POSTPONED - Professor Jennifer Curtin - Was the 2022 Australian Federal Election outcome really a win for Labor?

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There was much jubilation for Australian Labor Party supporters on the night of the 2022 Federal Election. Although it remained unclear initially whether the party would secure majority government, there was no doubt they had triumphed over Morrison’s Liberals.

Three weeks later, Labor had secured 77 seats (out of 151) in the House of Representatives, and an increased number of seats in the Senate. Despite the euphoria however, there may be some disquiet in the ranks. The ALP received a two-party preferred swing nationally of 3.5%, but their primary vote was the lowest polling victory for a winning government in Australian history. By contrast we witnessed increases in the vote for small parties and independents, with the non-party vote topping 30% and an increased number of crossbenchers in the House, and possibly the Senate. The Greens and “Teal” Independents (progressives from ‘leafy suburbs’) did particularly well. Collectively they are committed to climate change, human rights, increased political integrity and a gender-inclusive parliamentary culture.

What then does this shift away from the two major parties mean for Australian politics? Does it matter that the ALP’s primary vote is low if the preferential, and compulsory, voting system delivers them government? And will it require them to lean more to the progressive left, and build a different style of consensus politics with Greens and urban independent liberals?

Jennifer is Professor of Politics and Director of the Public Policy Institute at the University of Auckland. Her research focuses on Australian and New Zealand politics, gender policy analysis, political leadership, and the politics of sport. In addition to her academic outputs, Jennifer has a commitment to sharing her research and thinking with community organisations and the media, both in New Zealand and internationally. Her initial comments on the election can be found on Radio NZ and via The Conversation.

July 13th, 2022 6:30 PM through  8:00 PM
Zoom Only
No physical meeting