The toxicity of the Greens and lessons from Tasmania for Labour

Labour faces a dilemma.

They can’t win the election without some sort of formal accommodation with the Greens. They also can’t win without Winston Peters.

And thus their dilemma is apparent. The Greens are toxic. David Cunliffe knows it, Shane Jones knows it, Winston Peters knows it.

But the problem is Moira Coatsworth is shrieking at Cunliffe that the attitude tot eh Greens must end, that they are the preferred coalition partner and that Labour needs to be nicer.

Russel Norman is exerting pressure behind the scenes as well.  But the fact remains that the Greens are toxic in any support or coalition deal.

This is a position that Tasmanian’s saw only too well and punished both Labor and the Greens over in their state elections last weekend.

Labor and the Greens have blamed each other for the loss of votes in Saturday’s Tasmanian state election, while the South Australian Liberals insisted electoral boundaries prevented them from claiming a “deserved” outright win.

The simultaneous state elections resulted in a decisive Liberal win in Tasmania and a likely hung parliament in South Australia, where the focus is now turning to negotiations with two independents.

The Liberals have raised questions over the South Australian electoral system given the party could miss out on forming government despite securing about 53% of the two-party vote. 

In Tasmania, where voters elected a Will Hodgman-led Liberal government after 16 years of Labor rule, the Greens suffered a swing of about 8%, leaving them with about 13.5% of the vote and at least two seats in the 25-seat chamber.

The Greens leader, Christine Milne, acknowledged it was a “challenging” election for her party in Tasmania, but predicted the Greens would end up with at least three seats and had a chance for a fourth. The Greens went in to the election with five seats.

Pinning part of the blame on the power-sharing agreement between Labor and the Greens after the 2010 hung parliament in Tasmania, Milne said the “it’s time” factor was at play.

Typical Greens, blame everyone one but themselves. The shield of sanctimony and cloak of hypocrisy is so becoming on them.

Bill Shorten knows the real reason they got a spanking in Tasmania and South australia remains on a knife edge.

Labor, which suffered a swing against it of about 9.5% to leave it with 27.4% of the vote, has also pointed to voter dissatisfaction with the power-sharing arrangement in Tasmania.

The federal opposition leader, Bill Shorten, said Labor’s formal relationship with the Greens was marked down by Tasmanian voters. Shorten said he could “foresee no set of circumstances that in the event that Labor was elected to government nationally, that we would go into a formal alliance with the Greens”. The Liberal party attracted a swing of 12.4% in Tasmania and a secured 51.4% of the vote, ending the premiership of Lara Giddings.

The Greens are toxic and senior politicians know that. Watch the attacks step up on the Greens. labour thinks they deserve all those votes anyway and so will fight the election against the Greens and not with them.


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