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New South Wales and Aston Elections: Labor Victory

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While economic and political bloc-based struggles continued unabated in the Pacific region, Australia’s Aston constituency witnessed a historic moment on April 1, 2023. The region was previously governed by the Liberal-National Alliance led by the Liberal Party. On the other hand, in the last elections, Mary Doyle, the candidate of the Australian Labor Party led by Anthony Albanese, defeated her rival Roshen Campell with a 53.58% vote rate (47.408 thousand votes).[1]

Besides the fact that the election was won by the Australian Labor Party candidate, the reason that makes the result so important is that it was the first government that succeeded in winning a region from the opposition party for more than 100 years, apart from the general elections. This election, which went down in Australian history, also means that the Albanese government is in power in all of Australia, except for the State of Tasmania.

On March 25, 2023, approximately one week before the Aston snap election, elections were held in New South Wales (NSW), and Labor Party candidate Chris Minns was elected as the new president of NSW after 12 years of alliance rule.[2] While the successive defeats reveal the situation that the Liberal Party has fallen into, various ideas have been put forward about how the Liberal Party got into this situation. For example, in an article by Mail Online, the reasons why the NSW elections resulted in the Liberal Party’s defeat were given.

While increasing living costs and some taxes were at the top of the list, the establishment of a company called “Energy Security Cooperation”, which will be owned by the state, which Minss promised as an election promise, and the privatization of state properties and public enterprises were among the reasons.[3] In addition, Minns has promised to amend the NSW constitution so that companies named “Sydney Water” and “Hunter Water”, which may be sold to China, remain state-owned.

It should be noted that before the election, the Labor Party made many promises in the fields of health and infrastructure. These promises include building a new 300-bed hospital in Rouse Hill, building a new hospital in the Aerotropolis area, and improving Canterbury and Fairfield hospitals to provide more than 600 new hospital beds for West Sydney. For infrastructure projects, it has promised approximately 1.3 billion dollars worth of investment.[4]

Although the promises of the Labor Party seem to have won the election, there are experts who do not accept this proposition. For example, some experts argue that the people actually empowered the Labor Party as a reaction to the Liberal-National Alliance. This indicated that the people gradually began to get closer to the Labor Party due to their hatred of radicalism and instability.[5]

In addition to these, it can be thought that the developments in foreign policy were also effective in the Albanese government’s success. The fact that the relations with China show signs of normalization and this is an important development in terms of trade potential, as well as the decision of the two states to continue the defense talks, which were suspended in 2019, are among the important developments in foreign policy. Considering the reasons such as the desire of the Australian people for stability and economic concerns, these developments are likely to be a plus for the Labor Party.

On the other hand, it is obvious that the alliance relationship with the United States of America (USA) means support in the region for Australia. It can be thought that the fact that Australia will have nuclear submarines, especially within the scope of AUKUS, increases the importance of the USA and the West in the eyes of the public, and therefore, a good alliance relationship with the USA gives confidence to the Australian people.

As a result, the Australian Labor Party won a great victory against the Liberal-National alliance in the New South Wales elections on 25 March 2023 and in the early elections held in the Aston constituency on 1 April 2023 and went down in Australian history. Although there are many views on how the Labor Party achieved this result, it can be thought that both the election promises and the concerns of the Australian people about instability and radicalism had a significant impact on the election result. The possibility that the balance policy followed by the Albanese government in foreign policy will also have an impact on domestic politics and the possibility that trade and economic developments will affect the election should not be ignored.


[1] ASTO VIC, Australian Electoral Commission, tallyroom.aec.gov.au/HouseDivisionPage-28791-197.htm, (Date of Accession: 02.04.2023).

[2] Sarah Liversidge, Telling map shows how the Labor Party now runs the entire Australian mainland – as the three key reasons why NSW voters abandoned Dominic Perrottet are revealed, Mail Online, www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11901461/NSW-election-2023-Map-shows-Labor-Party-runs-entire-Australian-mainland.html, (Date of Accession: 26.03.2023).

[3] Ibid.

[4] Sarah Liversidge, “Telling map…”, a.g.m.

[5]“Is Australia’s Liberal Party in Terminal Decline?”, The Diplomat, thediplomat.com/2023/03/is-australias-liberal-party-in-terminal-decline/, (Date of Accession: 01.04.2023).

Elcan TOKMAK
Elcan TOKMAK
Elcan TOKMAK, 2022 yılında Gazi Üniversitesi İktisadi İdari Bilimler Fakültesi Uluslararası İlişkiler Bölümü'nden mezun olmuştur. Eylül-Aralık 2022 tarihleri arasında ANKASAM bünyesinde Kariyer Staj Programı'nı tamamlayan Tokmak, Temmuz 2023 tarihinden itibaren ANKASAM Asya-Pasifik Araştırma Asistanı olarak çalışmalarını sürdürmektedir. Şu anda Hacettepe Üniversitesi Uluslararası İlişkiler Bölümü'nde Yüksek Lisans eğitimine devam eden Tokmak'ın ilgi alanları Çin-Japonya-Kore ilişkileri ve Çin Dış Politikası'dır. Tokmak; profesyonel düzeyde İngilizce, orta derecede Çince ve başlangıç düzeyinde Korece bilmektedir.