Well I certainly didn’t think it would go this bad.
QLD – a slaughter, NSW a shellacking.
Victoria good, but not good enough. SA ok, but nowhere near good enough.
AT the moment it looks like LNP 74, ALP 71, Greens 1, 4 Independents. Lets put Adam Brandt in with the ALP, and we’re at 74 –72.
Andrew Wilkie you think would go with the ALP, but if he doesn’t get up the ALP will win the seat, so either way we’re at 74-73.
And then we have Bob Katter, Rob Oakeschott and Tony Windsor to decide who wins. And tonight they have said they will vote as a block.
I have no idea where they will go though just because they are ex-National Party members does not mean they will necessarily go tot he LNP. There were reasons why they left the National Party – you don’t leave a party an run as an independent for no reason. All three also have such high standing in their electorates that they could side with the ALP and it would not hurt their chances for re-election. As someone on Poll Bludger wrote, Windsor could put Gough Whitlam back as PM and he’d still win his seat in a canter.
Windsor said something interesting tonight:
Tony Windsor, who is on track to retain his NSW seat of New England, says he's "quite happy to talk to anybody" when the final results are in, including other independent and Green candidates. But he cautioned everyone to be patient and "just breathe in for a while", since a hung Parliament could be a "very good thing". "The most important issue here is stability of governance," he told Channel 9.
The only person he refuses to work with is Nationals Senate Leader Barnaby Joyce.
"I won't be taking any advice from Barnaby Joyce on what I should do or shouldn't be doing," he said.
Oakeshott was well regarded and well treated by the ALP in the last three years, so who knows…. What they would also want to bear in mind is that the Greens will (as expected) hold the balance of power in the Senate. So a minority Liberal Party Government with the Greens holding the balance of power in the Senate. Yeah that sounds like stable Government.
So maybe Julia will be PM… maybe Abbott. The LNOP will probably have more seats, but as of now (with 74.5% of the vote counted) the ALP is ahead on two party preferred stakes 50.6 to 49.4. (By the way Newspoll seems to have got the 2PP the closest, but Nielsen and Galaxy were better on picking the ALP primary vote of 38% – it’s currently 38.6%)
It’s eenie-meenie, acey-deucey stuff. You’d put money on Abbot though… or Gillard… or...
Now let’s get down to what we really should be doing – blaming people.
The ALP should have won this by the length of the straight.
Maxine McKew who lost Bennelong (just a shocking loss really, given the demographic of the seat and that her opponent was John Alexander – a guy whose ineptitude at tennis commentary is beyond compare) let fly with a few comments – some good some a bit ranty. But she nailed it with this:
"I think our problems date back to last year when we never really claimed victory over the global financial crisis"
I have said it many times on this blog – the Government's failure to sell the response to the GFC was a disgrace. And for that total blame must go to Kevin Rudd. His, and Wayne Swan’s stupid fear to talk about deficit and debt just gave the Liberal Party’s idiotic economic argument validity. All they needed to do was back in late 2008 was stare down the camera and say we didn’t want to go into deficit, but it was either that or people would lose their jobs, and I couldn’t let that happen.
Instead they talked about saving jobs, but refused to admit it meant going into deficit. Idiots. Weak and gutless idiots.
Karl Bitar. Great campaign. Well done. Now piss off and never darken the door of any Labor Party meeting ever again.
Some will say they it is because the ALP dumped Rudd, but that is for counterfactuals. My belief is he was seriously on the nose. Maybe his incumbency would have got the ALP over the line. But he suffered a 4.43% swing against him in his own seat. That does not reek of love. And anyway, Rudd brought it all upon himself.
So yes maybe you can blame the factional heavies – I certainly did at the time. But I also think if Rudd had understood that you need to work with your cabinet, and also showed a skerrick of ability to sell an economic policy he would have kept his job, and the ALP would be still cruising along.
Sandra O’Malley also made a very good point on twitter:
One certainty tonight - the race to the bottom by both sides wasn't endorsed by the Australian public.
Yep, the ALP need to look at two things: The first preference. The ALP’s went down by around 5.38%. The Liberal Party’s only went up by 0.97%. The Greens vote increased by 3.77%. And secondly the 1.5% increase in informal votes – the people saying get stuffed to both of you.
The Greens are now viewed as being part of the game – in effect part of the centre – the centre-left. The ALP in it’s great desire to take the centre, forgot about the centre-left.
The problem with the ALP is it always wants to win over the centre, which is correct, you need to do that, but it does it by trying to move to the right. The Liberal Party does it the other way round – by convincing the centre that what the Libs stand for is the centre. The problem with the ALP’s way of doing it is going to the right doesn’t work in the long run, because the right will always go with the Liberal Party in the long run, and all the ALP will have done is look hollow. They need to be the centre-left party that convinces those in the centre that they can come into the fold and be safe.
It means actually having someone who can convince the middle Australia that progressive policies – be they socially or economic are part of “middle Australia”. It means having a soul and defending it, not trying to convince the electorate you;re something you’re not. They won’t believe you in the end – and the media sure as hell won’t thank you for it – as Tim Dunlop says – Lucy always takes the football away.
Whatever happens from here, the ALP needs to reform itself – and firstly get rid of those advisors who sit in Parliament House for 16 hours a day watching 4 TV screens and worrying about the 6pm news, then what’s on Lateline, then what’s on the front page of The Oz, then what they’re talking about of talkback radio, then what’s on the 6pm news.
It’s time for the ALP to work out why it wants to govern.