JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Labor told Greens to step up in last weeks

Date

Noel Towell

Labor warned an official from the Greens, who were then led by Meredith Hunter - who lost her Ginninderra seat to Labor's Yvette Berry - that they were in trouble during the last week of the campaign.

Labor warned an official from the Greens, who were then led by Meredith Hunter - who lost her Ginninderra seat to Labor's Yvette Berry - that they were in trouble during the last week of the campaign. Photo: Graham Tidy

Labor Party officials warned the ACT Greens they were in danger in the last days before their near electoral wipe-out last month and urged them to try harder.

The Canberra Times understands that a senior Labor campaign figure contacted their counterpart at Greens headquarters seven or eight days before election day and told the cross-bench party that it needed to intensify its last week campaigning activity.

There had been little contact between the two camps during the campaign before the phone call on October 12 or October 13, despite there being cordial relations between the two party leaders and the Greens having propped up the minority Labor government for the previous four years.

But ALP politicians and campaigners were alarmed when they were told, eight days out from the poll, that their Greens Parliamentary Agreement partners planned low-key approach to the end of their campaign after announcing all of their polices.

The Greens were reduced from three MLA to just one in their election-day mauling, barely clinging onto the balance-of-power status and were widely criticised for their low-profile in the campaign's last week.

The party lost seats in Brindabella and Molonglo to the Canberra Liberals and one to Labor in Molonglo.

Both of the major parties also increased their primary votes across the city after they intensified their efforts in the last week of the campaign with internal polling showing unusually high numbers of undecided voters.

Experienced campaigners in both the Liberal and Labor camps knew the large undecided vote made the last week vital to the final result.

An ALP source said the party was surprised when it heard about the Greens' last-week plan and worried that Greens seats, particularly in Brindabella and Molonglo, would be lost to the Liberals' aggressive campaign if more of an effort was not made in the final days.

''We were really surprised when we were told that they had nothing planned for the last week, except some stuff that we knew wouldn't attract any media for them,'' the Labor figure told The Canberra Times.

''Nobody predicted that they would just vacate the battlefield like that, it was the real surprise of the election.''

The Greens, who were criticised by commentators for their performance in the campaign's final seven days, now have two internal reviews in progress into their election effort although it is unclear if the reports would be made public.

But the party's former parliamentary leader, Meredith Hunter, who lost her Ginninderra seat on October 20 to Labor's Yvette Berry, told The Canberra Times a week after the election that she believed the final seven days had been decisive in her party's defeat.

Party officials did not respond to requests for comment on Wednesday.

22 comments

  • If it is true that the Greens last week of campaigning was less than robust then they have learnt a valuable lesson, hopefully? But an expensive one at that. If you are pumping water up from a deep hole in the ground and as the water nearly reaches the top and is in sight, once you stop pumping the water goes all the way back down the hole and we have to start all over again. Lesson, don't stop pumping/trying until you cross the line in all walks of life.

    Commenter
    Dingbat22
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    November 15, 2012, 9:33AM
    • Labor in bed with the "independent", "principled" Greens - what a surprise! Did anyone tell Zed?

      The 2012 will go down as the most corrupt in ACT history, and now we are going to spend four years paying for it.

      Commenter
      Economist
      Date and time
      November 15, 2012, 9:46AM
      • If this story is true, the Labor and Greens can stop pretending they are seperate parties. They are two peas in the same pod.

        Commenter
        Richo
        Location
        Canberra
        Date and time
        November 15, 2012, 9:47AM
        • Gee if that's the case why did Zed try desperately to do a deal with them and why did Abbott offer to do anything but sell his rear end to do a deal with the Greens and independents? Labor is in a coalition with the Greens just like the Liberals and Nationals. Barnaby Joyce would be interested to hear the Nationals and Libs are the same party which is essentially what you're saying. Labor did a deal to form a minority government. Zed tried to do the same thing and failed.

          Commenter
          Eric Olthwaite
          Location
          Canberra
          Date and time
          November 15, 2012, 10:09AM
        • What a sad joke. The greens were almost completely wiped out of our oversized poor performing council, but yet they will dictate what the next 4 years brings via our newly labor appointed lord mayor ex-greenpeace warrior. Sigh who cares what the people really want I guess.
          Eric you are sadly missing the big picture here. Liberal and nationals freely admit to the voting public that they are in a coalition. If as you say labor-greens are also in coalition admit this publicly instead of the constant denials. Seems strange that federally labor has been mounting a campaign to distance themselves from the greens if they are in coalition. Still maybe this has more too do with the huge political wipeouts the greens have suffered Australia wide, yes even in lefty mon-fri office working Canberra.

          Also it appears what you are saying is locally labor were willing to sell more of themselves than liberal in Canberra to secure power? Obviously labor is better at selling their souls than the libs, we have seen that both Federally and locally, but seriously that is all our government has boiled down too? Who is willing to sellout the voters more?

          Now let us see labor-greens fund and complete all these election promises, without sending us all completely broke. Should be an interesting 4 years. Look how well they managed the GDE project for starters and the massive cost blowouts, that didn't turn in an utter cluster. Sigh I wonder if we will survive this brilliant management.

          Commenter
          Peter
          Date and time
          November 15, 2012, 11:51AM
        • Eric,

          Libs and Nats have a formal, permanent alliance. People are fully aware that a vote cast for the Libs or the Nats goes towards the same Coalition (in spite of some individual policy differences).

          The Greens and Labor on the other hand market themselves as individual parties (Bob Brown: we don't want to keep the bastards honest, we want to replace them).

          Since the greens claim to be independent is Zed not entitled to enter into negotiations with them?

          The factis, it is a smokescreen. When the chips are done, Greens will always back Labor. This report suggests the relationship is even deeper, assisting with campaigning.

          Commenter
          Richo
          Location
          Canberra
          Date and time
          November 15, 2012, 11:55AM
        • Actually, the ACT Greens were not "in coalition" with Labor during the last Assembly. They supported Jon Stanhope as CM and agreed not to block supply or support a no-confidence motion against the Government. That was it. They retained the right to publicly criticise Labor policy and to vote with the Liberal Opposition against Labor bills, which they did. That is not the action of a coalition partner eg. the LNP coalition.
          Interestingly, to try to make the Greens appear ineffectual, the Liberals never formally supported
          any Greens bills, although they agreed with a number of them in private.

          Commenter
          Trish
          Location
          Canberra
          Date and time
          November 15, 2012, 1:30PM
      • This is manufacturing consent at its most finest. If the media repeats the Greens' line enough times it becomes received wisdom in the public - classic advertising. Say it enough times and it becomes fact and then the Party does not have to deal with the real reasons behind their poor performance.

        Commenter
        Outraged of Palmerston
        Date and time
        November 15, 2012, 9:48AM
        • Are you suggesting the Greens take a leaf out of Tony Abbott's Tea Party book - make an allegation without any supporting evidence and keep repeating it often enough until it acquires the status of 'fact', while remaining false?

          Commenter
          Voter
          Location
          Canberra
          Date and time
          November 15, 2012, 1:20PM
        • @Voter..Repeat it often until its considered fact....Sounds just like rule No.1 for climate alarmists to me.

          Commenter
          dusty
          Date and time
          November 15, 2012, 2:18PM

      More comments

      Comments are now closed
      Featured advertisers

      Special offers

      Credit card, savings and loan rates by Mozo