One roundabout way of explaining why Labor lost

One roundabout way of explaining why Labor lost, by Andrew Clennell.

Labor’s vote decreased in 72 outer metropolitan, provincial and rural seats and increased in only 35.

Conversely, Bill Shorten’s slew of high-taxing policies and populist pitches found support in inner-metropolitan seats where Labor’s vote increased in 26, including Liberal-held seats, and decreased in just 18.

A geographical and philosophical divide lies at the heart of Labor’s electoral woes, a theme picked up in [former NSW premier Morris Iemma’s] comments. Mr Iemma directed his social media tirade at the supporters of Labor candidate for Banks, Chris Gambian, who dubbed sitting Liberal MP David Coleman the “Minister for Roundabouts”.

Mr Iemma accused them of being inner-city elites who did not understand the concerns of the outer suburbs. “So while the Gambian Army of keyboard warriors from (inner-city) Newtown and Marrickville sat around quaffing their Columbian (sic) bean piccolos, Coleman was out building from the grassroots,” Mr Iemma said.

“While our transients guffawed at Coleman for attending to local traffic problems and getting them fixed with roundabouts, the locals were expressing their appreciation with a massive increase in vote.” Mr Coleman secured a 5.3 per cent swing in Banks.

In Labor’s heartland of western ­Sydney — where days earlier former Labor leader Mr Shorten gave his last public speech in Blacktown, inviting a comparison with Gough Whitlam — one senior Labor campaigner admitted the party had “forgotten the worker”.

The Australian political class is working it out. Good. Labor will probably improve for next election.