If you believed what the media has had to say, the Australian Labor Party crashed at the General Election because there was a backlash against the dumping of Kevin Rudd (particularly in Queensland) and a whole load of rednecks didn't much like having a woman leading the ALP.

Just for good measure the ALP has added that the leaking of some embarrassing documents in the last week of the campaign didn't aid its cause either . I heard the ALP campaign manager bleating on how he had stopped all polling after the documents were leaked because they uniformly showed the 'the figures'' going through the floor.

There are a lot of ALP politicians and functionaries mapping out their defences before the inevitable internal recriminations begin - especially if Tony Abbot manages to become the Prime Minister.

Seemingly both the corporate media and the ALP have come together in an unholy unison to try to deflect attention from the fact that the ALP's neoliberal agenda got the big thumbs down from the electorate.

This has exposed the political bankruptcy of the ALP which claimed it could not adopt so-called 'radical' policies in fear of alienating the working class vote. This is worth remembering when Phil Goff and the Labour Party start to unveil their dreary conservative economic programme and promote it as 'pragmatic'.

Not only did the 'pragmatic' neoliberalism of the ALP get the thumbs down, it has opened the door to Tony Abbot. No doubt that's not something the Australian union hierarchy, who have stubbornly and consistently supported the right wing ALP, will be too eager to discuss.

It was just a short three years that the reactionary government of John Howard was tossed out of office, with a six percent swing to Labor. This was the biggest shift in votes to the ALP in forty years.

Kevin Rudd promised real progressive change but ended up pursuing the same old discredited politics of neoliberalism again. Can you really tell the difference between a right wing and left wing social democrat? No, you can't.

When the disillusionment with Rudd stated to translate into a big drop in electoral support, the ALP and union powerbrokers acted. Goodbye Kevin Rudd, hello Julia Gillard.

During one of the television debates with Abbot, Gillard proclaimed that 'the most courageous stand she had made in her political career' was standing up to teachers fighting to defend public education.

This is the same woman that Mike Smith the former national secretary of the New Zealand Labour Party, was praising on the Labour-aligned blog The Standard a day or so after Kevin Rudd was dumped. Smith is also president of the New Zealand Fabian Society.

One of Gillard's first moves was to sellout to the demands of the mining industry. Labor’s Resources Super Profits Tax was heavily watered down, with $1.5 billion chopped from expected revenues.

On commentator wrote:

'If Kevin Rudd had done this deal he would have been crucified - but last night there a call came from the cabinet room - 'champagne!'.

Gillard simply offered up more of the neoliberalism that an increasing number of Australians don't want and the result was a hung parliament with a further disintegration in support for the ALP among the Australian working class.

The ALP's primary vote dropped by some 5.5 percent and most of that vote appears to have gone to the Greens whose national vote rose 3.7 per cent to 11.5 per cent. The Coalition’s primary vote went up only up 1.8 per cent to 44.0 per cent.

Disillusionment with both major parties was also reflected in the informal vote, which was the highest since 1984.In some of the working class suburbs of Sydney the informal vote was as high as 12 percent.

What this all indicates is that there has not been a surge to the right but rather that an increasing number of Australians are looking for a real political and economic alternative to the failed and discredited neoliberal policies of both the ALP and The Coalition.


  1. Alarmingly (for both of us, I suspect) I find myself in almost complete agreement with your analysis, Steve.

    For my take on the Australian election check out today's Press.

  2. pull your socialist selves together dudes, Steve and Chris ,
    Australia is on an entirely new trajectory,
    Queensland and its wealth rule,
    expect Coalition, and an emergence of the power of wealth .
    peter quixote

  3. Excellent stuff, Steve.

    We've published a range of socialist analysis from different left groups there on the Socialist Aotearoa blog.


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