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What do Labor voters want?

Judging from the latest polls one would assume that Bill Shorten’s head is what Labor voters want first and foremost. But moments before this disastrous poll was splashed liberally on the front pages of most media sites, Labor voters had been talking about something equally as important as leadership woes: national issues.

A few months ago Labor voters were invited to vote on the issues they wanted to discuss most with Labor (which I wrote about here). Yesterday they announced the findings of this poll, which some of you might be interested in seeing:

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Poll of Labor voters

The thing that strikes me the most is that it looks the reverse of what the media (over the last couple of years) and the Right-wing have been shrill about. It is also a message to Labor that Labor voters disapprove of the policies the Opposition is quick to show bipartisan support for with the Government.

It must be remembered that the poll closed (presumably) before the Paris attacks, and given that 7’s Sunrise have been telling us that 75 per cent of Australians believe there will be a terrorist attack on our soil, it would also be presumed that National Security might rate much higher than its low ranking.

The Paris attacks (and national security aside), one can only hope that Labor will start listening to Labor voters on the issues that are important to them. They asked what Labor voters wanted, and now they’ve been told.

I won’t hold my breath though.

 

35 comments

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  1. Matters Not

    There’s an election on the way. I’ll be handing out Labor How to Vote Cards, but I won’t be giving my first preference to Swan, my local member. And I’ll tell him why I’m giving my first preference to the Greens.

    They can’t win. But they can bring a ‘moral dimension’ to political debate.

  2. mars08

    I suspect that Shorten doesn’t worry too much about what “Labor voters” want. The ALP is hoping to snare some swing voters and is willing to gamble that the traditional ALP voters will remain faithful.

  3. Chris the Greatly Dismayed

    Good on you Matters Not. You are the sort of Labor supporter Labor needs (in sentiment if not voting intention) if they are to survive or stay relevant. Labor is arguing strange small government and privatisation arguments in South Australia that make little real sense and I don’t think Labor supporters believe them despite the understanding of the dire state of the budget due to Federal clawbacks.
    http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/former-motor-accident-commission-chairman-says-government-orders-are-driving-up-vehicle-registration-costs/story-fni6uo1m-1227620246930
    State government actions play into the hands of the Federal Liberals (and possibly Greens).

  4. Kerri

    Interesting that the top two and by far biggest of the areas of concern are issues The Greens are most vocal on? Out of touch to their own detriment maybe?

  5. Paul

    Looking back over the last few years and Bill voting with Team Australia, and letting so many opportunities just quietly pass by, small target be buggered, he has to be one of them. He certainly seems to be singing from the conservative songbook. Too much time with his mate Roskam perhaps. Bill should be called WD40, good for loosening rusted on Labor nuts.
    I will also be following Matters Not’s way of voting, until the Labor party starts representing their constituency they don’t deserve to be put first..

  6. MargCal

    Re Mars08 …. If Shorten is willing to risk Labor voters for the chance to pick up Swing voters, my bet would be on a net loss. I’ve been saying for some time, if you want Liberal policies, which is what Labor is offering, then the Liberals do it so much, sickeningly, better.

  7. Carol Taylor

    I believe that Labor is about to learn a hard lesson. Previously, although full of outrage and condemnation for the decision, we still voted Labor knowing that a LNP government was likely to be worse (off-shore incarceration of women and children being an example). I believe that Labor assumed that rusted-ons would always remain rusted-ons. I believe that they should be questioning this assumption.

    Like it or not, these days people do not vote for or against policies and unless the Libs make a massive blunder and the Left are able to launch an equally massive campaign against this blunder (see WorkChoices) then Turnbull will be PM after the next election. Labor has araldited themselves so closely to LNP policies that no one can see much difference between the two major parties. I was expecting that Labor would instigate a major shift to the left following Abbott’s departure (blows party whistle, throws streamers into the air), but this hasn’t happened.

    Having a look at my choice of possible candidates at the next election, it seems that for the first time in my life that I will be voting Independent.

  8. Carol Taylor

    MargCal, it seems that we are on the same wavelength. 🙂

  9. babyjewels10

    Just goes to show how wrong Abbott was – he put National Security at the top of the list, doing his level best to scare the hell out of Australians. Labor voters put it right at the bottom. I put Asylum seekers at the top of my list because I felt they needed to be dealt with more urgently than even climate change. Climate change and environment was my second choice. Yet our popular LNP government is destroying our environment and putting Terrorism at the top.

  10. Kaye Lee

    The Liberals did what we thought was impossible in getting rid of Abbott. Who would have thought after their campaign about dysfunction and disunity that they would have the chutzpah to do that. Who would have thought, after their campaign on the carbon and mining taxes, that they would have the balls to label Labor’s opposition to a GST hike a ‘scare’ campaign. Who would have thought that Malcolm Turnbull could so sell his soul as to defend Direct Action.

    Bill Shorten cannot win a popularity contest so Labor better damn well start explaining why anyone should vote for them. They have some good policies but it is hard for them to get a run in the media. They need some showstoppers rather than tinkering.

    High speed rail and all the benefits that go with it could easily capture the imagination of a jaded public.

    Closing our offshore detention centres would save money and be lauded internationally. Just admit, it isn’t working. Dutton is an easy target.

    They need to rip apart Greg Hunt’s and Scott Morrison’s bullshit figures.

    Bill needs to stop being so rehearsed when speaking. He is much better unscripted and speaking from the heart.

    And they should bite the bullet and create an integrity body like ICAC. Public service positions should not be gifts given and taken away by politicians – they should be appointed by a public service board through appropriate merit processes (looking at Tim Wilson and Sophie Mirabella and countless others).

    We need less politics and more honesty

  11. Loz

    Well said Kaye.

  12. gee

    if you want to send a message to Labor that will be heard, vote greens.

  13. Terry2

    Kaye

    Abbott thought that he would be safe by constantly chanting ‘we are not Labor’ which made it very hard for moderates in the Liberal Party to contemplate excising him but finally they acknowledged that in their own interests and those of Australia he had to go.

    Now we hear that Right Wing supporters of Abbott are meeting regularly for lunch in Parliament House: why does that bring back memories of ‘The Boys from Brazil’ ?

  14. Kaye Lee

    Financial planners will be allowed to charge clients fees for two months after their contracts have expired unless customers take action to ditch their adviser, under amendments to the Future of Financial Advice bill passed by the Senate.

    The amendment passed on Tuesday was part of a raft of technical changes to the Future of Financial Advice (FoFA) bill that were jointly agreed to by the government and the Labor Party in a last minute push that left the Greens and the crossbench on the back foot.

    http://www.smh.com.au/business/fofa-changes-a-boon-for-planners-20151124-gl6ore.html

    I cannot understand Labor.

    They should go hard on corporate tax avoidance, not leave it just to Sam Dastyari.

    Or listen to the Grattan Institute:

    Wealthy people who reduce their tax rates by pumping money into super should be stopped by severely limiting the amount of pre-tax income they can get concessions on and ensuring earnings in retirement are taxed, a Grattan Institute report says.

    The report, Superannuation Tax Targeting, says that tax breaks for super reduce income-tax collections by more than $25 billion a year, with more than half the benefits flowing to the wealthiest 20 per cent of households who already can afford to fund their own retirement.

    http://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/tax-rich-old-men-restrict-wealthy-pumping-pretax-income-into-super-report-20151123-gl5trp.html#ixzz3sRyNfyfn

    Super concessions as tax avoidance must be addressed. It will be sensitive but I am guessing that the top 10% of earners are already voting Liberal. If rich old people cannot use superannuation for tax avoidance then young people will have to pay less – it’s worth billions annually.

  15. guest

    Comments here so far have made some general statements about popularity and right wing policies, with wishes that Shorten go away and suggestions that the Greens are the best party to vote for (although the Greens will not gain power of themselves but the vote would give Labor a shock). What?

    No one so far has stated what policies they want from Labor. But look at the items of concern in the graph above and we see that Labor voters clearly have priorities. As far as I can see, the only one that could be said to align with the Coalition is the Immigration and Asylum policy. Remember, it was Rudd who suggested that if asylum seekers in the end came to Oz or NZ under Howard, then why not deny refuge in Oz if asylum seekers come by boat. Abbott seized that policy with glee. So we have Stop the Boats and Manus/Nauru.

    For Labor to oppose that policy now would be to go against popular opinion. The public have been whipped up into a frenzy about immigrants, just as they were about the Carbon “Tax”. But when we look at Labor voters’ priorities, we see that asylum seeker policy is second on list and security is rock bottom. I am sure that a large percentage of Labor voters – along with the Greens – are against present policy. Perhaps now is the time to make a clear stand on immigration policy and the detention of people who did no more than try to find a better life, but it would be a very brave move.

    So the top 4 priorities listed here are the concerns of 75% of Labor voters. For most of them Labor has policies which can be clearly distinguished from Coalition polices, with Environment and Climate Change clearly top priority. Look at the smoke and mirrors of the Coalition’s Direct Action policy and see the difference.

    Look at #4 (Education) and ask yourself what Pyne achieved for education in 2 years of Coalition muddling. Look at #7 (Budget) and ask yourself what Hockey achieved.

    This moaning about Labor is depressingly negative. Where are the things Labor voters really want? Look at Labor policies and forget this obsession with personalities. Turnbull is in thrall to the right wing of the Coalition and it feels better that Abbott has gone, but the change so far is superficial.

    If we really want Labor to win, negativity will not do it.

  16. townsvilleblog

    I would add Industrial Relations justice, which the ALP seem to conveniently forgotten about largely due to the fact that the party is run by the AWU and the SDA.

  17. stephengb2014

    I do not want Shorten to be removed – I want Shprten to remove himself for the good of the Labor Party and for the good of the country.

    I have consistanty said this from very early in the Abbott government, long before the call for him to go became a dull roar, I have said it in writing to him and to his supporting shadow front bench.

    The reasons are clear, he has no personality, he carries baggage, he has taken the view of ‘me too’ and he has followed the Right wing view that we have a deficit and debt problem which in fact means in my view, that he is not in a pink fit a Labor true believer.

    the man may well be a decent man but Prime Minister – I thonk not

    If he does not step down voluntarily the Labor Party WILL LOSE the coming election.

    Once Turnbull gets back in the pressure wll really be on him from the LNP ‘free market fundamentalists’ to be removed by the Abbott supporters, and based on Turnbulls mister nice guy persona, Abbott will get back.

    Shorten is no match for Abbott as he has proved, and he is an even worse match for Turnbull.

    so if you Labor Poloticians ard readong this media and comments, you know in your heart Shorten is not up to the job.

  18. jimhaz

    I’ll be looking for some form of interesting independent to vote for. I’ve tired completely of these softcock career ALP pollies.

  19. stephengb2014

    Damn didn’t get to correct my bad spelling fore finger

  20. Wayne Turner

    “They asked what Labor voters wanted, and now they’ve been told.” – Sadly if Labor listened to Labor voters. They would have gone along with the MAJORITY of paid up members and Albo would have been leader – THIS IS WHERE CURRENT LABOR’S PROBLEMS STARTED. It is a disaster for Labor that they give the MAJORITY of Labor’s paid up members a vote on the leader,then it can and does get ignored by the out of tough Labor pollies. If the pollies are going to ignore the paid up members,choice of leader,than don’t both giving members vote.Ideally of course going along with the MAJORITY of paid up Labor members.

    Labor’s other problem is they are TOTALLY GUTLESS. Me too on Liberal to do with terrorism,national security and asylum seekers,and learnt NOTHING from being GUTLESS & AFRAID of the BIG END OF TOWN when in government ie: Take on the big end of town and do NOT buckle EVER. Plus too nice to the MSM who continue to either bag and/or ignore them. WHERE’S THE PASSION? WHERE’S THE CHALLENGING LIBS LIES? Boring Bill has no personality and NO GUTS (except how he become Labor leader.),and his boringness rubs off on others eg: Tanya is boring and shows no passion when she speaks to the media NOW. Too gutlessly polite to Turnbullsh*t.

  21. Wayne Turner

    Also,where’s Labor on policy such as: Cleaning up the CORRUPT job network provider system and centrelink.Which rorts billions of taxpayers dollars,exploits the unemployed,does NOT work and wastes unemployed peoples time. Labor’s silence on this = Agreeing with unemployed and tax payers being rorted.

    Where’s Labor continued outrage and call for looking into workers being exploited? Eg: 7/11. Where’s the call for tougher penalties for dodgy bosses? And a look into what other companies are rorting workers. Then again boring idiot Bill couldn’t even be bothered to get his simple facts right on this.By incorrectly attacking Subway instead of 7/11. Boring Bill is a lazy idiot.

  22. Wayne Turner

    On another note I will NEVER vote for these BIG BUSINESS puppet LYING Libs. But Labor needs to actually BATTLE the Libs. Small target ONLY works when you have the MSM being your promoters ie: How we got Abbott.

  23. stephentardrew

    Great article Roswell clear simple and to the point. Labor are an inverted reflection of the demands of their constituency and they wonder why they tank in the polls. They seem to want to capture L-NP voters and move further to the right rather than appeal to their base. Too much complacent enjoyment of the larges poured upon our politicians by lobbyists methinks.

  24. guest

    Wayne, 3 posts in 17 minutes! Please slow down and stop shouting. What is it you are so upset about? The process for electing the LOTE did not get you the leader you wanted? The process was designed to stop the revolving door in the leadership of the party. Get over it. No point in raging now. If Albo has no influence, it is hard to see how he would make a difference.
    Me too on terrorism, security and asylum seekers? Check out where the populace stands on these issues, fed by the MSM. Take on the big end of town? Labor is criticised all the time for just that because the Coalition position is that the big end of town is the driver of growth and prosperity.
    Too nice to the MSM? Do you think being aggressive to the MSM would get them onside? No personality, too gutless? Bill has spoken with passion in extended speeches but it is hard to be passionate in a 10 second sound bite on the 27/7 news cycle. Bill spoke with some passion and on points of order with regard to his questioning of Hunt’s Direct Action numbers today. Bill was prevented from tabling the contradictory figures he had in his possession.
    Attacking corrupt businesses exploiting workers’ wages? What does Labor stand for if not for the workers? There are businesses at present being investigated for corruption. There are regulations. What more do you want?
    As for the small target complaint, we saw how Bill saw off Abbott, who had gained office with the help of some of the MSM and by ranting and raving. Bill did not have to rant and rave to see him off.
    Meanwhile, Turnbull is in thrall to the Coalition right wing. He has the baggage of Abbott’s polices. Abbott is lurking in the wings. There is still far to go to the next election. Anything could happen. Loss of the car industry coming up. The truth of the FTAs still to be revealed. Talk of recessions.
    Ask yourself what the Coalition has achieved in the past 2 years. We know what Labor stands for. The policies under Rudd and Gillard are generally sound and desirable compared to the unfair and self-seeking policies of the Coalition. We have seen what happened to Labor and the Coalition when unity fell apart. Beware what you wish for.

  25. Wayne Turner

    guest: The process to get Labor’s leader is illogical and a bad look when the pollies ignore the MAJORITY of paid up members.It’s where the trouble has started.This trouble will continue when Labor pollies ignore the MAJORITY of paid up Labor members again.

    The MSM bully Labor. Yes they need to be more aggressive – More Paul Keating and less Julia Gillard. Sucking up to the MSM makes Labor look weak. I know the MSM are anti-Labor.I can’t stand the biased MSM.

    So Labor goes me too on polls. Where’s leadership? What a surprise they offer no alternative on those issues. Poll driven and weak.

    Labor MUST take on the big end of town. They need to point out the lie from the Libs,and the Libs only defend big business cause they bribe the Libs and the Libs are puppets for big business.The MSM are a big business.

    On corrupt bosses: The penalties on 7/11 bosses are weak. Fines is pathetic. They then just continue operating (some continue rorting.Cause they are repeat offenders) How about also the bosses banned from ever running businesses again,and possible gaol. They should be charged with the criminal offense of fraud. Labor should be pushing for this often.

    Labor should be calling for an investigation into the CORRUPT job network provider system.

    Sorry Bill did NOT see off Abbott. Abbott did Abbott in spite of Bill.Even the MSM couldn’t hide Abbott for so long when he was PM – Abbott is an idiot,and always will be.Small target does NOT and will NOT work when the MSM are promoting the other side.Especially when the Libs new leader is NOT a total idiot like Abbott.Turnbullsh*t = All style and no substance.

    As I previously said I would never vote for these lying big end of town puppet Libs. A shame about the ignorant majority that will. Plus a Labor leader with no guts (except how he become leader),no passion and no personality.

  26. Faye Cox

    This traditional Labor voter, will for the first time ever, not be voting for them in the next election unless Shorten is removed and the Labor Party starts getting back to what it “Should” stand for…I actually look forward to voting for some other dick head party in the Senate, because at the moment the Labor Party is, actually a “dick head party” supporting policies it shouldn’t. i.e. the “Harper Review”. . Bill is boring,”me too”, and has the charisma of a bollard. The Labor Party’s asset Abbott has gone. It’s time we got rid of our liability, Shorten and moved on.

  27. randalstella

    “The Liberals did what we thought was impossible in getting rid of Abbott. Who would have thought after their campaign about dysfunction and disunity that they would have the chutzpah to do that. Who would have thought, after their campaign on the carbon and mining taxes, that they would have the balls to label Labor’s opposition to a GST hike a ‘scare’ campaign. Who would have thought that Malcolm Turnbull could so sell his soul as to defend Direct Action.”

    Could this possibly be naivety? Who would have thought…? I am one of many who did. And I posted such here. Clearly no attention was paid.

    It is not chutzpah. It is worse. It is the presumption that such minds have automatically. Anyone who just thinks the Libs are being very cheeky will always underestimate their ingrained turpitude. It is more than lies or deceit.They are the beasts with an animus that will do whatever it takes to favour their own privilege, which means undermining the common wealth, to issue the deviant peasant with a registered begging bowl . The nasty fool who proclaimed ‘the end of entitlement’ is about to be appointed Ambassador to Washington. They do not even give it a second thought.
    The cleaner who works nights for gross $32,000 per annum just must fund them. Why? Well, they are the rulers. It’s an old deal done for the sake of their pre-eminence.
    And they are served by a Media that has its interests in the same basket. For example, that Drum thing on the ABC is a propaganda unit for reaction, interrogating any resistance to it. Their tone is this: ‘You seem to have an obsessive regard for facts, and for telling the truth. Why? Explain yourself. And when you have been cut off, we will proceed to mock your silly ways.’ This odious mush is on daily with repeats while ABC-FM cannot even fund a reliable playlist.

    The Labor Party might have a leader able to deal with this, if the Labor Party were committed to doing anything about it. Trying to survive it means doom. Just look at the demeanour of Plibersek these days. Turnbull calls this a most exciting time – and her facial expression knows what he’s talking about. The Cayman Islands tax dodging should have been enough to sink him; but the Media managed to present it as a triumph for him, on the ‘fair go for billionaires’ line – that had such resurgence with Rudd’s very mild mining tax.

    Who would have thought? I did. Dismally, it does not seem that hard.

  28. Wayne Turner

    Sadly randalstella 100% spot on.It does NOT surprise me.These Libs have no shame, just like all their backers such as the MSM.While in most cases Labor have no guts.

    Most of the public have no critical thinking skills,very gullible and ignorant.Hence why the MSM tries so hard to brainwash the masses – Cause it works on plenty of people (When it didn’t work at the 2010 election. The MSM then set out to destroy Gillard and Labor.It worked for numerous reasons. A big one the gullible masses, and the lack of GUTS by Labor.).We don’t live in a democracy,we live in a mediaocracy.

    If I had to blame one group the most for all this. It sadly is the ignorant masses,for being so easily manipulated,gullible and non-thinkers.Plus those that don’t care. Cause if it wasn’t so many people (majority) like this.It would NOT matter how the MSM carries on,how gutless Labor are,and how hypocritical lying the Libs are. The masses if politically educated,none of these groups conning them would have an effect,and it would NOT work.

  29. paul walter

    Sadly, an article I agree with. The upper echelons of Labor have this voter howeling in frustration..like trying to communicate with so many housebricks.

  30. trishcorry

    I don’t know who you are Guest, but I like you! You are spot on with everything you have said here. I’m sick to death of the moaning about Labor. Maybe if people stopped moaning the contagion of negativity about Labor would be gone. Emotions are contagious (Elaine Hatfield).

  31. mars08

    Many years ago my teenage daughter developed an eating disorder… probably brought about by the failure of our marriage. She was living with her mother at the time.

    My ex was building a relationship with her new man and ignored our daughter’s worsening health. She dismissed our daughter’s cry for help. My ex didn’t want to deal with the “moaning and negativity” and rather concentrate on her courtship.

    Our daughter had real problems which needed to be addressed. Eventually (and with no prompting from me) she left her mother and came to live with me. With her strength and my help she recovered.

    But my ex-wife lost a daughter.

  32. Chris the Greatly Dismayed

    Unfortunately Jim Labor can’t stick to any core policies…. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-27/weatherill-wants-gst-hike-for-the-sake-of-health-care/6978974 or http://www.afr.com/news/politics/jay-weatherill-backs-15pc-gst-in-return-for-175pc-of-income-tax-20151125-gl8ail
    My Grandma was an almost lifetime Labor member and branch office holder but even she quit in the 90s over privatization and branch stacking.
    Talking about how Labor policies have affected anyone individually is difficult without giving out too much personal information (and being left open to attack by ignorant morons). Labor ‘broke’ the workcover system before any cuts by federal Libs and at a time when state revenues had never been higher. I was forced into dangerous labour hire work by the Howard governments punitive social security rules and ‘work choices’.(I had a job but it was for a small business and the work was not always consistent or reliable….working for the children of a Labor exSenator, incidently.) The labour hire work was for a company that didn’t have to take safety seriously because it used untrained labour hire workers as much as possible. It also had a massive backlog of maintenance on malfunctioning machinery. Anyone who makes a w/cover claim does not get to go back to this company. I got injured by the stupid actions of someone else and ended up with a serious chronic pain condition. By the Labor Party’s rules my family’s income ends in about six months.
    The workcover agent has only bullied, harassed, lied, cut off our income at times and never been helpful. The medical system has only been evasive and dishonest. You do not get a choice of GP (only the ones who have access to the dodgy workcover payment system by virtue of their dodginess).
    There is of course much more of this story I could tell, including the Labor Party connected law firm that quit on me because they obviously weren’t willing to take the government or health system to task on this. I have worked in several jobs as a casual where casuals are not eligible to join the union (because of dodgy deals, it turns out).
    Until the Labor Party can demonstrate it is not a bunch of self serving crooks as bad as the Liberal Party most of its candidates don’t deserve voting for (there might be some that are ok).

  33. randalstella

    Chris,
    I wish you well. You seem to be stuck in a State of cronyism, with a Government that should have been out of power 6 years ago, and would have been except for quirky electoral flukes. Thus they have spent more than 6 years setting themselves up for the corporate career after Politics – where they will make ‘real money’. The State of Part-time Pat. South Australia, the home of the main Labor spruiker here.
    Maybe the Labor barrackers here can’t quite find your post, to give you support.
    But as one of them says ‘just stop moaning and everything will be better’. The moaning makes her sick.
    Such a sensitive soul – supporting asylum seeker detention conducted without any accountability. A policy to hide the deaths, no doubt. The murder, the suicides; the rapes. Good old pragmatics politics. Well worth a career – in Opposition, for 5, maybe 10 years; by which time Labor will be thoroughly Liberalised. There’s nothing quite like choice.

    An absence of accountability is an absence of law. This is beneath despicable.
    But there I am moaning. I should be more practical and support whatever the appointed jackboots do in those concentration camps. Where is my loyalty? There are bigger issues than the bashing of the defenceless by paid thugs. There are bigger issues than murder and rape. There are bigger issues then the unlawful indefinite imprisonment of people who have broken no law. .I must have just simply lost context.
    At least the Labor leader looks apologetic. Tell me someone,why did he want this job again?

  34. Chris the Greatly Dismayed

    Thanks randalstella. “An absence of accountability is an absence of law.” is a great way of putting it and something you can see all through most of our ‘systems’. They are all broken and no one is willing to fix them, it seems.
    The profits are there; only for those willing to do wrong by people and the environment……..the ones who can’t fight back.

    …..not sure what I’m going to do……..fight them to the end, I guess (and take no more of their totally ‘unhelpful’ medications).

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