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Australia has spoken

It's almost midnight on August 21. Australia has spoken. Something along the lines of "bugger off".

A hung parliament is the fitting outcome to the worst election campaign in my lifetime. Neither side deserves to win, and it will probably be days before we know who will form government, and how they will do it.

Great news is that there will be five cross-bench MPs, up from three, including one Green, Adam Bandt in Melbourne. Though there is a strong chance that the three ex-Nationals will side with their old confreres to make Tony Abbott a minority Prime Minister. Scary thought as that is.

The rise and rise of the Greens is one of the clearer messages to come from this election. Even here in Grayndler, Sam Byrne still has a slender chance of slipping past Anthony Albanese on Liberal and socialist preferences. And they will have about nine or ten senators come next July.

There are huge wakeup calls for the Labor Party. Julia Gillard does not deserve to be axed as Australia's first female Prime Minister after two months, but her party needs to return to its roots and pay attention to its traditional constituency.

Australia did not shift to the Right today. If anything, it has rediscovered meaning to the Left. The choice between two dull right-wing alternatives is heading for the electoral equivalent of a nil-nil draw. If Julia Gillard can come through this debacle and remain Prime Minister, she needs to lead in the interests of the people, not the interest of the corporate Labor organisation.