Support for Labor and Coalition likely to decline at Dunkley byelection

Contributed by Jim Hayes

The Dunley byelection is coming on 2 March and may well provide a result that is going to have wider repercussions. By elections are often presented as a contest between the Labor and Coalition leaders. This one is no different. Limiting the view to this narrow window of sight covers the fact that there is much more involved. Topping the list is how are the would be electors feeling about the state of the economy, the cost of living, state of environment, fairness in our society, and last but not least, how our political leaders have responded. The contest of personalities obscures all of this.

Elections are turned into commercialised public relations exercises devoid of proper debate on the real issues. Voters are expected to choose labels rather than real content. Because it’s a marketing exercise, the winner is often the one whose campaign can spend the most money.

But there are cracks in this. Recent federal and state elections have showed that an increasing proportion of voters are choosing to disbelieve the hype, and this has translated into a falling share of the primary vote for the major parties. This isn’t an opinion. It’s right there in the statistics.

The news is this is continuing in Frankston. The polls are saying Anthony Albanese’s rating is fallen just below peter Dutton’s and that on a two party preferred basis, the Coaltions looks slightly ahead. This is rather rubbery. Such predictions are proving increasingly unreliable. Polls also reveal, and this is rarely talked about, that there is a fall in the numbers supporting both Labor and the Coalition, and a rise of those likely to go for alternative candidates.

Unsurprisingly, the big issue is the rising cost of living. The fact that neither Labor nor the Coalition are putting forward credible solutions reveals the disconnect with the real world most must live in. The failure is feeding further distrust.

According to the Essential Poll, the Coalition has 35 percent of the primary vote, compared to 30 percent for Labor. The Greens have 13 percent, One Nation 7 percent, and the United Australia Party only 2 percent. Others support smaller parties, whose preferences will mostly drift to Labor. Labor may just pip it in. It still remains that a third of the electorate want neither of the major parties.

If this prediction happens, it will be in line with the trend in the recent spate of elections. The gap between the distrust of the major players, and by extension loss of faith in the existing political process is continuing. This is important, for it’s shaping the political future of our nation.

Australia must come to terms as to why this is happening. In doing so, we might just find the way forward.

Be the first to comment on "Support for Labor and Coalition likely to decline at Dunkley byelection"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.