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George Wright: ALP’s 2013 Federal Election Analysis

The ALP National Secretary, George Wright, has addressed the National Press Club on the outcome of the 2013 federal election.

Wright said the party’s polling had showed it was likely to lose more than 40 seats and be reduced to 30 seats under Julia Gillard. He said the ALP “cauterised” its losses by returning to Kevin Rudd. “He did make a difference,” Wright said. In the end, the ALP lost 17 seats and will have 55 members in the new House.


Disunity and division crippled the ALP’s election chances, Wright maintained. He said issues such as the carbon tax, aslyum seekers and debt were lesser order issues than Labor’s conduct in office.

Wright maintained that the party is in good shape to make an electoral comeback under Bill Shorten. He quoted one commentator who said the party had pulled off “a Dunkirk” by losing but keeping an army intact to fight another day. Wright drew a comparison with the Whitlam opposition after the 1975 Dismissal election and argued the ALP could be back in government sooner than people think.

Wright refused to be drawn on Kevin Rudd’s future, saying that the former prime minister’s future as the member for Griffith was for him to decide.

Asked about the 2010 election, Wright said the party’s problems began with Rudd’s removal and the ALP never recovered.

The Liberal Party’s Federal Director, Brian Loughnane, addressed the Press Club last week on the election outcome.

Watch Wright (58m):

Listen to Wright’s speech (22m):

Listen to Wright’s responses to questions (35m):

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Malcolm Farnsworth
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