A critique of Murray Goot on party convergence

Ashley Lavelle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


This paper offers some objections to Murray Goot’s thesis, put forward in a previous issue of this journal, which refutes claims that Australia’s major parties have converged (Goot 2004). First, he has not considered some evidence of convergence. Second, he neglects the increased electoral success of minor parties and Independents since the 1990s, which partly relates to the lack of choice between the major parties. Thirdly, Goot’s data, purporting to show widespread public belief in the distinctiveness of the parties, do reveal growing numbers of voters unable to see much difference between the parties. I conclude that an understanding of recent developments in Australian politics, including greater electoral instability, requires an emphasis on the similarities between the parties, rather than any remaining differences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)645-650
Number of pages6
JournalAustralian Journal of Political Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • convergence
  • neo-liberal
  • bipartisanship
  • parties


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