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Liberal Party Director Analyses Election Defeat

Brian Loughnane, Federal Director, Liberal PartyThe Liberal Party’s Federal Director, Brian Loughnane, has addressed the National Press Club on the coalition’s election defeat.

Loughnane said it was clear the coalition’s defeat was attributable to longer term strategic issues than short term tactical issues of recent months.

He said: “The swing away from the Government was particularly strong in some outer suburban seats in Sydney and key regional seats, and I believe these concerns with the cost of living and interest rates was an important factor.”

  • Listen to Loughnane’s speech (56m)

Text of Brian Loughnane’s Address to the National Press Club.

Mr President, Ladies and Gentlemen:

I thank the National Press Club for the opportunity of today’s address as it allows me to discuss our defeat and some of the key issues for the Party over the next three years.

I just wish it were different circumstances which brought me here. But on 24th November, the people of Australia voted clearly to change Government. [Read more…]


Oppositions Do Win Elections: Gartrell Analyses ALP Election Victory

The ALP has disproved the notion that oppositions don’t win elections, governments lose them, according to Tim Gartrell, National Secretary of the ALP.

GartrellAddressing the National Press Club in Canberra, Gartrell argued that Labor won the election campaign outright and that the election of Kevin Rudd as leader of the ALP exactly one year ago was when the momentum began.

Gartrell argued that “the momentum Labor built through 2007 was not confined to the return of one single group. It goes comprehensively deeper and wider than that. It was a wave that swept up Australians in almost every demographic – at either end of the spectrum and in the middle. The under 30s and the over 60s. Manual trades workers and the university educated. Mums at home and families with both parents working.”

Gartrell claimed a wide-ranging swing for the ALP: “This was self-evidently not a swing confined to narrow, sectional groups. This was a swing that on election day would deliver seats to Labor in Far North Queensland, on the Central Coast of New South Wales, in western Sydney and the suburbs of Brisbane and in John Howard’s own backyard – Bennelong.” [Read more…]


Tim Gartrell: 2004 Election Analysis

The most important factor contributing to the ALP’s 2004 election defeat “was whether people had a mortgage”, according to the National Secretary of the ALP, Tim Gartrell.

Addressing the National Press Club, Gartrell highlighted the difficult position the ALP now finds itself in: “Because of [the ALP’s] two consecutive poor election results, from July next year the Government will take control of the Senate, and the outcome means in the lower house we now need to gain more seats than either Whitlam required in 1972, Hawke required in 1983 or
Howard required in 1996 to win the next election.” [Read more…]


Latham: Positive Approach Failed Labor In 2004 Election

In his first major speech since the October 9 election, the Leader of the Opposition, Mark Latham, has claimed that the ALP’s positive approach to the election campaign contributed to its defeat.

Addressing the ALP State Conference in Tasmania, Latham said: “The sheer weight of this campaign broke through in the last week and sent us backwards. I believe with the benefit of hindsight … that my greatest misjudgement was in believing that the positive party would win the election.” [Read more…]


Brian Loughnane: Liberal Party’s 2004 Federal Election Analysis

The Federal Director of the Liberal Party, Brian Loughnane, has addressed the National Press Club on the outcome of the 2004 Federal Election.

This is the official transcript of Loughnane’s Address. [Read more…]


The Latham-Howard Handshake

On election eve, October 8, 2004, Prime Minister John Howard and Opposition Leader Mark Latham crossed paths in a radio studio and Latham aggressively gripped Howard’s hand in a less-than-friendly handshake.

The handshake may well have confirmed for many voters the doubts they had about Latham’s maturity and suitability for the prime ministership.

However, since the video only appeared on the Friday night before the election, you have to wonder how many people saw it. It’s not as if the footage had been shown repeatedly for weeks before polling day.

As time passes, many events develop a reputation as turning points. This may have been one but I doubt it.



John Howard’s Formula For Winning Elections

John Howard has been elected Chairman of the International Democratic Union at its meeting in Washington DC. Delivering the keynote speech, Howard outlined his approach to winning elections, such as exploiting the diminishing ‘tribalisation’ of politics by reaching out to new constituencies.

HowardArguing that it was essential to establish ‘brand identification’, Howard stressed the importance of the role played by talkback radio – the ‘iron lung of Opposition’ – in allowing political leaders to promote their message to younger ‘aspirational’ voters who are less committed to traditional political parties than ever before. He said that these young voters were more conservative and more ‘material’ in their approach to life.

Whilst maintaining that economic management remained an important determinant of electoral behaviour, Howard argued that he had been assisted by an Opposition that failed to ‘define’ itself to the public. In a society with many competing media messages, Howard said it was vital to convey a ‘simple essence’ to the electorate. [Read more…]