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The ALP after 2004

Scott, Andrew 2006, The ALP after 2004, in APSA 2006 : Proceedings of the 2006 Australasian Political Studies Association conference, Australasian Political Studies Association, Newcastle, N.S.W., pp. 1-15.

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Title The ALP after 2004
Author(s) Scott, Andrew
Conference name Australasian Political Studies Association Conference (2006 : Newcastle, N.S.W.)
Conference location Newcastle, New South Wales
Conference dates 25-27 Sep. 2006
Title of proceedings APSA 2006 : Proceedings of the 2006 Australasian Political Studies Association conference
Editor(s) [Unknown]
Publication date 2006
Conference series Australasian Political Studies Association Conference
Start page 1
End page 15
Publisher Australasian Political Studies Association
Place of publication Newcastle, N.S.W.
Summary In 2004, for the first time in the two decades for which Australian Election Study (AES) data has become available, more blue-collar workers cast their primary vote for the Coalition parties than for Labor. Blue-collar support for Labor had partially recovered under Beazley in 1998 and 2001 following its dramatic drop under Keating in 1996 but it dropped to even lower levels under Latham in 2004. This paper analyses AES survey data, the actual voting results in each federal electorate and the demographic characteristics of those electorates to discuss the nature of Labor’s latest national election defeat and the reasons for it. There is considerable disagreement among commentators as to whether Labor has lost the last four national elections because it has failed to reconnect with its traditional voter base; or because it has failed to go beyond that base. Much of the disagreement centres on how blue-collar workers are to be understood. Are they ‘battlers’ and victims of ‘globalisation’ or have they become prosperous, upwardly-mobile and ‘aspirational’? Related questions include whether the most salient issues for blue-collar voters are economic, or cultural; and whether the most important inequalities in Australian society should be measured in terms of income; or occupation; or geographic location (including degree of distance from the inner-city). This paper analyses the policies presented in the 2004 election and engages with informed journalistic analyses, and contributions from past and present politicians, in addition to the work of political scientists, to help make sense of precisely where and why Labor lost support in 2004 and the implications this has for future ALP policy and strategy. The paper also contributes to the longer-term debates about the reasons for Howard’s electoral ascendancy since 1996; and the role and constituency of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party.
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Language eng
Field of Research 160601 Australian Government and Politics
Socio Economic Objective 940203 Political Systems
HERDC Research category E1.1 Full written paper - refereed
Copyright notice ©2006, Australasian Political Studies Association
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30033524

Document type: Conference Paper
Collections: School of International and Political Studies
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.