NSW 2015 – Greens vote concentrated

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One of the stories on election night was the mixed news for the Greens. On the one hand, the party had a tremendous result in the lower house, retaining Balmain and notionally retaining the new seat of Newtown, and surprising most pundits (including myself) by winning Ballina and coming close in Lismore. On the other hand, the Greens vote appeared to have dropped slightly in both houses.

Since election day, the picture has cleared up. The Greens have fallen out of contention to win three seats in the Legislative Council (which they achieved in 2011), and missed out on winning in Lismore. On the latest figures in the Legislative Council, the Greens vote appears to have dropped by 1.2% to 9.9%, and we’ll get the final figures later this morning when the button is pushed.

In the Legislative Assembly (the focus of most of this post), the Greens primary vote overall stayed steady, dropping by a miniscule 0.0002% of the statewide vote (approximately seven votes!), staying roughly on 10.29%.

In addition to increasing their vote in Balmain, Newtown, Ballina and Lismore, the Greens also gained votes in the neighbouring inner-city seats of Summer Hill and Heffron, possibly strengthening their launching pad for future gains in the inner city of Sydney.

So how did the Greens manage to triple their Legislative Assembly representation, and increase their vote in their next best prospects? In this post, I’ll run through where the Greens gained positive swings and suffered negative swings, and where the Greens vote is becoming more concentrated. This post includes two interactive maps showing the shape of the Greens vote.

Firstly, I’m going to start with a regional breakdown showing how the Greens vote has changed. I’m using the same regions that I defined in my post the day after the election. The Greens figures have only changed subtly since that post.

RegionSeatsGreens vote 2011Greens vote 2015Greens swing
Central Coast411.65%9.27%-2.38%
Eastern Sydney515.93%15.44%-0.49%
Hunter108.41%8.46%0.05%
Illawarra412.27%10.99%-1.28%
Inner West Sydney619.87%23.23%3.36%
Northern NSW910.20%13.55%3.35%
Northern Sydney1114.89%14.47%-0.42%
South-West Sydney116.05%5.53%-0.51%
Southern NSW410.70%9.66%-1.04%
Southern Sydney69.09%7.73%-1.36%
Western NSW84.65%5.38%0.72%
Western Sydney158.18%6.96%-1.22%

The Greens vote went up in only four out of twelve regions, and only in two was there a large swing to the Greens. Unsurprisingly, those two areas cover the three seats the Greens won, and the seat the Greens came close to winning.

The Greens gained a 3.4% swing across the inner west, and also across the north of NSW.

The Greens gained a 0.7% swing off a low base in western NSW, and the Greens vote basically stayed the same in the Hunter region.

On the other hand, the Greens suffered a negative swing between 0.4% and 0.5% in the eastern suburbs, the northern suburbs and the south-west of Sydney.

The Greens suffered bigger swings in the Illawarra (1.3%), southern NSW (1%), southern Sydney (1.4%) and western Sydney (1.2%). The biggest swing against the Greens came in the Central Coast, where the Greens vote dropped by 2.4%.

Overall, the Greens suffered a negative swing in 56 seats, and gained a positive swing in 37 seats. The swing was -1.6% in those 56 seats, and +2.4% in the remaining 37.

The following map shows the primary vote swing towards or away from the Greens in each seat – green indicates a positive swing and red indicates a negative swing, and brighter colours indicate a swing of over 5%.

In the Sydney region, there is a clear trend. The swing is biggest in the two Greens seats in the city, with a smattering of other positive swings out to East Hills, as well as seats on the upper north shore. There was a swing against the Greens in a majority of Sydney seats, including most Western Sydney seats. The worst anti-Greens swing was in North Shore, where there was a 5.6% swing against Greens candidate Arthur Chesterfield-Evans, a former Democrats MLC.

The Greens vote was also more concentrated in the Hunter, going up in Wallsend, Newcastle and Charlestown while going down in surrounding seats.

The Greens gained large swings in Ballina and Lismore, but also gained swings in a bunch of other seats in the north, including Tamworth, Northern Tablelands, Coffs Harbour, Oxley and Clarence, and a big swing in Port Macquarie. The Greens benefited from the absence of independents in Tamworth, Northern Tablelands and Port Macquarie, and this pushed Northern Tablelands and Port Macquarie to the top of the list of biggest pro-Greens swings alongside more typical strong Greens seats.

The Greens vote dropped in the Illawarra, dropping 1.6% in the strong Greens seat of Keira, and over 5% in Shellharbour.

Overall, swings against the Greens tended to be smaller than swings towards the Greens. Over one in three seats saw a swing against the Greens of 0-2%, but the Greens gained a swing towards them of over 5% in four seats (compared to a similarly negative swing in only two seats). The Greens gained swings of over 6% in Newtown, Lismore and Balmain, but didn’t suffer a similarly negative swing anywhere.

We are seeing a clear trend here towards the concentration of support for the Greens in their stronger areas, but it’s not universal. The Greens gained swings on the north coast, the inner west, and the lower Hunter, but suffered negative swings in Coogee, Blue Mountains and the Illawarra, along with the lower North Shore.

It’s also worth looking at where the Greens came in the top two. In 2007, the Greens came in the top two in four seats: Balmain, Marrickville, North Shore and Vaucluse. This list grew by quite a lot in 2011, with the Greens coming in the top two in eight seats in Northern Sydney, three seats on the north coast, along with Vaucluse, Balmain and Marrickville. This is largely due to the collapse of Labor’s vote on the north shore and north coast (amongst other places) in 2011, rather than any particular surge in Greens support in these areas.

The redistribution shifted the Greens into third place in the mid-north coast seat of Oxley, and at the March election the Greens fell behind Labor in Ku-ring-gai, Lane Cove and Wakehurst, but managed to maintain their top-two finish in five north shore seats, along with Lismore, Ballina, Vaucluse and three inner-west seats. Alongside Balmain and Newtown, the Greens overtook the Liberal Party in the new seat of Summer Hill.

This gives the Greens a total of eleven seats where the Greens are in the two-candidate-preferred, five of which could be plausibly won by the Greens in the short-to-medium term (along with other seats where the Greens are still ranked third).

RegionSeatsGreens 2CP 2011Greens 2CP 2015Greens 2CP swing
BallinaNAT33.06%53.12%20.06%
BalmainALP53.04%54.73%1.69%
DavidsonLIB17.04%21.18%4.14%
LismoreNAT28.69%47.14%18.45%
ManlyLIB22.97%25.48%2.52%
NewtownALP54.44%59.27%4.83%
North ShoreLIB26.72%28.81%2.09%
PittwaterLIB22.02%24.35%2.33%
Summer HillALP39.47%
VaucluseLIB23.92%27.07%3.15%
WilloughbyLIB22.35%25.59%3.24%

The Greens swing on a two-candidate-preferred basis was much bigger in Ballina (20.1%) and Lismore (18.4%) compared to the other nine seats on the list.

Amongst the others, the swings range from 1.7% in Balmain to 4.8% in Newtown.

Finally, the following map shows the lower house primary vote for the Greens at the 2015 election by seat.

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52 COMMENTS

  1. I was disappointed to read about the Greens bickering after the election.We really would do better without factions and becoming more visible.Can we see more of the senators and maybe hear more from the men as Christine and Sarah are well known and often come over as nagging women to certain chauvinists I know

  2. Adrian not a lot of evidence that the Greens will follow the Democrats anytime soon. Winning lower house seats is a good way to secure your future and visibility. The sociological make up of Greens support is I think substantially different to the Democrats.On that issue see the discussion by Kevin Bonham in his blog. the other difference with the Democrats is that in areas of strong support the Greens have won seats at the local government level – not terribly visible but significant in that in NSW that has provided the basis for electoral success on the North coast and in the inner city.

  3. Adrian – we can only hope – the greens are the most vile party since communist party – I can understand 5% of the population voting for a fringe party but it beggars believe that 10% vote for these economic vandals

  4. I agree, about the bickering! We are all working for the same causes. Please let us look at the big picture and keep trying to increase the votes and keep our branches strong and united.

  5. Difficult to explain, doesn’t fit theory of core Labor voters who strayed in 2011 coming home – if this was case Hunter would have seen falls. We know that many Green voters are still Labor identifiers (Whitlamite boomers?), perhaps this cohort is particularly influenced by local campaigns hence Balmain & Newtown but in absence of such campaigns they were likely to drift back back to Labor this time?

  6. Greens are the most economically rational party in terms of their taxation policy on climate change and suggestions for improving the Government’s revenue situation. Current government is committed economic vandalism expressed as crony capitalism.

  7. It will be interesting to see the Greens vote in the LC which gives a better comparison of relative Green strength unaffected by candidate bias or the presence of Indy candidates that suppress the Green vote (ie Sydney).

  8. Geoff,

    I think Hunter might be distorted a bit, because most Hunter seats had a bunch of high-profile Independents who performed strongly in 2011. Having 20-25% of the vote available that wasn’t there last time probably messes up the comparison a bit.

    Elsewhere, it does seem the “stray Labor voters returning home” correlates well with the Greens decline (Central Coast, Illawarra, and parts of Western Sydney).

  9. As I have been reminded in response to my comments on the results in Lismore, it would be interesting to compare the Greens vote in 2015 with their vote in 2007 rather than 2011, in which government changed hands in a big swing. The 2011 results may have been skewed because voters were more polarised between the two major party groupings. Can you do that comparison?

  10. Great analysis Ben. In its own funny way, that map helps to explain why Blue Mountains went to Labor, why Coogee, Drummoyne and Terrigal stayed with the Libs, and why Summer Hill is now (sort of) a marginal.

  11. Ben’s analysis should be sobering for all those in the party who still think they can “replace Labor”. The Greens vote concentrated, but it did not expand.

    Before any more seats can be won on the back of strident, strategically focused and well-resourced NIMBY protests (against motorways, developments, CSG) they will have to understand why they remained unattractive to working class and ethnic voters across the State. I’m sure we all have our theories, but to the party strategists, the results of the NSW 2015 election must be bitterly disappointing.

    Well I sure have theories… plus class stereotypes and witticisms – bring them on!

    Outside affluent Newtown and super-rich (and hugely Anglo) Balmain, where Greens-run or dominated Councils restrict all new housing, Sydney is booming. There are cranes in the sky, high-rise apartments springing up along the rail lines, the population is rising, it is changing (dramatically) in ethnic composition, and the city remains overwhelming aspirational.

    Those are the voters who will determine the future colour of Ben’s map. They are all out in that vast expanse of Sydney that is grey or pale green. Very pale green…

  12. Ben is right Kevin Bonham’s analysis points to a complicated story about who does and doesn’t vote Green. I would think that Greens strategists would be relatively pleased with three powerhouse seats – if that is a matter of disappointment I would reckon they’ll be happy to be so disappointed.

  13. I meant lower house seats – though they could become powerhouse seats if people keep installing solar panels

  14. No problem at all with Kevin Bonathan’s point, that “Greens voters in Balmain come more disproportionately from the second-tier “professional”/middle-class income bracket – people who are earning fairly high incomes but are not exactly super-rich”

    But I’m not sure why so many Greens supporters and voters bristle with indignation at the observation that they are richer than the median. What is the problem with that? Unlike News Ltd’s paid writers, I don’t want to insult anyone and have no axe to grind. Perhaps it’s something to do with the party’s (in NSW at least) origins? Some still identify as radicals and socialists, champions of the (non-existent in Balmain and Newtown) working class man…

    The future for the Greens is not amongst the disaffected Labor voters of the inner city. There are none left, they’ve either already migrated to the Greens, or been pushed out of the area by gentrification.

    The future (for all parties – the Greens included is out where the population is growing. Nit-picking bloggers like Bonathan (whose real argument appears to be with News Ltd) are all very well, but who cares which particular upper percentile the Greens vote is in? The issue of your post Ben was (I thought) – why did a stationary Greens vote statewide result in three seats (and almost a 4th)?

    And now – what happened to the Greens vote in working class seats, the suburbs and regionals? Anywhere in that ocean of stagnant or declining percentage points?

  15. Fair point (re. Greens Councils) Even Leichhardt only has 4 (out of 12) plus one independent supporter. But there is a Labor-Greens power-sharing arrangement. Every press release I get from them (at least 3 a week) is either Greens’ blast against Labor and the Coalition government, or a reiteration of a Greens policy (often on matters way outside Council remit, like same-sex marriage)

    In Marrickville, the situation is more complicated. After the BDS fiasco, the Greens lost pretty much all their moral authority… Happy to concede your “gotcha” Ben…

  16. Many years ago I was deputed to find where a good place for The Greens to campaign, and not necessarily the usual inner west or North Coast.

    Using mainly census data and then discussions with local groups, My analysis came to the following conclusions: (keep in mind this is 10 years ago):

    1. The strongest demographic that correlated with Green votes was those of non-religion.
    2. Second most correlated demographic were those with university qualifications.
    3. income nor profession did not correlate, definitely not as highly.
    4. The Greens vote was highest when the electorate had a high proportion of both no religion and tertiary qualified voters (well duh).
    5. From this I could identify some electorates that were “under performing”. At the top of the short list was the North Shore and then the outer inner west (Summer Hill area) and then southern areas of sydney near Hurstville.
    6. This seemed to be a geographical pattern, a core green vote in Sydney and inner west and an expansionary area ringing the core, which a colleague coined the Donut effect.
    7. After consultation with the local groups I was convinced the Northern suburbs of sydney was the next growth area to target.
    7. Using the Census CCD’s data and greens results by booths, I was able to refine the target areas to specific zones in Warringah and North Sydney and I think even areas further north around Pittwater.

    The party was already sensing votes to be had in the Northern suburbs and were already campaigning hard there. The results came through too, the next one or two elections back then saw the Greens vote grow considerably.

    More considerable research has been done since (I think) with a more nuanced approach than just basic census demographic data.

  17. Looking at the state results the Greens should theoretically be targeting a federal seat such as Sydney, although they finished a distant third at the last federal election. The Greens won Balmain and Newtown which share a considerable amount area, their vote went up markedly in Heffron, enough to come second in years to come. Although the unknown would be whether or not the Alex Greenwich vote could transfer into Green votes. In consideration looking at the state election results for Sydney, the green vote was 9% in the LA and rose to 19% in the LC, while Labor’s vote was 15% in the LA and 16% in the LC, granted most of the population base in the state seat of Sydney is in the Federal division of Wentworth, which is very safe Liberal.
    Do you think looking at the state results that the Greens could pose a serious threat to Tanya Plibersek?

  18. Many of these lower house swings, especially in places like the Hunter, western NSW, and North Shore, are probably strongly linked to the presence/absence of independents. There were less high-polling independents in this election, especially in the Hunter and western NSW, which may account for some of those swings. Likewise the swing against the Greens in North Shore probably had most to do with the independent competition, which fits the pattern in previous elections where the Greens vote in north shore seats with high polling independens has often been substantially cut.

    The result for the Greens basically follows the trend from Victoria. Little overall change but a concentration of support in targeted areas thanks to a stronger campaigning focus on key areas. In that respect the campaign was a success and I think they should be pleased with themselves in terms of the campaign itself. My experience with the Greens is that at every election there are some within the party who have unrealistic expectations, and some expectations this time that the Greens would win 4 upper house seats were clearly never realistic. The statw-wide result is exactly what was to be expected given the weak performances in the local government and federal elections, and flat state polling numbers (especially compared with Victoria), which remained flat for the whole term even when both major parties were being caught up in scandal.

    If the Greens were going to do better state-wide, this would’ve required more strategic planning, and i would say more of a strategic focus from the Party Room, over the whole of that last term. Others may have other opinions and I’m not going to enter into a debate about what the Greens should or shouldn’t have done over the last term, especially not on Ben’s blog. I think the strategy of focusing on key seats was by far the smartest move under the circumstances and it’s worked.

  19. This was a good result for the Greens, but they will never replace Labor as the main left of centre party. The ALP’s main voter base is still working class suburban voters, including those of a non-english speaking background. The Greens have yet to make much ground with that type of demographic

  20. Perhaps it is time for the Green to activated the real agenda and rename themselves the Australian Communist Party (Trotskist, Maoist, Marxist-Leninist, Stalinist, Ho Chi Mienist, Pol Potist).

  21. Why are Greens categorised as being to the left of the ALP? On environmental issues they are committed to market mechanisms as the best means of dealing with the externalities of climate change. They are suspicious of the extension of government power and control on questions of national security and civil liberties demanding improved accountability and transparency concerning the exercise of government power. How that puts them to the left of the ALP remains a question for political philosophers to explain.

  22. It amazes me that, as usual, high income has been equated to high wealth*. WRONG. Based on my neighbors in North Shore electorate, the 75 year old pensioner over the back fence living in a $4m house is wealthy (acquired in the 1970s for approximately $30k). The 35 year old next door on $250k living in a $1m apartment which is 50% mortgaged is not wealthy. Accordingly, to make a link between voters “wealth” and their inclination to vote a particular way based on “income” is a complete nonsense. More data is needed to determine wealth (assets net of liabilities) as opposed to income before even venturing into an analysis the Australian attempted.

    A completely different issue is the social equity of the 35 year old paying tax to pay the pension of a person living in an incredibly valuable house when the 35 year old has absolutely no chance of ever acquiring the $4m house………… Will the Government bring in land tax on the principal place of residence or bring it into the capital gains tax net. Inheritance tax perhaps????

    Incidentally, my guess is that both the individuals mentioned above voted liberal.

    * exception is a reference to asset rich farmers in National seats.

  23. Number of things:

    * I don’t think the Greens are going the way of the Democrats. While the Dems’ demise is largely blamed on the sellout over the GST it was far more complex than that. They had two other major issues. One was that they could never clearly work out whether they wanted to be a true centre party or a party between Labor and the Greens. The other was their terrible membership-driven leadership system which provided no guarantee the leader would even have any parliamentary support, and in which it was far too easy to force a ballot. After Don Chipp retired the Dems basically never had leadership stability, though had Janine Haines not quit to try to break into the Lower House things may have been different.

    * I also don’t think the Greens are on an upward path to government within 20 years, as some of their supporters continually turn people off by smugly imagining. I think their vote reaches a certain level and then becomes more or less static or cyclical. That’s been the experience in Tas.

    * The lack of increase in the Greens vote in NSW is partly because of a strategy that targeted Lower House seats. It’s also probably partly because the 2011 vote in some areas was inflated by the awfulness of Labor. In traditional Labor areas I suspect the Greens can only get some votes by default when Labor are extremely terrible. Different to the inner cities where Labor voters switch and stay switched.

    * The non-winning of a third Upper House seat is partly a consequence of targeting Lower House seats rather than overall vote share, but also a sign of the Green vote being soft when there is competition from left microparties like AJP and VEP. It could have been even worse had the Sex Party been on the ballot. (Incidentally I think a lot of voters are confused about the NSW Upper House system and think that if they just vote 1 their preferences will flow to similar parties.)

    * Coco: I have had my name misspelled in more ways than I could even begin to count, but “Bonathan” when the correct spelling is in front of you had got to be some kind of record. That sort of inattention to detail doesn’t place you in a good position to deride someone else’s as excessive/trivial through a term like “Nit-picking”.

    * Also on that score I don’t have any particular beef with News Ltd. I am on friendly terms with my local News tabloid which frequently cites me and sometimes hires me for election night coverage. I read The Australian more than The Age and I’ll often praise good work conducted within it (an example this week, David Crowe’s excellent historical on the origins of vaccination objections). I frequently defend News Corp from all manner of stupidity – particularly the “Newspoll is rigged” rubbish seen from anti-Murdoch obsessives on Twitter and Bob Ellis types. However for what should be the most important political paper in the land, The Australian does print far too much bad and lazy analysis, and this one was strike two on this particular form of it after the Black debacle.

    It isn’t the conclusion that Greens voters tend to be high-income that I took exception to; that part is true (though not especially strongly) – rather it’s the insinuation that their support is strongly concentrated among the seriously rich.

  24. My point was Goosh Goosh, not only that “they have yet to make much ground”, but that in 2015 in Sydney, they went backwards the minute you step away from Newtown and Balmain. The distance is a matter of a couple of km between Enmore and Earlwood, but in that space, their vote falls off a cliff.

    Why? What is the difference between these two nearby suburbs? Yes, I know: Class.

    I’m sure there are many in the part who celebrated the success of their very targeted campaign, and three seats on the back of absolutely no overall swing to them is genuinely impressive. But this is the party that also seriously thinks it will replace the ALP.

    If that is their aim – then wealthy inner city voters don’t count for much…

  25. Here is my two-cents:

    1. The Greens will probably not go the way of the Democrats. The main issue with the Democrats is that they never really had a defined voter base. They really took voters from the sides of the two major parties in keeping with their ideas of a “centrist party”. Furthermore Democrat support was far more even, spread over most of the country. They had difficulty in the lower house for that reason, although they came very close in SA.

    3. I doubt the Greens would ever be able to mount a serious challenge against Tanya Plibersek, much the same as I doubt they will ever be able to unseat Albo. These are Labor leaders with very high profiles who have no doubt built strong personal votes. Whether or not they will win Sydney and Grayndler is another matter. Perhaps when these ALP stalwarts depart.

    4. The Greens will never replace the ALP, they are ridiculously radical for most of the electorate, especially the outer suburbs of the major cities – where all major elections are decided. Sure they may win a few seats but not where it matters. Not to mentions as Kevin said, they have likely reached a vote ceiling, it will take a major breakthrough for the Greens to improve further. It is very difficult to displace a well-established party.

    In a hypothetical eco-paradise I would imagine the Greens coming close in the following seats;

    Grayndler
    Sydney
    Wills
    Batman

  26. Joel -” The strongest demographic that correlated with Green votes was those of non-religion.”
    I think you are correct, did you get any idea as to why it is so?

  27. I looked at the 2011 NSW election results and census data by electorate, and I likewise found the factor which most closely aligned with electorates with high Greens votes was ‘no religion’. High education levels did not match so well, it captured some of the high-polling electorates, but not all. Proportion of young voters also does not align, especially if you look in more detail at booths and suburbs. Some of the highest polling regional Greens booths are in places with a median age over 50.

    Greens voters aren’t a homogenous group. Most attention is focused on analysing who inner city Greens voters are, and they are numerically the larger group, but the Greens’ regional strongholds are different culturally, aside from demographics. The ‘base’ in such areas may have originally come from the ‘alternate lifestyle’ communities, but increasingly it’s the sea- and tree-changers who seem to have fuelled this growth. The Ballina and Lismore results this time though were significantly boosted by unique circumstances, which I’m not surprised were missed by most pundits. You had to live here to realise it was different to the usual overhyped and fruitless predictions of regional Greens success.

    I agree with Kevin that the Greens aren’t ‘going the way of the Democrats’, nor are they on a trajectory towards government. They have a clearly established base (or bases) of support and they’ve secured footholds in lower house seats which the Democrats could never do.

  28. I have a suspicion that could only be proved by detailed research that a faction of Green support comes from christians of an activist persuasion. Partly the circles I move in bit we know that active church goers have a higher eduction level than the population at large. We also know that such active church goers have attitudes on immigration and related issues that are closer to those of no-religion than those who report christian identity but do not go to church.

  29. Nick , Doug

    How strong is the association of the no-religion & green vote?
    The no-religion (unlike the tertiary degree link) correspondence mystifies me.
    Mind you the fact that many have degrees , but are not necessarily on higher level professional salaries is interesting.

    (Or could it be that having a ‘mild dose’ of religion means that you are , less likely, to vote Green?)

  30. http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/publications.nsf/key/NSWStateElectoralDistrictsRankedby2011CensusCharacteristics2013Redistribution%28Liberal%29
    The top 15 electorates ranked by proportion of people with ‘no religion’ are: Newtown, Balmain, Sydney, Ballina, Willoughby, Manly, North Shore, Blue Mountains, Summer Hill, Coogee, Heffron, Newcastle, Pittwater, Bega, Lismore.

    By contrast, tertiary education, which most Greens strategists think is the factor with the strongest correlation and use as the basis of their ideological theories of who the Greens ‘base’ is, has the following electorates as the top 10: North Shore, Willoughby, Ku-ring-gai, Balmain, Sydney, Vaucluse, Davidson, Coogee, Lane Cove, Newtown. Summer Hill comes in at 17, Heffron at 19, Blue Mountains at 27, Newcastle at 31, Ballina at 37, and Lismore at 56.

    According to the popular ideological theories that the Greens’ ‘base’ are younger, white-collar professionals, hardly anyone should be voting Green in Ballina and Lismore, or even the Blue Mountains, and yet they continue to do so at election after election.

    I’m not sure what ‘no religion’ says in itself about Greens voters. I think it is mainly that it is the most common characteristic to both the major cohorts of Greens voters. To better understand these cohorts of Greens voters though I thnk really requires a more detailed analysis at a booth/suburb level, which I wanted to try and do a few years ago but never got time to.

    @Doug I’m not sure level of religious activity is the factor you’re noticing. There are no shortage of active church-going conservative christians. I think the issue is something that many often don’t realise about christianity (and some other religions), and that is that christianity has elements of both progressive and conservative morality, and some branches give more emphasis to elements of one over the other. George Lakoff’s book Moral Politics offers a fascinating analysis of this, highlighting how there are both progressive and conservative elements of christianity and how different groups prioritise different elements. In present-day Australia you can see this reflected in the way groups like the ACL and the evangelical churches like Hillsong create the image of christianity as wholly conservative, yet you then see christian activists like the ‘love makes a way’ folk who are practising a more progressive interpretation of christianity, and you can see it too in internal differences within the majro established christian churches.

  31. Nick, thanks! -fascinating. And I did not know that North Shore was more godless than Bega ;-).

    @ Doug speaking as a broad-church Anglican, centrist, Nick is correct, there are all kinds.

    (In fact disputes between those who see it as a Church for all, and those who see it as a club for the right sort of person, are more eternal, and often far hotter, than mere ideological disputes)

  32. Greater Sydney is a fascinating spectrum when it comes to political competition. Here is a list of the seats where the ALP have managed to over-take the Greens for 2nd place on primary vote:
    Kur-ring-gai
    Wakehurst (Mostly caused by the previous Greens Candidate, Conny Harris, running as an independent)

    Compare that with the seats that are still Lib v Greens:
    Davidson
    Manly
    North Shore (although you had the ALP, Greens and the Independent within 1900 votes of each other)
    Pittwater
    Vaucluse
    Willoughby (Although only 4 votes seperated the ALP from the Greens on Primary Votes.

    So of the 8 seats that ended up being Lib v Greens TCP, only 2 went back to Lib v Lab. What you are seeing is the ALP becoming a victim of gentrification of the extreme value.

    On the other side of the spectrum, the Greens have a real problem within Western Sydney, especially in seats where the CDP actually does pretty well. A lot of these seats will be 2-horse races between the ALP and the Liberal Party for many years to come and this is due to the demographic shift you experience past Mona Vale Road

  33. Wreathy of Sydney
    In expanding on your point of “In a hypothetical eco-paradise I would imagine the Greens coming close in the following seats” being;

    Grayndler
    Sydney
    Wills
    Batman.

    I would also add the Federal district of Richmond which encompasses the NSW state districts of Tweed, most of the Ballina, the primaralily Green Voting areas of that electorate and a signifiant chunk of Lismore, which is also the good Green voting booths.
    Finally i would also put the Federal District of Melbourne Ports, they have a significant vote there, the best Green booths most the state district of Prahran are in Melbourne Ports and and theoretically if they jumped ahead of Labor into second they would be a good chance, as Labor to Green preferences and stronger then Green to Labor preferences generally.

  34. And I think you’ll find in terms of a primary vote swing from Labor to the Greens, Richmond and Melbourne Ports require smaller swings for the Greens to win than those other four seats.

  35. Nick C, i agree that in Melbourne Ports and Richmond require smaller swings to the Greens from Labor because they just need to beat them into second place and gain their preferences, on my calculations in Melbourne Ports the Greens will need a 6-7% percent swing towards them and the same swing against Labor to jump into second, although in that area, the small l lib population is huge and is probably labor’s most affluent seat in the country, and the fact there is a large small l lib population means they will jump straight over to the Greens. If the Greens target Melbourne Ports they’ll give it a real shake.

  36. Liam, in Melbourne Ports (my electorate) Labor preference Greens over Liberal or Greens preference Labor over Liberal. Either way the right wing ALP MP Michael Danby wins or a Green if what you say happens. However the Green generally only get 10 – 15% of the primary vote. In the state seat of Albert Park District (western part of Melbourne Port) in 2007 a by election did not see a Liberal stand and the Greens only got 18%. That said anyone would be better than the “Member for Israel” Michael Danby.

    As an aside the AEC de-registered the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) today.

  37. Adrian Jackson, they received 20 percent in 2013 and 21% in 2010 and without a target campaign in Melbourne Ports. In Albert Park they got 16.8% last year, 18% in 2010 and 28% in the by-election. Aswell the booths from 2 booths from Brighton and the for from Prahran put their vote at around 30%. Another point that i think might make a difference is that Danby is no longer as popular in the Jewish community as he was, and the real progressives in the electorate may ditch Labor because Danby is too conservative for the ALP. Personally as a Labor Party Member, no one likes Michael Danby in the Labor Party. If i lived in Melbourne Ports i would vote Green, the only place i wouldn’t vote Labor.

    It has to be said, I’m not sad to see the DLP go, unlike my very Catholic grandparents although I’m curious to see how many members they do have, they constantly field candidates and they have been one of the most successful micro parties of the past decade, western vic mlc in 2006, John Madigan in 2010 and Rachel Carling-Jenkins in 2014.

  38. please ignore parts of my last post, the 2 booths from Brighton on state boundaries and the 4 from Prahran have the primary vote of the greens at around 30% in those booths, mostly outpolling Labor.

  39. Agree Danby is starting to be on the nose (no pun) with the Hebrews. The Hebrews (who vote like other votes for various parties) only make up about 10% of the Melbourne Port voter base, mostly in the eastern part of the electorate, but most of Danby’s support comes from the western (or gentile) part of the electorate, particularly in Elwood & St Kilda. Danby lived in St Kilda on Brighton Rd.

    I first heard the phrase “Member for Israel” about 15 years ago from a Elwood far left resident who is now a local councillor. She was the Independent candidate in Brighton last year in the last state election and campaigned against fracking but did not get over 4% of the primary vote (no taxpayer funds for her).

    But the real laugh was that she asked the Mayor of Port Phillip to help on election day to hand out HTV but the ALP Mayor was later suspended from the ALP for 6 months as there was an ALP candidate in Brighton. This meant she could not stand for pre-selection in Melbourne Ports against Danby. What a laugh. Brighton is a very safe Liberal seat so the ALP had no chance anyway.

  40. Liam, the later DLP, as you probably know, was not the old DLP from the mid 1950’s onwards which dissolved a few decades ago. In Victoria they has Little and MacManus – “Get Mac Back” was the slogan and they even had a TV jingle “make this state a great state a modern up to date state put a one in the square for the DLP”. The TV cartoon was funny to with marionette ALP figures controlled by Communists holding the controls to the puppets. In Qld Vince Gair was later made Australia’s Ambassador to the Vatican by Gough Whitlam which helped destroy the DLP eventually. Another laugh I remember as I am 62.

  41. I did hear about Amanda Stevens wanting to go for preselection although she was banned for helping out Jane Touzeau on election day, like seriosuly why would you raise an issue like fracking in Brighton, no point even trying, considering her territory is port phillip council which in takes in the good Labor-Green areas of Elwood and Elwood Nth, the only booths that the ALP won on 2pp in Brighton.

    Michael Danby still tries to appeal to the Jewish community although i’d would think they’d be much more Liberal leaning. He doesn’t suit the electorate well, he has continually stated his opposition to Same-Sex Marriage and Melbourne Ports does have a high LGBT population, probably the highest in Victoria and the Second highest in the country behind Wentworth, and the high Liberal vote in the electorate has really come along in the past decade, even that i would attribute to small l liberals who again would be more likely to vote Green next election as they are inner-city affluent and this governments ultra-conservative agenda under Tony Abbott might turn them of the Liberals.

  42. And as for the DLP I’m quite aware of them dissolving and reforming in the 80s, although they have had reasonable success of late.

    This is quite ironic, when Madigan left the DLP to sit as an independent he attributed it to infiltrators within the party, this infiltrator was Rachel Carling-Jenkins, his former chief of staff, when he found out she enquired about Liberal preselection, she resigned from that position, he resigned from the DLP although ironically she was elected in the 2014 state election as a DLP candidate for Western Metro, now id be curious to see what happens with her, would she remain to serve her term as an independent or would she join the Liberals as she had previously enquired.

  43. Jane’s council ward is now in Brighton electorate after the state redistribution but fracking was never going to be an issue in Brighton.

    Danby has complaining about the RAAF airshow during the F1-GP but did nothing about it when in the Rudd/Gillard/Rudd government. This year two F18 Hornet shows were scheduled but after Danby campaigned publicly a week before the GP the RAAF scheduled a 3rd Hornet show on the Saturday as well.

    A few elections ago Danby was on the back page of MCV (Gay mag) pictured with a well known St Kilda transsexual cabaret entertainer. At the next election the same photo was published as an ad by Danby but unfortunate the trannie died a year earlier. Obviously her permission was not sought for the second election shot.

  44. Danby didn’t vote for the Marriage Equality bill, and didn’t give a reason for his non-attendance like many otherz did. The one time he could have stood up for his convictions his actions have let his words down, he does not represent the main constituency of Labor supporters, again he is the member for Israel and quite frankly i would urge Amanda Stevens who is mayor of Port Phillip LGA to run as an independent ad preference the Greens over Labor.

  45. Amanda Stevens is my ward councillor however I put her last at the council election but even she would be better than Danby. She should run as an Independent I thought too as any political career in the ALP is now over. If she takes votes of Danby that might affect the election outcome but her preferences will most likely end up with Danby directly or via the Greens who will preference the ALP as usual.

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