EDITORIAL TUESDAY 01.06.10.
The latest Newspoll figures show that both the government and the opposition have lost support to the tune of two percentage points each. The beneficiary of this disaffection with both major parties has been the Greens who have increased their primary vote figure by four percent, taking them to their highest ever level of popularity. In fact support for the Greens is now more than double what it was at the last federal election in 2007. When the numbers are crunched down to the two party preferred figures the Rudd Government just squeaks home with 51%, up one point from the previous poll.
What this appears to tell us is that an increasing number of voters are not happy with either major party and want to direct their vote elsewhere. On the words of one newspaper report (in the Telegraph) “Voters are facing a choice between a Prime Minister they don't like, and an alternative they like even less.” It’s a view that’s born out by the fact that both the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition have seen their disapproval ratings increase, up to 54% and 49% respectively. In other words, there’s a good proportion of Australian voters who will go to the election this year wishing they could tick the box for “none of the above”.
When the Greens 16% is added to those who support other minor parties and independents, it adds up to 24% of Australians who have lost faith in the major parties. Of course, the reality is that Green preferences will most likely deliver a victory to Kevin Rudd’s government, but it is also likely to see more Greens in the Senate, giving them the balance of power in their own right, and possibly even a Green in the lower House. While it’s not really likely that we’ll end up with a hung parliament like Great Britain, it’s clear that the Greens are almost certain to be in a position to wield considerably more influence.