NSW Labor 1911-2011, Labor & radical liberalism: two papers

I attended Australian Society for the Study of Labour History and the Australian Political Studies Association recently. Both papers inspired by contemporary issues. My ASSLH paper examined career of Richard Crouch the Deakinite Liberal who after losing Corio to Labor in 1910 joined the ALP as a result of his experiences at Gallipoli. Crouch was Labor MP for Corangamite 1929-31 but he was rather out of place in the ALP of the era. Today a revived radical liberalism in the form of the Greens poses a major challenge to Labor and I argue historians have underestimated the extent to which Labor inherited the tradition of radical liberalism. My APSA paper analyzed the record of NSW Labor from 1911 to 2011, although I said very little about the party’s first period in government. The paper sought to integrate an analysis of policy with an ecological regression analysis of electoral outcomes. Major omission pointed out in comments was that I did not consider the literature on party structure: was Labor ever a mass party and what type of party is it now?

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