An hilarious “analysis” of the Greens’ electoral performance from former Victorian Young Liberals president James Paterson at that den of Leftist groupthink, The Drum. His arguments can pretty well be summed up as follows:
- Yes, Adam Bandt won Melbourne. But he had to rely on preferences, which simply doesn’t cut it in our preferential voting system. Never mind that Bandt achieved a +13% swing, as compared to a –10% swing for the ALP and –3% for the Liberals. Real men win by getting more than 50% of the primary vote.
- Yes, they won a Senate seat in every state, taking their total number of Senators to nine and giving them the balance of power in the upper house. But Kerry Nettle lost back in 2007, and they didn’t manage to get Senators elected from the territories or pick up a second Senator from Tasmania. Also, they won their seats at the expense of Labor and so it really doesn’t count – because even though the Greens and the ALP are two different parties each trying to advance their own interests and achieve the best outcome for their own party, the only thing that matters to anyone is whether the Coalition’s numbers are reduced.
- Yes, they increased their national primary vote by around 4% to a total of around 11%. But that isn’t as high as the two highest polls that a critic could cherry-pick – 15% in Newspoll and 16% in Neilson [sic], respectively. If you think about it, the margin of error on those polls was probably +/- 3% – so really, we could have expected the Greens to get 18 or 19%. So why didn’t they? FAIL.
So there you have it. Their first ever House of Representatives victory at a general election, their highest ever Senate representation with the capacity to influence the passage of amendments and bills, and an across-the-board rise in their primary vote. All of which should make the Greens feel very inadequate, because they still don’t have safe lower house seats, multiple Senators from everywhere, and can’t manage to perform better than their polling numbers suggest they should. Incisive.
NB: I am a member of the Greens. And yet I don’t feel disappointed – sorry, James.