally and linguistically diverse communities, particularly Chinese-Australians. It noted that in the top 15 seats by Chinese ancestry, the two-party preferred swing against the Liberals was 6.6% compared with 3.7% in other seats.

However the Liberal’s review also attempts to prosecute the case the reason Morrison’s standing with the public was reduced was a damaging marketing campaign against the former Prime Minister, which allowed the ‘teal independents’ to outspend them and take votes. The Liberal Party review authors also claimed their ‘It won’t be easy under Albanese’ marketing campaign created good market recall (which might be fine for a soap powder – demonstrably less so for a political party). as well as stating their internal polls suggested a 3 to 4% increase in the Coalition voting intention over the course of the election campaign.

With that, we’ve found something that the Liberal Party and the Labor Party agree on. The ALP election review, released earlier in December notes

“The focus on Morrison’s character was highly effective. Morrison’s unpopularity is the single-most-significant factor in Labor’s victory,”

The ALP review identified a number of weaknesses and opportunities for improvement with their campaign. Labor identified that votes leaked from the ALP to the ‘teal’ independents and The Greens. their nationwide direct vote was the lowest since 1934 and despite a Labor state governments in Queensland and the re-election of a Labor government in Victoria, there is significant work to attract voters back to the ALP in those states.

It’s interesting to look at the language here as well. The ALP recognises it has problems in attracting voters to directly support them while the Liberals are looking for excuses for pretty well everything except a marketing slogan.

The ALP review was publicly released after the Victorian State Election, we can’t be certain that any of the review’s suggestions were ‘trialled’ in Victoria. We do know that the ALP won the election with a similar majority to the previous state election, despite parts of the media looking for opportunities to portray the Victorian Premier as the leader of a fascist or communist state with mobility issues due to a failure to negotiate a small set of stairs while on holidays some time ago.

Meanwhile in the blue corner apparently everything is someone else’s fault. Yes, they observe that gender quotas are a good idea, that the ‘teal independents’ generally received some financial backing but neglect to suggest there were individuals who created the groundswell of support for all the independents before anyone offered to donate wads of cash to them, even suggesting

The standing of a number of incumbent MPs in key seats was not what should be expected leading into a campaign,

If that is the case, you would think the Liberal Party would have identified the knowledge and behaviour gaps in the year or so prior to the election and put measures in place to mitigate or train the MP’s to meet the required standards. Even though they were incumbent it shouldn’t automatically guarantee pre-selection.

It should be noted that the ‘teal independents’ weren’t the only group that took seats from the Coalition. Despite the risk of flooding, some of the most expensive land in South East Queensland is adjacent to the Brisbane River, as are the federal seats of Ryan and Brisbane which have a history of Liberal and more recently LNP representatives. Both seats turned to the Greens as did former PM Rudd’s seat of Griffith in the 2022 election. There were no ‘teal independents’ running for election in Queensland, which could be partly the reason why the ALP or Greens now represent all the federal seats along the river through the Brisbane metro area. This area used to be conservative heartland.

To address a problem, the first thing you have to do is realise you have a problem and acknowledge it. Have the Liberal Party done this? Apparently not as just prior to Christmas. the deal in the New South Wales Liberal Party to institute gender parity in the forthcoming state election was scrapped – because one of the factions felt they would lose influence. The deal was finally stuck just after Christmas however if it made the media it is a messy outcome demonstrating some are more worried about influence than gender equality.

To keep a good government to account, you need a good opposition. Hopefully The Greens, micro parties and independents are willing to step up to the mark as the Liberal Party haven’t worked out they have internal problems to solve before they represent Australia’s ‘conservative economic and liberal social values’ rather than their own sectional interests. We all deserve better.

 

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6 comments

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  1. New England Cocky

    Looking forward to Boofhead Duddo and his side-kick SusSsan Airhead LazeEE filling the Opposition benches for the next five(5) federal elections while the Albanese LABOR government demonstrates how Australian voters prefer their pollies to react when looking after the voters best interests and keeping the foreign owned multinational corporations under control and ideally paying tax for the many natural resources presently being extracted with the benefit of too many taxation concessions.

  2. RomeoCharlie29

    Always assuming Labor does act on those rorts you identify NEC rather than taking such somewhat obscure actions as the price caps.

  3. margcal

    The Liberals keep on about two things …

    A) The amount of money the teals spent and where their funding came from.
    There are only estimates from Kooyong but they indicate that Frydenberg spent about three times as much as Ryan.
    Teal funding really did come from a whole lot of “mum and dad” voters, relatively few very large donations from wealthy people, and nothing compared to what the Libs rake in from Big Business.

    B) The teals aren’t independent.
    The teals have a lot in common, as do some non-teal independents – pretty much all the justice and fairness, climate, etc issues that the Libs are appalling about. But they do vote independently in Parliament – look at their record. They see more than one way to skin a cat and have voted differently on issues that they are in more general agreement about.
    If the Libs don’t recognise this independence and carry on with one-size-fits-all campaigning, ignoring local issues and attitudes, they’re just going to keep on getting fewer votes.
    And I hope that’s the case until they become a party of decent people with decent values, reflected in their policies.

  4. andy56

    i cant see the liberals changing their spots. Their DNA is all about small government and the self made individual. In light of this ideological black hole, i see nothing positive coming out of this party. If you analyse their wins over the last 50yrs, since the defeat of whitlam, its always been about destroying the labor party, never about policy. Trading on the big lie of their economic credentials. Credentials that have been shown to be a scam. Even the boat people was another scare campaign against labor. These so called “moral christians” have no fear in jetisoning bipartisanship to win. Scots leaking of AUKUS to embarass labor, another point scoring attempt at a non policy. One can understand labor playing a steady hand now but really, we have 10yrs of lost opportunity to get back and we dont have much time. The liberals have poisoned the water with their shrill campaigns over the years. For this they deserve to become extinct.

  5. Clakka

    Fooed for thought.

    In times gone by, from Cook arose the embodiment of a gull, a strange bird, the fat-headed Foo.

    Guided from above the hills by an eagle, the troublesome migratory Foo, seeking easy prey, crying, “Where the bloody hell are you?” was booted from Oz for cooking the books and shitting on his providers. Seeking a landing place, Foo crossed the ditch yet again to be booted for cooking the books and shitting on his unsuspecting prey.

    Back to Oz, Foo lucked upon a feckless flock of unenlightened gulls belonging to the broad church. Guided from on high by the eagle, Foo set about their conversion and his glorification. Determined, he put paid to his first rival under turd. And spurred by his success maintained his m.o. of never be de-turd Foo.

    By the illumination of the eagle, he obtained their conversion from the broad church to the protocols of the church of the hill. They would stick with it following Foo leading by example with the Engerdine Enactment.

    And so he rose and it rained down, cooked books and shit everywhere till wiped at the polls.

    So much for Foo, for the eagle and the protocols of the church on the hill. The broad church de-pued, the Foo feud over, and yet, the feckless gulls squabble, dissemble, some hanging on in vain as they are sent to the bleachers.

    Their party’s over. And we love to remind them, “If the Foo shits, wear it.”

  6. Harry Lime

    I’ll have some of what you’re having,Mr Clakka,or should that be ‘Clacker?’

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