WHY LABOR MUST PRESELECT MORE UNIONISTS
NEW research reveals that contrary to popular belief, it is in the interests of the federal Labor Party to preselect more, not fewer, former union leaders as candidates.
Researchers at an elite unit at the University of the Australian Capital Territory have analysed statistical returns for federal elections over the last three decades and found that a former ACTU leader is worth an astonishing 16 per cent more in the two-party-preferred vote.
They also suggest a scenario under which the ALP could have retained government at the 2013 federal election.
“The ACTU is not, strictly speaking, a union, but we used it as a proxy for high-profile union identities”, explained the research unit’s supervisor, Professor Roger Daintree.
“We analysed the performance of former ACTU leaders Greg Combet, Martin Ferguson, Simon Crean, Jennie George and [Bob] Hawke in their respective electorates over the last 34 years and found that on average they outperformed the average Labor vote, across all electorates at all elections since 1980, by 13.67 per cent in primary terms and 15.94 after preferences.”
This means that had the Labor Party run former ACTU leaders in 28 more House of Representatives electorates in 2013 they would have remained in government.