Real Tories vote Green

Or something.

Tassie election 2014

The Tasmanian Greens are trying to pick up Liberal votes. This is hardly surprising and exactly what we would expect the happen under the median voter theory. Political parties are likely to maximise the probability of attracting voters if they locate themselves in the political centre – so we have the centre-right and the centre-left competing for office.

A few years ago my RMIT colleague Tim Fry and I did some work using the Australian Election Survey on voting behaviour and identification on the political spectrum and we found that the relationship between where people are located on the Left-Right spectrum (one dimensional only) and voting behaviour is quite strong.

The Greens even use appropriate language to make their case:

Are your political views closer to those of Malcolm Turnbull than those of Tony Abbott?

Consider a vote for the Greens.

Very clever – but Tim Fry and I also found that people didn’t just vote for the party with the closest view to themselves, they voted for the party on the same side of the spectrum to themselves. The Greens are perceived to be a left-wing party (surprisingly Green voters placed themselves further to the left than did the general population – that may have changed). So it is unlikely that a Liberal voter will jump across the ALP and vote for the Greens.

What they might be trying to do is pick up the libertarian vote. Again I’ve some work with Tim Fry (and Breanna Pellegrini) on this topic. The data relate to federal elections:

The broader definition (D1) suggests that the bulk of classical liberal voters support the elected government of the day. In 1990 and 1993, a larger proportion voted for the ALP, and between 1996 and 2004 a larger proportion voted for the Liberal Party. The Liberal share of votes from D1 classical liberals was especially high in 1998 and 2004. It appears that they supported the introduction of the GST and were unconcerned about the Iraq War and the (alleged) loss of civil liberties associated with the ‘war on terror.’ This result is very different from the US experience. Classical liberals in the narrow definition (D2) show a very high level of support for the Liberal Party. Again, it appears that classical liberals supported the introduction of the GST. To the extent that Australian classical liberals are concerned about the Iraq war and the alleged loss of civil liberties, this has not had any impact on the data. The classical liberal vote for the government rose from 50% in 2001 to 50.91% in 2004. In contrast, the US classical liberal vote for George W. Bush fell by 13% between 2000 and 2004. Classical liberals under D2 are very loyal Liberal Party voters—but, as Norton argues, they are also very rare.

Here is the important bit:

Liberal-voting classical liberals under both definitions place themselves to the left of the Liberal Party on a left–right continuum. This suggests they vote for the economic policies of the Liberal Party. The positioning of Labor-voting classical liberals (again, under both definitions) is more complex; they place themselves to the left of the ALP, but to the right of the Liberal Party. We interpret this as indicating that they vote for the ALP because of its social policies.

Based on that – albeit now dated – analysis I suspect, at best, the Tasmanian Greens are likely to pick up libertarian votes that might otherwise have gone to the ALP.

Overall though the way the median voter theory works is that political parties gravitate to the centre, not stand at the periphery and call the voters to come to them.

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39 Responses to Real Tories vote Green

  1. Leigh Lowe

    they place themselves to the left of the ALP, but to the right of the Liberal Party.

    Huh?

  2. Sinclair Davidson

    Voters are asked to place themselves on the continuum and also to place various parties. Most voters provide a consistent pattern – libertarians didn’t – that is because libertarians tend to place themselves in a 2 x 2 matrix and not on a one-dimensional continuum.

    At the time the other party that caused problems was One Nation – everyone placed it at the extreme, but some at the extreme right and others at the extreme left.

  3. egg_

    At the time the other party that caused problems was One Nation – everyone placed it at the extreme, but some at the extreme right and others at the extreme left.

    Unsurprising, as extremists of any colour have much in common.

  4. Are your political views closer to those of Malcolm Turnbull a complete and utter failure of an Opposition Leader than those of Tony Abbott the man who replaced him and subsequently destroyed two Labor Prime Ministers (one of them twice)?

    Consider a vote for the Greens.

    FIFY.

  5. Tom

    Leftists lie about everything all the time. And the Greenfilth have turned lying into an artform. There are big block capital letters over the Tasmanian election: IT’S THE ECONOMY, STUPID. Everyone with an IQ if 50 or more knows it’s insane continuing to vote for the Liars-Greenfilth and expecting a different result. The legend who thought he could trick Liberal voters into voting Green has been smoking too much of Bob Brown’s dried hippie shit.

  6. Joe

    I’m confused.
    A libertarian, an anti-statist, is to vote for either the greens or the ALP, both of which can be considered the most statist of parties?

  7. candy

    The Greens appear to be using the Liberal blue colour.

  8. Motelierk

    The Greens appear to be using the Liberal blue colour.

    Candy,
    That is standard OP for Labor and the Greens. Last Fed Election all Labor advertising material was Liberal blue.

    The hope for votes by deception and trickery.

    Those that vote on colour should be banned from the election process as the DO NOT HAVE THE BRAINS TO EVALUATE THE POLICIES ON OFFER.

    Back to normal now.

  9. Motelier

    Sorry about the strange identity.

    Fixed now

  10. candy

    Yeah I know, Motelierk, they’re just trying to hoodwink vulnerable people. They have no shame.

  11. James

    Those that vote on colour should be banned from the election process as the DO NOT HAVE THE BRAINS TO EVALUATE THE POLICIES ON OFFER.

    Now, now, don’t get all Socratic about democracy. Shall we appoint you the brain evaluator-in-chief?

    Greens trying to attract the libertarian voter is ridiculous especially when they hate property rights and private enterprise. I wish they’d just go away.

  12. Bruce of Newcastle

    The positioning of Labor-voting classical liberals (again, under both definitions) is more complex; they place themselves to the left of the ALP, but to the right of the Liberal Party.

    Which is exactly why Hawke and Keating were so successful, since their economic policies were to the right but their social policies to the left.

    The problem for the ALP is the progressives have now colonised the union movement since union hierarchy now come from university graduates, not from the grass roots. And these people then ascend to positions in the ALP parliamentary team. So the right wing economic aspect has been jettisoned.

    If the ALP could get that back (and kick the progressives into touch) they would succeed more in government and therefore win more elections.

  13. Rabz

    surprisingly Green voters placed themselves further to the left than did the general population – that may have changed

    Somehow, I don’t think so.

  14. rebel with cause

    ‘Make a stand against corporate welfare – vote green’

    LOL. Apparently it’s not corporate welfare if you like the company you are giving taxpayer’s money.

    Pity the LDP aren’t running. Tasmanians don’t seem to have any good options.

  15. Andrew

    I’m confused. By lampooning St Malcolm of Wentworth as an incompetent fool who holds many of the same discredited values as the Marxism Party, aren’t they further harming his brand and making him even more unelectable to all but the micro brain 18% of the population that approved of him last time?

    How does this align with their call for St Malcolm to return and save us from Abbott666?

  16. Andrew

    I’m confused.
    A libertarian, an anti-statist, is to vote for either the greens or the ALP, both of which can be considered the most statist of parties?

    Voter behaviour is rarely logical in my opinion.

  17. PUP would also get placed all over the shop at this stage. I suspect that is their basic strategy.

    Still need a proper right wing party to balance the Greens down here. I think that having a three party system is deeply unstable, and it needs a fourth party (hardline economic dry style) to cut the drift left, which is sort of the reverse of the median voter effect – over time voters drift to the median of the parties on offer.

  18. Token

    The Tasmanian Greens are trying to pick up Liberal votes.

    Wow, so they are so on the nose they are branding themselves as Hi-Alan Liberals in a desperate attempt to get any vote possible.

    They really have made a clear statement on how toxic their brand is.

  19. Token

    By lampooning St Malcolm of Wentworth as an incompetent fool who holds many of the same discredited values as the Marxism Party, aren’t they further harming his brand and making him even more unelectable to all but the micro brain 18% of the population that approved of him last time?

    They are making it clear that the values which the Greens have stood for and used as the framework to govern Tasmania into the ground are so odious even they believe they should be abandoned.

    They are making a real marketing blunder. The Tasmanian Liberals should be highlighting this fact in their advertising & tell people not to “buy the original, not the shoddy knockoff”.

  20. calli

    The Greens appear to be using the Liberal blue colour.

    Exactly. Lying liars always lie.

    But we ladies know that ‘blue and green should never be seen, except with a colour in-between’. Unfortunately a style ‘fail’ for the Greens to the discerning female voter.

    Happy International Wymminses Day! :)

  21. Squirrel

    The reference to Turnbull is probably apposite only in the sense that true libertarians in Tasmania must, after aeons of Labor/Green government, be like Lieutenant Onoda.

    I reckon this is a pitch for doctors’ wives and the discreet, conservative gay vote – who may well be thinking “enough is enough, time for a change to that nice Mr Hodgman”.

  22. jupes

    On homosexual marriage, legalising drugs and open borders, libertarians and greens are peas in a pod.

  23. Sinclair Davidson

    Jupes – not quite. The Green discriminate against polygamists.

  24. Habib

    Why would libertarian voters opt for the most totalitarian option? Most libertarians I know aren’t that cretinous, they know who poses the greatest threat to personal freedoms. The LNP are unfortunately the least worst choice.

  25. candy

    Calli
    That’s an amusing comment, you write some nice things. Happy International Wymminses Day (if we must have one!).

  26. Jim Rose

    20% of green voters second preference the liberals. Was 33% in the mid-1990s

  27. Other thing you notice is that Labor has no standards in terms of their electioneering materials, whereas the Libs all use the same font, same colour, and largely the same format.

  28. Ubique

    I can’t possibly see how a libertarian could ever vote for the Greens – a party which wants to make compulsory everything which it doesn’t seek to prohibit.

  29. H B Bear

    Poor old Lord Turnbull of Wentworth. With friends like these and Snowcone who needs enemies?

  30. Infidel Tiger

    On homosexual marriage, legalising drugs and open borders, libertarians and greens are peas in a pod.

    That’s not true.

    Many Libertarians consider homo shindigs a complete joke. The Greens are also anti hetero marriage.

    The Greens do not want to legalise drugs. Their agenda is to ban alcohol and tobacco.

    The Greens are not for not for open borders. They are an anti-immigration, anti-foreign trade party, who only love illegal immigrants because they undermine our prosperity.

    They are hate filled Berkshire Hunts who must hang.

  31. Token

    The Greens are also anti hetero marriage.

    It is one of the miracles of the 21st centuries that the gays found a way that got the Greens to change their view that marriage is a vehicle of oppression on wymmynses.

  32. Pyrmonter

    Hayek nailed it: libertarians and classical liberals are closest to old Whigs, not Tories.

  33. will

    Which is exactly why Hawke and Keating were so successful, since their economic policies were to the right but their social policies to the left.

    The problem for the ALP is the progressives have now colonised the union movement since union hierarchy now come from university graduates, not from the grass roots. And these people then ascend to positions in the ALP parliamentary team. So the right wing economic aspect has been jettisoned.

    If the ALP could get that back (and kick the progressives into touch) they would succeed more in government and therefore win more elections.

    Electoral success perhaps.

    Economic, not so much. The Prices and Incomes accord saw the wages share of GDP decline, as well as introduce market distortions from the soft power ‘moral suasion’ price controls. There was also a small matter of interst rates and the recession we “had to have”. Not forgetting problems with mining developments that the Left did not want. Overall, the economic outcomes were very poor, as you would expect from a Labour government.

  34. will

    I can’t possibly see how a libertarian could ever vote for the Greens – a party which wants to make compulsory everything which it doesn’t seek to prohibit

    This Greenslime tactic is an appeal to the swinging voter – who are usually the least informed of all voter classes.

  35. Jim Rose

    25%, rather than the current 20% preferencing the liberals is the same as a 1% extra swing 2PP

  36. Token

    Hayek nailed it: libertarians and classical liberals are closest to old Whigs, not Tories.

    Along those lines, the party that is the successor of the Whigs – the British Lib Dems holds views as close to Classical Liberalism / Libertarianism as the Greens.

  37. egg_

    This Greenslime tactic is an appeal to the swinging voter – who are usually the least informed of all voter classes.

    +1

    Hence imitating the LNP signage.

  38. jupes

    This Greenslime tactic is an appeal to the swinging voter – who are usually the least informed of all voter classes.

    Surely the majority of Greens voters are the least informed.

    They think a vote for the Greens will help the environment. How ignorant can you get?

  39. Biota

    The Greens having to resort to these tactics is an admission that they are well aware that voters don’t wan’t what they are really selling. Surely voters aren’t so stupid as to be sucked in by this.

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