State federal relations
There are 12 graphs below, 2 for each state. One is a
line graph of two
party preferred federal votes (both Coalition and Labor)
The second is a bar chart showing
the state's relative
support for federal Labor. It is the two party preferred Labor vote minus the average of all
states'; the corresponding Coalition number would mirror Labor's around the
The red/blue horizontal line below the bar chart indicates
which party was in power at state level.
Click each to enlarge
NSW has historically been the Labor
state. So although it sometimes gives the Coalition a two party preferred
majority, its relative support is nearly always above the line. Not in 2001,
is the opposite: almost without exception a relative supporter of the
Coalition, except its two party preferred Labor vote (the
red line) only strays above 50% once every several decades (most recently
Tasmania was a traditional Labor state
until 1975; it took another 18 years to get over the Whitlam experience and take
its red line above 50%. It's been there ever since, was the only state to
swing to Labor at the last poll, and currently the party holds all five seats
Victorian graphs, centre of the Labor
split of '55, tell the dramatic story. Whitlam finally kicked the Vic apparatchiks into shape after '69 and
got elected in '72. Victoria contributed a massive Coalition swing in 1990 but, after
unloading Cain/Kirner government in 1992, has been Federal Labor's best friend.
In this way Victoria exhibits similar behaviour to NSW, although the Bracks
government hasn't so far been particularly detrimental to its federal
Of course, a comparison at any date of a state's behaviour relative to the
rest should recognise that 'the rest' can be greatly influenced by a particular
state's individual behaviour. On this and other things I'm guilty of
simplification, but my main charge in this instance remains: the presence of Bob
Carr, in the state with 50 of 150 House of Representatives seats, has been disastrous
for federal Labor.
No wonder John Howard doesn't seem to be busting a gut for John Brogden.
There's a whole other story - of the disappearance of state Coalition
government's since Howard's election. No coincidence here, some
But that's for another day.
In recent history, 1993 saw NSW, Victoria and Tasmania swing to Keating
while Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia swung to Hewson. In 1996
everybody swung to Howard, in 1998 everybody swung to Beazley; in
2001 everybody except Tasmania swung to Howard.
two party preferred vote 1949 - 2001