The Australian class structure and Australian politics 1931 - 40
conference contributionposted on 2008-01-01, 00:00 authored by Geoffrey RobinsonGeoffrey Robinson
This paper presents the results of an analysis of the class structure of interwar Australia based largely on the 1933 Commonwealth census. It reviews previous analyses by academics but although contemporary journalists and political strategists. It develops an estimate of the class composition of the electorate as distinct from the general population and attempts to define the class position of voters outside of the paid workforce. It considers the question of to what extent Labor needed non-working-class votes to secure an electoral majority and how the differing social composition of the Australian states impacted on electoral outcomes and Labor strategies. It employs the method of bounds to develop some preliminary conclusions about the electoral behaviour of different social groups and concludes with some observations on the divided nature of the Australian working class and the competing strategies that parties developed in their search for an electoral majority.