Swings and Roundabouts Patterns of Voting for the Australian Labor Party at State and Commonwealth Lower House Elections, 1901-96

Campbell Sharman, A. Sayers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Federation for Australia in 1901 was closely followed by the rise of the mass party, an organisation with the potential to reduce the regional differentiation that federalism is designed to protect. Loyalty to party can submerge local issues in nationally based partisanship, and the Australian Labor Party (ALP) may have performed precisely this role, particularly if voters have not differentiated between voting for the ALP at state and Commonwealth elections, This article examines the pattern of electoral support for the ALP at state and Commonwealth elections since 1901 and finds that an apparent similarity in long-term voting support masks important variations both within and between states. The potential for mass party loyalty to create uniform voting responses across the federation has been strongly moderated by the diversity inherent in the federal system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-344
JournalAustralian Journal of Political Science
Volume33
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1998

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Labour Party
voting
election
federation
loyalty
federalism

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abstract = "Federation for Australia in 1901 was closely followed by the rise of the mass party, an organisation with the potential to reduce the regional differentiation that federalism is designed to protect. Loyalty to party can submerge local issues in nationally based partisanship, and the Australian Labor Party (ALP) may have performed precisely this role, particularly if voters have not differentiated between voting for the ALP at state and Commonwealth elections, This article examines the pattern of electoral support for the ALP at state and Commonwealth elections since 1901 and finds that an apparent similarity in long-term voting support masks important variations both within and between states. The potential for mass party loyalty to create uniform voting responses across the federation has been strongly moderated by the diversity inherent in the federal system.",
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AB - Federation for Australia in 1901 was closely followed by the rise of the mass party, an organisation with the potential to reduce the regional differentiation that federalism is designed to protect. Loyalty to party can submerge local issues in nationally based partisanship, and the Australian Labor Party (ALP) may have performed precisely this role, particularly if voters have not differentiated between voting for the ALP at state and Commonwealth elections, This article examines the pattern of electoral support for the ALP at state and Commonwealth elections since 1901 and finds that an apparent similarity in long-term voting support masks important variations both within and between states. The potential for mass party loyalty to create uniform voting responses across the federation has been strongly moderated by the diversity inherent in the federal system.

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