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Welcome to The Morning After

Australia entered a new era last night. Australians roundly rejected the once compelling appeal of 'a fair go', which must now be considered a relic of our past rather than an expression of our essence.

- Margo Kingston, SMH Webdiary, 10.10.04

It still feels the same this morning. Australia has spoken, and it's given the wrong answer. Well, not really all of Australia, but it is sure to paint a bad image overseas. I'll wrap some of the reaction internationally once the Sunday papers in Europe and the US hit the web.

But the scenario we were looking for just didn't happen, ie, Labor regaining the support lost in the xenophobic election of 2001, plus those lost in the anti-Keating election of 1996. The truth is, they have barely recaptured any, picking up approximately 0.46% of the vote for a 38.30% share on current count.

The Liberals' net gain (+3.20, to 40.20%) is almost identical to One Nation's loss (-3.19, to 1.15% of the national vote). Why should there be any reason for One Nation to exist any longer when you have Howard Liberalism to vote for?

Those people who support a third party for the sake of it have deserted the Australian Democrats (-4.23, to 1.18%) in droves, choosing either the environmental Left of The Greens (+2.02, to 6.98%) or the religious Right of Family First (new entrant, 2.00%).

Independent candidates have picked up 2.45 per cent of the House of Reps vote nationally. Fred Nile's Christian Democratic Party (0.62%) has been trumped by Family First for the fundamentalist vote, while Lyndon LaRouche disciples, the Citizen's Electoral Council, scored just 0.35%.

Remember when the DLP were the Third Force in Australian politics? The Catholic wing of the ALP, which broke away from Doc Evatt's party in the great 1955 schism, is currently recorded on the AEC website as receiving 1024 primary lower house votes nationwide. Is that called a kilovote?

It's in the Senate where we should be afraid. Very afraid. It seems certain that the Liberals and Nationals will have 38 members of the 76-seat Senate. The burning question is whether Family First can gain a senator in either Victoria or South Australia. If so, they can be expected to side with the Libs to create a right-wing majority in both houses of parliament at the same time, something that has not happened since 1983.

Spot Satan's strongholds in the areas you are living - brothels, gambling places, bottleshops, mosque, temples - Freemasons/Buddhist/Hindu etc, witchcraft...

- Election leaflet, Danny Nalliah, Family First candidate for Senate in Victoria

Why did John Howard win this election so decisively? I can't remember who it was on the ABC last night (probably more than one person) who invoked the Clinton/Gore 1992 campaign slogan: "It's the economy, stupid".

This outcome has less to do with the "It's the economy" bit and more to do with the "Stupid" bit.