Factional blood-letting begins in Queensland ALP

Issue 

By Bill Mason

BRISBANE — Factional warfare has begun inside the Queensland Labor Party following the final declaration of the state election, which the ALP won by a bare one seat.

In a bitter row over cabinet selection, the Socialist Left was reduced to one position instead of the two it had claimed. And the other factions chose its minister for the SL, selecting Ken McElligott instead of its first choice of Steve Bredhauer or second pick Judy Spence.

The SL claimed its candidates were "vilified and denigrated" during the battle, and also complained about the party's general direction and its exclusion of input from grassroots members.

Party president and former SL member Bob Gibbs described the Socialist Left as "anarchists."

The ministerial selection row is a symptom of growing discontent within the ALP over its right-wing policies and dictatorial approach.

Meanwhile, a study by University of Queensland academic Paul Reynolds indicated that the majority of traditional Labor supporters who refused to back the ALP on July 15 gave their first preferences to the Greens, Democrats or independents, rather than the Coalition.

In the 28 seats contested by the Greens, for example, the Labor vote was down 9.1%, and 8.6% of that went to Green candidates.

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