After every federal election since 1996, a group of political scientists have gathered at the Australian National University in Canberra to examine a whole range of factors from the election just gone.
I’ve spoken at each of these since the 1998 election, speaking about the campaign from the Democrats perspective – apart from the one held after the 2007 election, where I couldn’t quite muster the enthusiasm. The workshop examining the 2010 election was held over this weekend, and because of my past involvement, I was asked to speak at it. Given my role in this campaign was just one of 150 House of Representatives Greens candidates this time around, most of the Greens perspective was provided by Ebony Bennett, the party’s national campaign manager.
This year’s workshop examined the mainstream media, new media, opinion polls, religion, gender, regional issues, polling, the political cartoons, unions, business, the parties and state & territory factors. The proceedings are usually published in a book or a journal, and combined with the ANU’s Australian Election Study, provide a good historical overview of a particular election, as well as an in depth examination of the many different factors that influence the election outcome.