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Greens historic gains worry Labor

first_imgAlarmed by their impact on Labor at the Victorian election, Maria Vamvakinou, Labor’s federal Member for Calwell, hit out at the Greens this week as they secured two lower house seats in the Victorian Parliament for the first time.“The Greens are a concern … their mission … to ‘smash Labor’,” she posted to her Facebook page on Tuesday, before adding that the Greens were “a protest party that has not needed to cop the compromises and balances of government”.Responding to scores of comments posted in reply, the MP added that the Greens’ “purist ideology is one thing, translating it to governing in the interests of the collective is another … very easy to be amongst like-minded people who can easily live without ever coming into contact with the ‘others’ … but out there is an Australia filled with ‘others’ “Speaking to Neos Kosmos, Ms Vamvakinou said that data analysis published by the Herald Sun following the Victorian election, showing electorates won by the Greens had higher than average percentages of professionals and managers, was “a wake up call”.In Richmond and Prahran the percentage of elite workers was 58 per cent, Melbourne had 56 per cent and Brunswick 52 per cent. This contrasts with Broadmeadows, which lies in the Calwell electorate, where only 18 per cent are professionals and managers.“We need to understand that people from certain socio-economic backgrounds are no longer voting for the Labor Party but are instead voting for the Greens, and we need to understand why,” said Ms Vamvakinou. “I’m concerned that the Labor Party may be being perceived as not having enough intellectual firepower to convey its message.”In Victoria’s upper house, the Greens hold three seats and are on track to win two more. Their enhanced position will enable them to have a significant influence as power brokers in the 40-member Legislative Council – along with independents and ‘micro’ parties’ – as the Andrews government seeks to roll out its legislative program.Meanwhile, Greg Barber, the Greens’ Victorian leader, accused Labor of having “no unity of purpose”.“Voters want decisions made in the broader public interest, not for some lobby group,” Mr Barber told reporters.Mr Barber said Labor’s track-record on environmental protection had led to more Greens votes.“They were last seen running in the other direction when environment policy was mentioned, and yet that’s led to an increased representation for the Greens in parliament.”The election of Sam Hibbins as Greens MP for the seat of Prahran will allow his party to further push policies such as phasing out Victoria’s coal-fired power stations and banning onshore gas drilling.Mr Hibbins joins Ellen Sandell as the second Greens MP in the Legislative Assembly. Ms Sandell beat Labor incumbent Jennifer Kanis in the seat of Melbourne. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

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