Could there be good reasons for rusted on Labor voters to change their vote to Liberal this election? And if there are, what does it say for the likely poll result, and the responses currently being garnered by pollsters?
Former Queensland Council of Unions President Dave Harris is quoted in today’s Courier Mail which says:
The former union boss said Labor needed to restrict the power of factions if it was to appeal to more voters, but warned this was only likely to happen if the party was wiped out at the federal election.
“For change to happen, there has got to be a cataclysmic act like the severe flogging they received in Queensland,” he told The Courier-Mail.
“The Labor Party will not be a party that attracts a broader group of people while the control mechanisms are in the hands of so few people and the power blocs aren’t challenged.
“Frankly, reality says that the trade unions cannot continue to have the influence in a broader-based party that they have enjoyed for the last hundred years.”
If there are many others out there who feel just like Harris, then it will be a potent weapon for Abbott as the election nears, turning an act of reluctant “disloyalty” to an organisation that people have treasured, into a measured and moral act of chastisement.
It means that swings will likely be larger than are currently captured in the polling data, but that the election win by the Liberals will be one that could (assuming Labor learns its lessons quickly) be relatively quickly reverse. It would give Abbott a huge majority, but one he needs to be circumspect in wielding, as it will be partially driven not by support for him, but support for “labor” or genuine “Labor values”.
Again from the Courier:
He mocked Ms Gillard’s repeated use of the phrase “Labor values”, saying this just alienated voters.
“I am horrified by the crass politics. There are no Labor values in the stuff that’s going on.”
It may also bode well for Bob Katter. His values are probably closest to what Harris calls “Labor”.