The Australian public has totally rejected ‘WorkChoices’ and the Liberal and National parties’ attack on unions and workers’ rights.

This is an historic election result that confirms the Australian people believe in a fair go for all and that all Australian workers are entitled to decent rights in the workplace.

ACTU President, Sharan Burrow said:

“The Australian people have totally rejected the vicious anti-union campaign of the Liberal and National Party in this election.

This election was a referendum on industrial relations and WorkChoices has clearly been a major vote shifter.

The Australian people have said that they want their rights at work protected and respected.

The Liberal Party and their supporters in the business community should respect this decision, and never again attempt the kind of policy extremism we have seen under this Government.

This extreme attack has been totally rejected by mainstream Australia,” said Ms Burrow.


Exit polling for the Australian Council of Trade Unions conducted by Essential Research across Australia has found that the Liberal party’s attack on Australian unions and workers rights has been totally rejected by voters. 

The poll also shows that the issue of industrial relations has been a major factor in the defeat of the Howard Government.

The poll of 415 voters conducted between 3pm and 6pm today found:

  • IR was among the most important issues for almost eight out of ten Labor voters. Of the people who voted Labor, 45% said IR was the most important issue, and 33% said it was one of the most important issues.
  • When asked whether the Liberal’s advertising attacking unions made any difference to the way they voted – 76% said it made no difference, and 20% said it made a difference.   Only 5% of voters said it was more likely to make them vote Liberal, while 12% said it was more likely to make them vote Labor.