Sunday, December 6, 2009

Higgins not so great for Libs, ALP

Update: This post has been updated to reflect final AEC figures.

On Sunday, Josh Gordon at The Age saw the federal by-election results as good for Tony Abbott, but, looking at Higgins, the Liberal primary vote increased from last time by only 0.82% (with an increase in 2CP of about 2%). With Labor not running, this could even be explained by a small migration of right-wing Labor voters to the Liberals.

In Bradfield, the Liberals did worse, with swing in the primary vote against them of 3.4%, albeit with an increase of less than 1% in the 2CP.

In addition, there was a poor turn-out in both by-elections. In Higgins 75.32% cf 93.7% (AEC 2009, 2007), and in Bradfield 74.24% cf 94.03% (AEC 2009, 2007).

In the absence of Labor, a substantial proportion of both electorates (32.54% primary in Higgins, and 25.9% primary in Bradfield) were quite willing to vote Green. How many might still be comfortable to do so even given a Labor candidate on the ballot?

This unknown surely can't be making Lindsay Tanner more comfortable in Melbourne. It seems there's plenty of scope for Rudd to lose quite a slab of ALP votes to the Greens, so it's far from a poor result for the most climate progressive party, and particularly for Clive Hamilton. It's also noteworthy that the climate sceptic candidate did very poorly in Higgins.

Chin up, Greens! Well done!

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