aus election 2004

Maintain enthusiasm, maintain the rage

Maintain your rage and enthusiasm through the campaign for the election now to be held and until polling day.

- Edward Gough Whitlam, 11 November 1975

I probably haven't been as deflated about a federal election result since Gough was kicked out of office and then beaten in a landslide 29 years ago. I was too young to vote then. I made my federal election debut in 1977 and the result wasn't much closer. 1980 was a lost cause summed up in two words, "Bill" and "Hayden". 1983 was a fantastic occasion, Bob Hawke taking the Labor Party to victory and Malcolm Fraser losing control of his lower lip during his concession speech. 1984, 1987, 1990 were victories, close, but still won by Hawke. 1993 looked doomed to be the end of the Labor reign, until John Hewson tried to explain GST to Mike Willesee:

Newtown, the green capital of Australia?

The Australian Electoral Commission's excellent Virtual Tally Room website has a breakdown of the voting figures for Saturday's election, not just electorate by electorate, but polling booth by polling booth. I'm not going through them all - there's several thousand across the country - but I've gone searching for some interesting demographics in my electorate of Grayndler and surrounds. A good benchmark to pursue is the level of the Greens' vote. Grayndler and Sydney, covering the suburbs to the immediate south and south-west of the inner city, have historically been two of the left-wing heartlands of Australia.

The best of Monday's papers

How on earth could we have put this scheming, mendacious little man and his miserable claque back in office for another three years? Worse, how could we have brought them to the very brink of absolute control of the nation's entire parliamentary process and authority?

Very easily, as things turned out, to the cost of the rest of us and our national self-respect.

For almost nine years this Government, incompetent in most everything except mediocrity, debauched its word and the people's trust, along with voters' gullibility, their ignorance, their taxes and, in the end, their greedy self-interest.

A new era of great achievement

This nation stands on the threshold of a new era of great achievement.

- John Howard, victory acceptance speech, 9.10.04

It is 3145 days since the Liberal and National parties were elected to government. Looks like we will have them for at least another thousand.

The best thing that can be said about the Labor Party's performance in the House of Representatives is that they did not lose any major talent. Those Labor MHR's who appear to be on the way out are: Michelle O'Byrne (Bass), Con Sciacca (Bonner), Sid Sidebottom (Braddon), Sharryn Jackson (Hasluck), Jann McFarlane (Stirling), Kim Wilkie (Swan), Martyn Evans (Wakefield). Sciacca was a junior minister in the Keating days.

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.

A win for the bad guys

I'm not going to offer congratulations or anything like that. Tonight's election result is a worse outcome than I could possibly have imagined. The Liberal/National coalition led by John Howard has been returned to office with an increased majority.

Most disturbingly, there is a distinct possibility that the government could gain control of 50% of the seats in the senate. This would give Howard, certainly in his eyes, a mandate to pursue his neo-conservative post-Menzian vision for Australia to the hilt.

Some good news and lots of bad

Iron Chef Chinese has won the Bamboo Shoots Battle. Shane Warne is one off Murali's world record and stands a great chance of gaining it in his own right tomorrow. And we have a new niece, born in Adelaide this afternoon.

Now back to that bloody election.

The Greens challenge is over in the lower house. It just remains to be seen how they do in the Senate.

They have lost the Wollongong seat of Cunningham, coming third with 20% of the primary vote. They've come third in Grayndler, also with 20% of the primary vote. Jenny Leong had high hopes of beating the talented Tanya Plibersek in Sydney, but has also finished third at 22%. They also had hopes of knocking off Lindsay Tanner in Melbourne, but he succeeded in picking up most of the former Democrat vote. The Greens came third here as well, with 19%.

It's just not happening, is it?

Labor does not seem to be making any ground on the Coalition. If anything, the Libs have gained votes, although this does appear to be in direct proportion to the votes One Nation has lost. The rednecks are back home again. The Democrats have been decimated, their vote seems to be shared between the Greens and Family First, ie, chalk and cheese.

Currently the ABC are saying that the Libs have picked up four seats from Labor (Greenway, Bass, Braddon, Wakefield), while Labor have regained Cunningham from the Greens, who will be unrepresented in the lower house. They are calling a Coalition majority of 20. Bloody hell.

Not good... but what's this trend ere?

The polls haven't closed in West Australia yet, but I think we can call this already as a Coalition win - and possibly with an increased majority.

But there's an interesting stat I've noticed. The Liberals have a swing of 3.3% on latest figures nationwide. The One Nation Party has a negative swing of 3.3%.

Wonder why....

Tasmania heading south

India are crap - 19 for 3 just before tea to be precise (though Sehwag was out lbw to an inside edge). The Solomon Islands got flogged by the Socceroos 5-1, and Tasmania's showing a swing to the Libs. It's early days, but this doesn't look good.

Live updates on the election at the ABC, Sydney Morning Herald (curious URL that), and the Australian Electoral Commission's Virtual Tally Room.