The complexity of the policy program played right into the hands of the Coalition, which was able to easily misrepresent it as too costly. The number of messages stopped effective communication to voters, he said.
“A lot of our announcements crashed into one another, and it made it very difficult for a lot of our candidates to communicate them out in the doorstops,” he said.
We got it wrong. And we will change.
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Mr Weatherill also used the term “banking the win” in relation to social activist groups – meaning such groups had assumed a Labor victory and campaigned as if the party had already won. This pushed the national debate further to the left and widened the breadth of the debate Labor had to have.
This was in contrast to the strategy of the Prime Minister Scott Morrison, with his simpler campaign message of a strong economy and warnings of Labor’s economy-wrecking taxes.
Mr Weatherill said the report did not spell the end of bold and progressive policies, but that simple comprehensive messaging was the answer.
“It’s much easier on the other side of politics, they just bang the nationalist drum, they frighten people and people become scared about change,” he said.
“It’s always more difficult for the party of social reform, and we have to accept that responsibility. And accept that and craft a more persuasive agenda.”
Similar reasons around complexity and effectiveness of messaging have been associated with US President Donald Trump’s 2016 election victory over popular favourite Hillary Clinton. The Australian election result also reflects a growing trend of results proving traditional pollsters, analysts and commentators wrong, following the Trump win in the US and the Brexit result in Britain.