Left gains in Young Labor

November 27, 1991

Left gains in Young Labor

MELBOURNE — Senior sources from Young Labor have confirmed that the Young Labor left "Back to Basics, Forward to Change" ticket has gained six of the 11 Victorian delegate positions to the Australian Young Labor conference, to be held in February in Canberra, in the recent postal ballot.

It has been several years since the left have received an equivalent degree of support within Victorian Young Labor. Spokesperson for Young Labor Left, Geoff Drechsler, said the primary reason was the emphasis the left had placed on the need for the federal government to change its direction and address unemployment as a priority.

The shift in support was symptomatic of the growing disillusionment among young people, inside and outside the Labor Party, with the right-wing direction of the Labor government.

The left ticket had also committed itself to restructuring Victorian Young Labor and encouraging increased participation of young women in the party.

The Young Labor Network (right faction) ticket had failed to present substantial policy positions or priorities during the ballot, as well as having to compete with a right-wing splinter ticket, the Young Labor Unity group ticket. Previously, the youth wing of the Labor Unity faction had masqueraded as the official Young Labor group, which partly accounted for the support it previously enjoyed.