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Australian election

Written By: - Date published: 3:26 pm, August 21st, 2010 - 22 comments
Categories: australian politics - Tags: ,

Our cousins on the West Island are winding up their election day soon, culminating a dramatic couple of months for Australian politics.

What a roller-coaster. From the heady days of the seemingly unassailable Kevin Rudd to Julia Gillard’s dramatic coup. Last night the polls put the election “too close to call”, and “the closest in 50 years”. The final Sydney Morning Herald poll puts Labour slightly ahead today:

Labor is clinging to a fragile lead over the Coalition as voters go to the polls today to elect Australia’s 43rd Parliament after one of the most extraordinary election campaigns in years.

The final Sydney Morning Herald/Nielsen poll shows Julia Gillard’s Labor government leading Tony Abbott’s Coalition on a two-party-preferred basis by 52 percent to 48 percent.

Such a result would typically assure victory to Labor but with deep anti-Labor sentiment in NSW and Queensland pointing to large losses, today’s election will be decided in the marginal seats in these states.

The Guardian describes the election as “a farce with much at stake”. It is likely that the Greens will hold the balance of power. Let’s hope so! Hear that distant cackle? That’s the ghost of Kevin Rudd having the last laugh at the mining lobby…

22 comments on “Australian election”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    From the first link in the last paragraph:

    But who needs policy when you have a debate about debates? The past week has been consumed by a slanging match between the leaders about if, when and how they will debate each other. In a similarly post-modern twist, much of the rest of the media coverage has focused on how rubbish the coverage has been.

    That’d be nice to see in our MSM – especially if they followed it up with some actual coverage.

  2. ghostwhowalksnz 2

    Currently Labour has 83 seats ( not the 88 some mention but thats another story)
    My prediction is around 80 for labour maybe slightly less.

  3. Zetetic 3

    Haven’t seen a single poll with Libs ahead. And those polls are two party-preferred. Reality slants more Labor’s way.

  4. Outofbed 5

    greens 11.6% woot woot won a seat in Melbourne yeeesssssss

  5. Claudia 6

    .. or a Labour-Green coalition in the lower house – but I don’t know the composition of preferences of the other 4 lower house independents.

  6. Claudia 7

    Labour 68, Coalition 68 .. at the moment.

  7. gingercrush 8

    Seeing how the preferential system works in Australian electorates. I would love such a system for our electorate seats.

    • Zetetic 8.1

      you have to rank each and every candidate. if you muck up the ranking at all your vote is invalid. so they invented a system in the senate votes where you simply tick to say you want the ranking order determined by labor or the greens or whoever. nearly all voters do that. lot more power to the parties.

      preferential voting means the minors get shafted – greens get maybe 7% of the vote and 1% of the seats. nearly as bad as fpp.

      • gingercrush 8.1.1

        I’m talking about how electorate MPs are decided not list MPs. Though I would like to see an additional vote scenario in casting party votes so minor parties that don’t make it into parliament i.e. NZ First, RAM, Kiwi Party, Alliance etc don’t have their vote simply discounted entirely.

        • Ari

          I think scaling back the threshold to allow single-seat list parties would do enough on that account. There ought to be some element of risk to voting for a marginal party in order to make launching a party a serious endeavor.

          As for preferential systems: They’re really not a huge advancement on FPP for electorates, and they have some big structural problems, for instance there’s still an element of favourite betrayal. Systems like STV are really only useful for multi-winner elections. What’s much better for single candidates is an evaluative system where you give some indication of how good you think each candidate is. That can go from anything as simple as approval voting (vote for all the candidates you’d like to win) to three-value “evaluative” voting (tick to approve a candidate, cross to disapprove them, leave blank if you don’t know or don’t care about a candidate) all the way to rating candidates on a scale.

  8. Claudia 9

    ABC Newsradio is good for (24hr) breaking news.

    I think I’m going to need some sleep very shortly.

  9. Claudia 10

    At 12.05AM NZDT, as figures from WA come in, ABC electoral commentator Antony Green has a new take on the likely state of play… Coalition: 73 seats; Labor: 72 seats; Greens: 1 seat; Independents: 4 seats.

  10. Claudia 11

    12.07 AM

    Peter Costello notes that the Green Adam Bandt and possible independent in Denison Andrew Wilkie are far warmer towards Labor than other independents (Windsor-Oakeshott-Katter) are to the Coalition.

    Says this might allow Labor to have the first shot at forming Government

  11. Claudia 12

    It might be a few days before the dust clears. There has been unprecedentedly high advance and overseas voting which may take a few days to assess. The likely scenario is a hung parliament.

    Good Night, Antipodeans !

  12. RedLogix 13

    Can someone explain why the pundits pointed to Rudd’s failure to pass an ETS legislation (mostly because the Liberals refused to work with him) as the prime reason why he lost popularity…. so now the same public reward the Liberals with an election majority?

    • Carol 13.1

      Firstly, it’s looking like a hung parliament not a Liberal Coalition majority.

      As I understood it late last night, there was only about a 1% swing to the right from Labor. Most of Labor’s lost votes seem to have gone to the Greens. The biggest swing against Labor was in Queensland where many were pissed at their boy being rolled. Labor made gains in other places.

      • loota 13.1.1

        Hmmmm not sure I would be so quick to pin all the blame on Queensland…from the SMH:

        Late last night, the national two-party-preferred swing against Labor from 2007 was 2.6 per cent. Labor led the Coalition by 50.5 per cent to 49.5 per cent.

        I read that yes, Queensland had the biggest swing against Labor (almost 6%) but NSW recorded a solid 4.9% swing against Labor too.

    • loota 13.2

      Because Gillard was a very senior player who was involved in making the decision with Rudd for the ETS back down, she represents the Right of the party and continued to maintain her distance from the ETS legislation during the campaign.

      Therefore tarred with the same ETS brush AND the electorate punished Labor for their coup + average campaign.

      At least that’s how it looks from a distance 😀

      But my didn’t the Greens do well? Lefties over there got sick of Labor.

  13. tc 14

    My take is this RL: Rudd had his popularity mown down by the mining sector PR machine (the one CT takes it’s cues from) over the super tax…..’pundits’ are mostly paid for/by various interests so axes at the ready with this crew.
    Oz politics is shades of grey and it’s easy to get massive swings in the lower house as you’re only changing the chauffer not the destinantion which derives from the senate needing to pass everything in their upper house.
    Labor’s paid for dumping Kev for Jules and also the Lib’s have returned some of their core who hated little johnny.
    IMHO the greens taking a seat is an important milestone in politics downunder.
    Also Oz is feeling the recession finally in parts so that’s a factor.

  14. ghostwhowalksnz 15

    On the primary votes Labour won Melbourne, the greens were second. But the Liberal preferences should give the result to Greens.

    But the preferences cuts both ways, in many other seats the Liberals are ahead of labour ( and shown as ‘winning’) but the greens preferences should push labour ahead depending on the numbers for the other minor candidates.

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