The National Executive’s resolution establishing this review expects any recommendations to be directed to the success of the ALP at the next federal election. We consider it our responsibility to meet this expectation even if our analysis, conclusions and recommendations may not be welcomed by some Labor MPs, officials and supporters. Labor must be willing to face up to the reasons for its 2019 election loss and respond accordingly.
The terms of reference for the review do not require that we express a view about the merits of any particular policy or whether it should be retained. We do, however, evaluate the electoral effects of the policies, including their cumulative impact, and make some observations about the policy formulation process. We also make recommendations about legislation concerning electoral matters.
The National Executive intended that the review be wide ranging with a broad group of people to be consulted, appointing a panel to assist us. We have been greatly assisted in the preparation of the report by panel members Linda White, Senator Anthony Chisholm, John Graham MLC and Lenda Oshalem and we thank them for their excellent work. We also thank Paul Erickson, Alex Manning and the staff of the ALP National Secretariat for their highly professional support.
The review team has travelled to every state and territory and has had the benefit of published commentary and expert opinion and reports in the fields of demographics, statistics, social media and psephology.
The review makes a set of 60 findings and 26 recommendations, with the findings providing the basis of our recommendations. The review has been written in a way that would facilitate its full public disclosure if the National Executive so chooses; there is no confidential section.