Matthew Lesh

Adjunct Fellow

In 2019 Matthew took up his current position of Head of Research at the Adam Smith Institute in London, while continuing his affiliation with the IPA as an Adjunct Fellow.

Before moving to London, Matthew was a Research Fellow at the IPA (2016-2018) researching freedom of speech at Australian universities (inaugurating the Free Speech on Campus Audit), entrepreneurship and changing political values, as well as managing for a time Generation Liberty, the IPA's youth outreach project. In 2018, Matthew’s first book was published, Democracy in a Divided Australia, which examined Australia’s political tribes and the capture of policymaking by a new elite, while charting a path forward for a divided nation.

His writing has appeared extensively in the Australian and international media outlets, including The Australian, Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun, Australian Financial Review, Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Canberra Times, Brisbane Times, The Spectator Australia, The Huffington Post, ABC Opinion, Crikey, The Punch, Online Opinion, Spiked, CapX, and BrexitCentral. He also appears regularly on radio and television and has provided expert evidence to Australian Senate committees.

Matthew graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons), majoring in politics and international studies, and history. He subsequently completed a Masters in Public Policy and Administration at the London School of Economics. Matthew graduated from LSE with a Distinction and received the Peter Self Prize for Best Overall Result and the Joint Peter Self Prize for Best Dissertation.

Matthew has also worked for state and federal parliamentarians, in digital communications, and founded a mobile app development start-up.

The Left’s Exotic Venezuelan Romance Meets Reality
3 August 2017

The Left’s Exotic Venezuelan Romance Meets Reality

In London’s posh South Kensington ‪on Sunday afternoon I witnessed anti and pro-Venezuelan government protests form outside the Venezuelan embassy. On the pro-government side stood British socialists living in a fairyland defending Venezuela’s slide to totalitarianism. On the anti-government side, Venezuelans whose family members are literally starving. British leftists have a long history of supporting the Venezuelan regime. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn once declared
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The Right Needs To Stop Pandering To The Left
31 July 2017

The Right Needs To Stop Pandering To The Left

Britain’s chattering classes have reached a new consensus: liberal free market economics is unpopular and a failure. This is an extraordinary shift. Just 20 years ago, as the Soviet Union collapsed, the prevailing view – brought to the fore by Francis Fukuyama – was that liberal market ideas would dominate from then on. Most of Asia was adopting the market model; Margaret Thatcher
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No, Mr. Turnbull, Robert Menzies Didn’t Move To The Centre. He Created It
12 July 2017

No, Mr. Turnbull, Robert Menzies Didn’t Move To The Centre. He Created It

On Tuesday night I was there to witness, first-hand, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s explosive comments on the place of conservatism in the Liberal Party. The Prime Minister’s remarks were made as part of a speech delivered to the UK think tank Policy Exchange, which had just awarded him the 2017 Disraeli Prize for Australia’s successful immigration policies. With the aid of a teleprompter, Turnbull
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Senator’s Inspirational First Speech Savages Welfare Traps
23 June 2017

Senator’s Inspirational First Speech Savages Welfare Traps

‘I remember the first time we found welfare money in our bank account shortly after our arrival in Australia,’ South Australian Senator Lucy Gichuhi said this week in an inspirational first speech. ‘We were terrified because we were not used to receiving money for nothing from strangers. All I knew was that the only time you get money is when you work for it. I
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Australians back globalisation, free trade, and US alliance
22 June 2017

Australians back globalisation, free trade, and US alliance

Australians are overwhelmingly positive about globalisation and free trade, are showing signs of renewed support for the US alliance, and see China as an economic partner, not a military threat, according to the Lowy Institute annual poll released this week. Most Australians (78%) believe globalisation, especially the increasing connections of our economy, is mostly good for Australia. This is largely unchanged from when the
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18 June 2017

Hardly On The Hunt For Facts

The ABC and the Australian Human Rights Commission have teamed up with far-left student activists for a blatant propaganda campaign about campus sexual assault and harassment. Tomorrow the ABC is broadcasting a “documentary” called The Hunting Ground which, the ABC website says, “takes audiences to the heart of a shocking epidemic of violence and institutional cover-ups across college campuses in
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Values Matter In Politics
15 June 2017

Values Matter In Politics

One statistic is essential to understanding the shock British election result: the turnout by people aged 18 to 24. Since 1992 only around four-in-10 young people have shown up to vote. In 2017, that number surged to six-in-10. This turnout was crucial to Labour’s high vote and why many polls, which try to predict turnout from past experience, were off. It’s easy to
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University regulator backs down on free intellectual inquiry attack
31 May 2017

University regulator backs down on free intellectual inquiry attack

Australia’s university regulator has backed down on a major attack on campus intellectual freedom, following public scrutiny by the Institute of Public Affairs. In October last year the Territory Education Quality and Standard Agency quietly released a draft Guidance Note on ‘Diversity and Equity’. The original note conflated equivalent opportunity with ‘creating the conditions for equity of outcomes’, re-defined social
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You Don’t Argue With Ms 61 Per Cent
24 May 2017

You Don’t Argue With Ms 61 Per Cent

Malcolm Turnbull must be staring at UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s poll numbers with vaulting envy. The Britain Elects polling average puts the Conservatives at 47 per cent primary vote at the time of writing, giving her a potential majority of up to 130 seats – up from David Cameron’s working majority of just 12. In stark contrast, Turnbull’s latest
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Growing Freedom
23 April 2017

Growing Freedom

Twenty-sixteen was a tumultuous year for global politics. The British people ignored their political leaders and voted to leave the European Union, while Americans elected Donald Trump. Australia also had its fair share of local revolts, with the continual power shift towards minor parties. Political elites have been left questioning the state of modern liberal democracy. A solid stream of
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