Longman by-election, 2018

Cause of by-election
Sitting Labor MP Susan Lamb is expected to resign due to her being a dual citizen at the time of nomination for the 2016 election, after the High Court clarified the constitutional requirements on May 9, 2018.

Margin – ALP 0.8%

Geography
Moreton Bay region of Queensland. Longman covers the former Caboolture Shire and parts of the former Pine Rivers shire. The main towns in the seat are Caboolture, Morayfield, Burpengary and Narangba. The seat also covers a majority of Bribie Island.

History
Longman was created for the 1996 election. It was first won by Mal Brough. Brough held the seat from 1996 until 2007, during which time Brough served as a minister from 2001 and joined the Howard cabinet in 2006.

Brough was defeated in 2007 in one of the nation’s largest swings against a Coalition MP, with a 10.3% swing giving the seat to the ALP’s Jon Sullivan. Sullivan was previously the state member for Caboolture for nine years before losing to the One Nation candidate in 1998.

In 2010, Jon Sullivan was defeated by Liberal National candidate Wyatt Roy. Roy was elected at the age of 20 in 2010, and is the youngest ever member of the House of Representatives. Roy was elected to a second term in 2013. Roy lost in 2016 to Labor candidate Susan Lamb.

Candidates

  • Lloyd Russell (Liberal Democrats)
  • Jim Saleam (Australia First)
  • Gregory Bell (Democratic Labour)
  • Jackie Perkins (Independent)
  • James Noonan (Science Party)
  • Matthew Stephen (One Nation)
  • John Reece (People’s Party)
  • Susan Lamb (Labor)
  • Trevor Ruthenberg (Liberal National)
  • Blair Verrier (Country Party)
  • Gavin Behrens (Greens)

Assessment
Longman is an extremely marginal seat. Labor benefited in 2016 from a favourable how-to-vote preference recommendation from One Nation. Without that preference flow the seat would’ve likely stayed with the LNP, and a change in recommendation may set Labor back. This seat could well flip to the LNP if they contest the by-election.

2016 result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Wyatt Roy Liberal National 34,35939.0-5.8
Susan Lamb Labor 31,16135.4+4.7
Michelle PedersenOne Nation8,2939.4+9.4
Ian Bell Greens 3,8654.4+0.5
Will SmithFamily First3,0023.4+1.1
Frances McdonaldDrug Law Reform2,6773.0+3.0
Brad KennedyKatter’s Australian Party1,5971.8-1.0
Greg RiddellIndependent1,1111.3+1.3
Rob LawIndependent9451.1+1.1
Caleb WellsIndependent8300.9-0.1
Stephen BeckArts Party2280.3+0.3
Informal8,2178.5

2016 two-party-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Susan Lamb Labor 44,72950.8+7.7
Wyatt Roy Liberal National 43,33949.2-7.7

Booth breakdown

Booths have been divided into four areas. Booths near Bribie Island have been grouped as Pumicestone.

Booths in the remainder of the seat have been divided in three: from north to south, these are West, Caboolture-Morayfield and Burpengary.

Labor won a large two-party-preferred majority of 60.8% in Caboolture-Morayfield and a smaller majority of 53.9% in Burpengary. The LNP won majorities in the two less populous areas: 52.9% in Pumicestone and 54.2% in the west.

The One Nation primary vote ranged from 7.8% in Pumicestone to 10.9% in the west.

Voter groupON prim %ALP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Caboolture-Morayfield10.160.815,88118.0
Burpengary8.453.914,94217.0
Pumicestone7.847.18,96910.2
West10.945.85,3596.1
Other votes11.045.814,47916.4
Pre-poll9.048.228,43832.3

Election results in Longman at the 2016 federal election
Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and One Nation primary votes.


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175 COMMENTS

  1. Went to Declaration of Nominations with Australian Country Party candidate Blair Verrier. Most of candidates come from outside electorate. Draw was not favourable to Susan Lamb. Meaning I am more confident of my initial prediction.

  2. Took trip from Burpengary to Caboolture this morning. Only cpaty out campaigning was Ashby-Hanson party outside Traditional Funerals.LNP A frames outside campaign office but unmanned. Plenty of LNP large signs on Private land. Absolutely no sign of ALP in Burpengary Morayfield or Caboolture. Makes one think they may be short of volunteers.Possibly unions reluctant to pay Saturday penalty rates to their staff.

  3. Haven’t seen the Country Party Candidate on the pre-poll so far whats doing ? Gun shy maybe “excuse the pun”

  4. Interested Observor Country Party has manned Morayfield Pre poll all day yesterday and till 4PM today. Caboolture not manned continually but manned at times. We have not manned AEC office. We should have most booths manned Saturday. Sorry you missed us. So far ALP LNP, PHON and Country Party have manned2 main pre polls so it is not us that is gun shy but 7 other candidates might fall int that category.
    Andrew Jackson
    apjackson2@bigpond.com

  5. All good I did see your volunteers handing them out the HTV..I was just expecting a candidate I think you’ve got an interesting split ticket style approach…Could be a model for a number of minor parties in marginal seats this Federal election to increase voter share…

  6. Greens turned up at about 1255 but had left by 1300. They think campaigning is walking past other poll workers waving a sign advocating end to coal jobs in Central and North Queensland is campaigning. Liberal Democrats spent an hour on booth holding up a sign but handed out no HTV.

  7. John
    After writing my post above at 2.05 PM today I was told that what I had described as Greens were in fact anti-Adani protesters and some of the group were ALP members. If this is accurate then Greens have not made an appearance at pre-polls. I would expect them to make an appearance as although I disagree with them I recognise that they are in reality a political; party with a core of dedicated supporters. Be aware that Morayfield will be a very difficult booth for Greens. I have day off tomorrow so will ask Tony Z to keep you informed.

  8. Democratic Labour Party will be running on ballot paper as Labour DLP. above candidate list does not reflect this or the correct Political party name “Democratic Labour Part”
    Terri Bell
    Qld State Secretary (DLP)

  9. Hi Terri,

    Thanks for your comment! Make your own website and you can name yourselves however you want. I’m not obliged to follow the AEC’s rules.

  10. Andrew Jackson a Greens booth worker was present at yesterdays (Friday’s) pre-poll at Morayfield. From about lunchtime. I did the whole day there and strong support for One Nation on that day would be at a guess around the 15% mark. Both majors receiving strong support so with a traditional flow of preferences cant see how Susan Lamb can hold this one. Country party was the only other minor present on that day.

  11. Tony
    I agree Ashby-Hanson Party have run a very effective campaign once they got started. Their How to Vote is by far the best one handed out Policy summarised very well on reverse of HTV. They got to polling booth early something that minor parties rarely do.I hope you are right that they will get only 15%. They think they are going to win. This is very unlikely but there is no doubt preferences from them Country Party and other minors will decide election.My estimate is that Both ALP and LNP will get about 33% each PHON 20% at Morayfield but less on Bribie. One needs to remember that Preferences will not flow as per HTV in 100% of cases and with only 4 or of 11 candidates effectively handing out HTV will get 20%. Wii conviction for rape of PHON staffer impact on PHON vote. My inclination that a rape conviction by a staffer will not have any negative impact.
    There seems to be an inverse relationship between voter intelligence and Pauline Hanson voting.
    Andrew Jackson
    apjackson2@bigpond.com

  12. State Election results shows One Nation in and around 20% in this area and I just can’t see this going backwards…Just far too much publicity around them in this by election and they have had boots on the ground…I’ve been blown away every second article in the news media is almost cheering them on…If they push it a bit higher say 23%+ given their position on the ballot ahead of Labor and Liberal and some of the minor parties openly supporting them namely the Lib Dems, People’s Party and the Independent who are all ahead of Labor and the LNP on the card…this will get very interesting especially with the LNP HTV putting Labor behind ON…Labor could finish a fair bit ahead on primaries and still get rolled by LNP/ON…

  13. I would like to see what the PHON senate vote and state election votes were on that map.

    The LNP -> PHON preference flow would be stronger than the PHON -> LNP preference flow, and a lot of the non-Green minor party voters would be going via One Nation. They seem to be quite strong in the area, relatively uncontroversial, and volunteer concentration will help them.

    Overtaking the Liberals will be a stretch (remember the Liberals won the primary vote in 2016), but I’m not ruling it out.

  14. John – if you follow the long and somewhat ridiculous link at the end of this comment, you can view PHON’s four-party-preferred, by booth, for the entire state.

    I’ve bucketed it by 0-10%, 10-25%, 25-40%, and 40%+.

    Clicking on any booth will give further info (4PPs for the LNP, Labor, the Greens; and 2PPs as available).

    https://fusiontables.googleusercontent.com/embedviz?q=select+col3+from+1V89D28-kcbUsB8sXq2uRNh8Q7pBJsKKqyB36oClP&viz=MAP&h=false&lat=-27.49184367663692&lng=153.16798722343754&t=1&z=8&l=col3&y=2&tmplt=3&hml=TWO_COL_LAT_LNG

  15. Today’s Courier Mail Front Page story on an allegation that LNP’s Trevor Ruthenberg has made claims that he is falsely entitled to a military medal will bight hard on Bribie and if this story makes it onto TV in all parts of electorate. It sounds like a misunderstanding but still will bight. Big Trev has not made a big thing about airforce service. I worked Bribie pre poll yesterday I saw more overt ALP voting and less overt LNP voting than was the case in 2016. Only a few brought their own HTV compared with large numbers in 2016. In 2016 the LNP successfully managed to persuade large numbers of retirees to bring Australia Post delivered HTV. I am a bit less confident of my prediction of LNP win today than yesterday in fact bordering on the reverse
    Andrew Jackson
    apjackson2@bigpond.com

  16. for andrew jackson … re his piece on this site about trevor ruthenberg.

    ”bight” ? did you mean “bite”?

  17. Liberal Trevor Ruthenberg’s silly slip up on his ADF medal may put into question his attention to detail as an MP if elected, as he only has the one medal.

    The Australia Defence Medal has a predominately dark red ribbon and looks nothing like the Australia Service Medal predominately with a light and dark green ribbon.

    I was in the Regular Army from 1972-1995 and I have both these medal as well as the Defence Force Service Medal and Clasp. The ASM was for non war like posting with a rifle company from 2/4 RAR to former RAAF Base Butterworth, Malaysia from Apr-Jun 1975 were we had two Mirage squadrons and a DC3 transport flight. Our companies mission was to protect the aeroplanes as the remnants of the CT’s (Communist Terrorists) where will active but we newer saw any of them.

    Even more interesting Trevor is a leader in a sect of the Lutheran that believe Popes (the position not the man) is the anti-christ. This does not affect me as an atheist though.

    Incidentally I am from Melbourne and am not related to Andrew Jackson.

  18. The Ashby-Hanson party may pick up those lost LNP votes. They are a real chance of winning if they overtake the LNP the way they did in Morayfield (state). Haven’t done full calculations but the One Nation vote in Morayfield, Pumicestone and Bancroft really does seem to put them in striking distance, and this time they’re far more organised.

    The odds of One Nation winning are way better than the 15:1 they have on betting sites – too bad there’s no money in “closer than you think”.

  19. Nice work AlexJ

    PHON aren’t as strong as I thought in Longman on 2016 senate results; it’s the state election results that give me pause.

  20. John –

    The 4PP percentages on the map are slightly misleading, because usually about 5% of voters didn’t preference any of the major parties in the Senate, and those are included in the 100% for each booth. Setting that aside (in % terms, equivalent to distributing them to each of the four in proportion to their shares) bumps PHON’s seat-wide vote-share from 17.4% to 18.2%.

    So their best path to victory, as you say, is to overtake the LNP and then collect their preferences against Labor. All else being equal, that would require about a quarter of LNP voters (8-9% of the total) flipping to PHON (and pretty much all LNP prefs also going to PHON over Labor).

  21. Liberal Democrats turned up at Morayfield pre poll today but no sign of them anywhere else. DLP confined their attention to Caboolture. Effectively only ALP, LNP, PHON and Australian Country Party are manning the booths. Burpengary pre poll very quiet today. Morayfield and Bribie all doing in excess of 500 per day.AEC expecting 30% plus pre poll votes. Libs bringing medium guns to Bribie supposedly Sally Anne Atkinson tomorrow. Impression I got on Bribie was medal issue not having an effect but Tony Z thought it was effecting Morayfield.
    Andrew Jackson
    Apjackson2@bigpond.com

  22. ABC local radio interviewed at least 5 minor candidates this evening. Trevor Ruthenberg interviewed straight after the first three minors.ALP ‘s Susan Lamb not interviewed either on Brisbane local radio or yesterday on ABC Sunshine Coast. She apparently failed to respond to invitation to Australian Christian Lobby invitation to their Candidates Forum . Lib Dems and Australian People’s Partyy performance not very impressive but Australian Country Party, PHON and LNP candidates performed well.
    These forums need to be earlier as at least 6 % possibly 10% have already cast pre poll votes. Both LDP and APP were marked higher on my Ballot Paper than they would have been if it had been filled in after Forum.

  23. Andrew Jackson at the end of the second week of Pre-Poll I dont think we have a real feel which way longman will go. My original prediction was LNP and after some many ups and downs I would have to stick with the first weeks gut feeling.
    The parties working the Pre-Poll are LNP, ALP, Phon and the Australian Country Party.. with some sightings Greens, LDP, Independent and to a lesser extent the DLP.
    The false runners have all preferenced the same way with the independent being the depository and then passing to PHON. PHON to Independent and Independent to PHON. LDP to Independent and then PHON….
    The Pre-Polls are only really being worked by the 4 parties mentioned and although PHON is picking up a stronge vote. (10% Plus) all bar the Country Party which are going to the LNP with the Country Party and DLP holding a split tickets. If there is a strong following of the HTV’s being handed out then the LNP should get over the line.

  24. The ideal situation would be great increase by one nation to upset the major parties both of whom will sell us out on migration and energy.

    It may topple Mal I don’t stand for anything Turnbull and freeze the Union beholding Shorten out and kill the greens

  25. If a party is not handing out how to votes it matters not one iota where they are directing preferences. In addition to the parties mentioned by Tony independent is working Bribie herself. She is a local vet and a Liberal uniformed Jack Russell cross gets on well with her. I imagine she will get a few percent on Bribie but virtually nothing anywhere else. Her Preferences support Liberals. Anti Adani protesters turned up at Bribie looking for Trevor Ruthenberg hoping to film an incident of own creation. Nearly all of candidates support a HELE coal powered generator but Ashby Hanson keeps falsely trepeating that he is only candidate to support such a power station. Behaviour of Party workers much imptoved on 2016. The dissapearance of Lazarus’s thugs has made the pre poll a much more pleasant lace Libs have said some of their workers refused to take part after their experience in 2016.. Sally Anne Atkinson objected to photo of Campbell Newman on Corflutes. I told her Newman should have been awarded Life Membership for his past and future contributions to ALP. Nothing makes me think of supporting ALP more thanNewman. Tony is correct LNP will scrape in and ALP should be asking itself what caused voters to reject Wyatt Roy in 2016 but reject Susan Lamb in 2018. Her stand on SSM certainly played a big part in the change.-

  26. I meet the PM and Big Trev today, also spoke to one nation yesterday, it will be a tight obe but LNP will get over the line in this one.

  27. The Australian has reported Labor is becoming increasingly confident they will hold Longman. They have suggested they have been trailing the campaign most of the way and are now in front. Whats more worrying for the LNP is their polling is before the medal fiasco. However the LNP have disputed that Labor were behind suggesting they have been the underdog from the start and have been trailing the whole campaign.

    What’s looking more increasing nervous signs the LNP have cancelled there campaign launch. A move that can be attributed to the medal fiasco and now trying a flying under the radar approach.

  28. Just to note Opinion polls are not always accurate, ReachTel tends to favour the coalition more often than not in their Polling, Galaxy and Essential are more reliable, But they have not polled this by election, I see labour hold by a very slim margin, I don’t believe the One nation voters will preference the coalition overwhelmingly, Remember they did the opposite in the state election and last election here, Voters don’t always look at the How-To-Vote cards, and remember in the state election when they said One nation will get a balance of power and at least 20% of the vote, It was overestimated, I think One nation will only get 10% of the primary vote not 15% Green preferences will almost all go to labour, One nation also does not like the Turnbull government at all, If big Trev does manage to pull off an upset, Hes prob gonna be out next year at the next fed election and Labour will win it back,

  29. Daniel I hope you are right about Ashby-Hanson Party vote. However my gut feeling is that it is more like 20%. It is very apparent on pre polls that a sizeable chunk of Of half wits are backing the Ashby Hansen party . One consolation is that even a bad poll should be better than gut feeling. Polls work off response to questions and answers are not always truthful. Do polls reflect the way people vote or do they just reflect the way people would like to think that they vote. Therefore will the polls under estimate the Ashby Hanson vote . My feeling is that any one with a slither of grey matter will be partially ashamed they support PHON and will therefore lead to results that underestimate PHON vote. Greens probably have this same problem when outside of their home turf.
    Andrew Jackson
    apjackson2@bigpond.com

  30. Plenty of heavily biased commentary on here from the Australian Country party crew. The simple fact is that PHON have worked their butts off in this area. You can find the candidate on the trail from 4.30 am every morning, on the radio, on sky news, at forums, waving at cars and pounding his knuckles raw on doors. I for one hope that they finish very strongly and send a big loud message to Canberra to lift it’s game. Wishing them to do badly is only empowering the two major parties, is that what you want Andrew?

  31. No I don’t want to empower the major parties but empowering a Ashby Hanson candidate is in fact empowering Liberal Party. I want MPs who vote against Liberal Government on occasions. Pauline Hanson never votes against Liberal. Party. She shouts loudly about popular issues but is a meek obedient servant of Turnbull when in Canberra. We want a MP who will stand up to Turnbull and Ashby Hanson candidates will be obedient robots or they will cease to be PHON MP. My feeling is that the government of Australia would be better if PH went back to serving fish and chips.
    Andrew Jackson
    apjackson2@bigpond.com

  32. Andrew .. It seems that you are surprised that Hanson backs the Liberals .. Of course she does, she was originally a Lib candidate .. in fact all minor parties in recent times have been Liberal Party oriented splinters or offshoots – Palmer, Xenophon, Bernardi, Leyonhjelm .. even the modern Greens who are basically Tories with a social conscience. Ultimately though with Hanson, it’s seemingly more about cold hard cash than cold hard facts.

    As far as Longman goes, I’d figures a 2PP of 45%+ would be a good result for Labor in what is essentially a Conservative seat which reacted strongly against Roy last time rather than being pro-Labor.

  33. Peter Knopke

    The Greens are defintely not tories; unless you think advocating for free university, raising Newstart and looking universal basic income are conservative for some reason. If anything they’ve moved to the left under Di Natale (most notably on drug policy, but also explicitly opposing neoliberalism). They vote with the Liberals the least of any party (even less than Labor).

    My final prediction for this seat is an ALP retain thanks to the medal scandal at the very least neutralising trust issues with Lamb.

  34. @Karen Haddock, no doubt when Matthew Stephen doesn’t win Longman he will pop up in another electorate he doesn’t live in in near future to contest and election, oh he also lost Sandgate. PHON are opportunists, nothing more. They are nothing more than the right wing faction of the Liberal Party.

  35. I can’t believe people take that “Greens who are basically Tories” propaganda seriously. They are to the left of Labor on every issue I can think of. Most importantly to judge a parties “non-Tory” status in my view is look at the corporate donations they get. Liberals get lots, Labor gets some, Greens get none…

    You could have said The Australian Democrats began as “Tories with a conscience” in 1977, but they to were increasingly to the left of Labor in the ’90s and ’00s (highlighted by Andrew Bartlett and most supporters joining the Greens when the Democrats dissipated).

  36. Not very often that I agree with Benee. The Greens are Definitely NOT Torys. They are extremists most of whom are inner city yuppies. To describe them as Tory’s shows up a level of class hatred that is supposed to be absent in Australian politics. Just because you have a university education does not make one a toff.
    Catholic Parents and Friends had a Candidate Forum tonight. Just over half candidates represented. 4 out of 11 candidates attended. 2 candidates sent representatives. I represented Bair Verrier Australian Country Party candidate. We had Simon Birmingham, Bill Shorten and Tanya Plibeshek present. Winner in my view was Shorten who knows how to work a crowd of those who were at least partially hostile. Greens, Science Party, Labor DLP, Australia First and Independent failed to front or send representatives. Independent Dr Jackie told me she sent apology. Greens sent a statement to be read out which it was. Statement avoided conflict and was in generalities.
    Bribie Island Pre poll much quieter today. PHON candidate Matthew Stephen interviewed by Sky Nesbit none of theecitement of yesterday’s Interview of PHON worker Dennis. All at Bribie have been a pleasure to work with. Some of voters less than polite. My impression is. That ALP and PHON doing better than polls show. Received in mail today brochure from LNP re “safe schools”. I think Trevor Ruthenberg can be trusted to oppose this gender dystrophin programme but I doubt if LNP will have the spine to stand up to the left on this issue.

  37. Who is paying for the travel and accommodation costs for party leaders and senior MP’s visiting the by election electorates? I hope it is not we taxpayers as the MP or party should pay for this unnecessary travel. Let the various candidates fight it out.

    Also I am pretty sick of watch the leaders talking crap on 10 second TV grabs too. Can anyone remember what each leader said yesterday?

  38. Winediamond

    “Do you count union donations, or expenditures ? Just asking ??”

    To judge if a party is “Tory” or not? Certainly not. Unions are not attempting to help the already rich keep or grow their standing with the donations.

    If what you are implying is that union donations are just as despicable as corporate donations I would disagree, but I would agree that a political system where both are banned would be better than what we have now (heck, ban personal donations as well and just have publicly funded “lean” campaigns). Elections should be won on ideas and discussions, not wallets sizes and huge ad-buys.

  39. As time has gone on, I’ve become more optimistic about the LNP’s chances of taking this seat. I originally thought Braddon would be more likely but the feeling is much different to what I thought.

    Didn’t think I would but I’m looking forward to my shift, bring on Saturday!

  40. BJA from Ryan
    i think i’m with you. Another factor has appeared. BS has wounded himself by being duplicitous about Husar. It is inconceivable he was not aware of most of the events that transpired. He just could not help himself. He had to say SOMETHING !!. This misjudgement was so foolish that i’m actually surprised.

    The relevant point to this, is that is a “morally conservative” electorate such as Longman, this will play very badly.

  41. Bennee
    I find it difficult to respond without simply putting forward a personal view .

    1/ Unions are now businesses. They make (a lot) of profit ,& ought to pay tax. Then they can do as they please with their funds. However using untaxed funds means in effect the taxpayer is funding the additional 30%. This is immoral, if not outright theft.

    2/ For the most part Company’s donate for access, not influence . Hence the donations are split fairly evenly. If business wants to fund our political system – fine.

    3/ I hate that we pay politicians for each vote they receive , when voting is compulsory, it is undemocratic, & wrong.

    4/ I don’t accept that we get value from political advertising. I would like to ban all the loathsome facile messaging inflicted upon us, & worse still, it is at our own cost !!.

    5/ Which brings me to the point of absolutely minimising public funding of elections. Because as you say & i agree wholeheartedly, elections ought to be about the contest of ideas ,discussions, & policies. Not funding, advertising etc

    I do strongly disagree with your assertion that unions are not seeking to “grow their standing through donation”. I find it difficult not to see the the ALP as simply a fully funded political arm of the union movement.

    I do not believe that such a blatant , & fundamental conflict of interest serves our country well. The O’Connor brothers are a wonderful case in point.

    Even though i disagree with some of your views, they are always interesting, & appreciated
    cheers WD

  42. @R as a Labor person I hate to say it but I 100 percent agree with you. I’ve said for months Labor would not hold this Liberal Party friendly seat. Susan Lamb is by far best candidate Labor has ever run there, they’d have absolutely no hope without her but even now will still lose about 52-48 I reckon. It’s not all her fault though, Shorten is 90 percent of why the government will pick this up. If Albo was leading Labor, Susan would hold this with a swing to her, and polls show this.

  43. “For the most part Company’s donate for access, not influence”

    Why do they want access? For influence! For return on investment! In my view that isn’t well functioning democracy or capitalism for that matter. Democratic processes should be separated from any comparison of buying power between interest groups.

    “I hate that we pay politicians for each vote they receive , when voting is compulsory, it is undemocratic, & wrong.”

    Public financing of campaigns is to give candidates some means to participate in campaigning for election without grovelling to donors. The higher % of campaign money from public sources the less our politics is owned by big money interests. You might not like that some people vote for parties you don’t like and therefore those parties get taxpayer money, but that’s democratic.

    “I do strongly disagree with your assertion that unions are not seeking to “grow their standing through donation”. I find it difficult not to see the the ALP as simply a fully funded political arm of the union movement.”

    I didn’t say unions aren’t trying to grow some people’s standing through donations and political advocacy, they certainly are, but those someones aren’t the upper class so that makes it “non-Tory” as opposed to “Tory” behaviour. On most issues unions are in direct opposition to larger (Neoliberal/pro-business) sources of campaign donations, so even though I can see your point that there are conflicts of interest from unions involved in politics I don’t consider them a great evil in the current system. Ban them all and I’m happy, but don’t criticise and try to thwart unions’s political influence alone.

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