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Anthony Green has taken a hard line on Bradfield/Higgins by-elections:

In my view there are very few implications that can be drawn from Saturday night’s result… In summary, not much happened, everyone should move on. Instead, journalists and bloggers across the country have become auguries, examining the entrails of the booth by booth results to try and divine some patterns. Godammit, it was an election, it must mean something!!

He then goes on to argue that the only thing that can be gleaned from the Bradfield/Higgins by-elections is how Labor voters view the Greens as a substitute for the ALP. This seems remarkably similar to my previously stated views that these by-elections aren’t comparable to 2007 because there was no Labor candidate and that the only thing we can really discern is how well the Greens can run as a major party or as a party beyond their usual base of ultra-lefties (the answer being, not well).

Anthony Green goes further and also argues that the difference in how rich/poor booths voted in Bradfield and Higgins wasn’t about ETSs but about how rich and poor ALP voters view the Greens. I agree with this comment and retract my argument that richer voters are more likely to vote for a pro-ETS ALP than poorer ones when their backs are up against the wall. It may very well be true, but there is too much noise in this statistical data to draw strong conclusions like the ones I made.


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