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Labor has cause for hope – and some concern – in this election loss

Frank Bongiorno writes in The Conversation (11.7.16) about the positives and negatives for the ALP coming out of the federal election result.

‘With a swing of just over 3%, the Labor Party has come closer to winning the 2016 election than it had any right to expect when ejected from office in September 2013. It has come closer to winning than it could seriously have hoped when Malcolm Turnbull replaced Tony Abbott two years later.

‘Labor’s disappointment can only arise from the peculiar opportunities provided by the disintegration of Abbott’s prime ministership in the wake of the 2014 budget, and the collapse of Turnbull’s reputation as he stumbled from one mishap to the next over the nine months of his leadership.

‘On a literal-minded reading of the national polling, Labor might have been considered a slight favourite. That it was not owed a great deal to state-based and marginal seat polling, which suggested Labor did not have the votes in the right places.

‘… But by the final fortnight it was more a campaign about general impressions than policy. In this contest, Shorten did not firmly establish his superiority to Turnbull.’

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