SUBJECTS: Victorian State Election; Newspoll.
LAURA JAYES: Joining us now is the Shadow Communications Minister, Michelle Rowland. She joins us here in the studio. Michelle, good to see you. It's hard to know where to start with the results at the weekend and the Newspoll today but what do you look at these results? You look at these results and take what message for the Labor Party?
MICHELLE ROWLAND MP, SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS: I think it is that the unity of purpose that Labor has had, but also the unity of policy direction, the desire to have a big vision, to govern for all Australians, to focus on fairness. We have a compass. And you had Michael Kroger on there earlier talking about how they were beaten on policy in Victoria. Well that's debatable and happy to have that discussion, but I think the fact is that Labor has not been a small target over the last two terms. We have gone out there with our due diligence, we have prosecuted the case for big reforms, and ultimately I think that people appreciate being treated with some dignity and some respect. And some of the analysis I saw in The Australian today suggests to me that not only had the Liberal Party stopped listening to them, they didn't have unity of purpose nor a vision. And I think that that is very instructive for all political parties.
And the last thing I'll say is this: you know, some of that exit analysis that's being done, the kind of messages that are coming from Victorians is the kind of thing that you should know if you're a good MP or you should know if you're a good candidate. It's too late to be going through the entrails afterwards and saying 'oh that's where we went wrong'. But unfortunately in this case it seems that there's even division over whether division was an issue, and if you're in that spot you're not being authentic and honest and people see through that.
KIERAN GILBERT: When you look at the broader Newspoll number though, it's obviously very encouraging with the primary vote at 40 per cent. How do you maintain the discipline over the coming months and not allow hubris to come into the equation?
ROWLAND: Well, for a start Bill Shorten is making sure of that, and is working us doubly hard in the next couple of months. I also think it's fair to say Labor has never taken any of this for granted and I have been absolutely consistent in all my discussions with you good people that the next election is going to be very close. There is not going to be some replicated landslide victory purely on the numbers.
JAYES: Why do you say that Michelle? Is it the personal factor, the Daniel Andrew personal popularity in Victoria, that Bill Shorten doesn't have?
ROWLAND: Interestingly, Dan Andrews was written off by everyone. I remember when he was Opposition Leader you would be hard-pressed to find someone who ever thought him someone who was electable. I remember a headline that said something like 'Dan who?’ So, I don't think it's necessarily personality. I think that people are looking for parties, they are looking for politicians, who are ready to listen to them about improving their quality of life. Those three words: quality of life. And I think that's what Dan Andrews has managed to do in Victoria. Improvements to infrastructure, his social agenda that he carried through, and ultimately also I think it's about competent government. I think you'd be hard-pressed to find someone that thought this government was not delivering on what it promised. And I'm sure that Daniel Andrews knows better than anyone else, you know, after today he will be expected to get down to business.
GILBERT: Michelle Rowland, we've got a big few months ahead that's for sure. ALP Conference and then we know what's early next year - the NSW and the Federal elections. Thank you, we'll talk to you soon.
JAYES: Thank you.