Aussie election: Gillard holds the advantage

Written By: - Date published: 10:26 am, August 28th, 2010 - 30 comments
Categories: australian politics, International - Tags: ,

A week after Australia went to the polls the outcome is still unclear. However, the way the cards are falling I’d put my money on Julia Gillard remaining Prime Minister and Labor retaining power.

The current seat count is:

72 – Labour
72 – Coalition
1 – Green (to support Labour)
1 – Western National (to support the Coalition)
4 – Independents (3 former Nationals, and anti-war campaigner Andrew Wilkie)

Now let’s look at the House with those numbers together making the assumption that Wilkie, whom the Liberals wanted to jail at one point, will side with Labour.

74 – Supporting Labor
73 – Supporting Coalition
3 – Undecided former Nationals

What’s clear from those numbers is that Tony Abbott would need all three remaining independents to form government, whereas Gillard would only need two of three. That makes it a lot easier for the Prime Minister.

And even though these key independents are former Nationals, personality clashes and bad blood almost eliminate this advantage.

Further factors are:
1) Tony Abbott had refused Independents’ demands to allow Treasury to cost the Coalition’s promises, and made up two different excuses as to why. And though he’s now conceded this point it must look very suspicious for the independents.

2) The Greens will from July 1 hold the balance of power in the Senate. That will make it extremely difficult for a Coalition government to get legislation passed through the upper house. The independents have a far better chance of getting their policies through if they support a Gillard-led government.

Although the numbers are still unclear, I’d say all signs point to Gillard.

30 comments on “Aussie election: Gillard holds the advantage”

  1. The Voice of Reason 1

    The Western Nat, Tony Crook, is making it very clear that he doesn’t support Abbott. Doesn’t mean he’d go with Gillard, but it’s not a vote the Coalition can count on. He also refers to himself as an ‘agrarian socialist”. So if he abstains on confidence, that’s one less vote Labor need.

    “Crook stated he would sit as a crossbencher advocating the interests of Western Australia. He opposes the participation of the Nationals in The Coalition. “I’m clearly an independent”, he stated to reporters. “I can sit on the crossbenches quite comfortably”.

    “Tony Abbott urged me to consider my position and said to consider that I am a member of the Nationals. But I highlighted to him that although we are a federated body, the WA Nationals are an autonomous political organisation”. Crook said he had been disappointed by media coverage of the hung parliament, which has included his seat of O’Connor in the number of seats won by the Coalition. “In every news report and press report we see, my number is being allocated in with the Coalition and it shouldn’t be” he said. Crook’s separation from the Coalition puts him at odds with Nationals MPs from the eastern states.

  2. comedy 2

    If either of the two major party’s leaders had any sense they’d be working as hard as possible to not form the next government as it is likely to be a monumental fuckup

  3. Lanthanide 3

    I wouldn’t necessarily count Gillard needing 2 and and abbot needing 3 as being in Gillard’s favour.

    She can easily say to the independents “I only need 2 of you, so that means you have to come to a compromise on what you want to achieve”, whereas Abbott requires all 3, so all 3 together have a much stronger negotiating position with Abbot than they do with Labor. If they’re only interested in getting their own goals through, Abbott is more likely to meet all demands from all 3 independents than Gillard is because he has no choice (of course there’s nothing stopping her from meeting all demands as well).

  4. Rex Widerstrom 4

    Meanwhile the indepdendents’ voters overwhelmingly want them to support the Coalition but hey, they’re only the plebs.

    I tend to agree with comedy… it doesn’t matter who “wins”, it’s all going to end in tears very quickly as these independents have let the power go their heads (and in Bob Katter’s case there was an awful lot of spare space in there waiting to be filled). They’re going to make NZF post-96 look cohesive, intelligent and principled.

    Crook – despite everyone who voted for him understanding the Liberals and the Nationals are joined at the hip – is openly demanding a $860 million bribe for regional WA as the price of his support. If either leader is stupid enough to pay up, they’ll have every other rehional area (including the dedperately poor and primarily Aboriginal NT) screaming “unfair”.

    No, the reason I’m fuming is that I want more independents in any Parliament, not less, but it just so happens that these guys aren’t exactly the cream of the crop and the spotlight on their current and future antics is going to turn people off voting for independents and have them flocking back to the parties for “stability”.

  5. Blue 5

    I don’t think I would wish government on either major party this time. The Aussie voters monumentally stuffed up at the polls and now they’ve got probably the worst possible outcome.

    Whoever forms a government will have very little power to pass laws. Anything they want to do will have to have the support of some unpredictable and slightly nutty right-wing rural independents who can’t get along with anyone.

    What a mess to leave your country in.

    • Con 5.1

      Funny … I think this may end up being the best possible outcome.

      Whoever forms a govt will have to be be a canny political operator; they’ll have to negotiate with potential partners and actively build a coalition on the basis of shared goals. They will have to address the interests that the independents are championing. The National Broadband Network, for instance, is a big thing for the rural areas of Australia which are in a state of long-term decline. The NBN offers the prospect of being able to attract knowledge workers to rural areas (or at least lose fewer of them). Living in a rural town offers some huge advantages, if the main disadvantage (of being in a cultural backwater) can be reduced.

      Another big issue for rural Australia is climate change. Objectively, climate change is a particular enemy of rural towns which are vulnerable to climate variability. In times of drought, shops and businesses close, and when the drought lifts, residents have become used to traveling to bigger towns nearby, and the market opportunity for those local businesses is lost. Australia’s climate has always been highly variable, and as it gets more so, more settlements will be abandoned.

      But to my mind the best thing about the hung parliament is precisely that it represents the failure of the political establishment to continue as normal. People are questioning the political system, and this is the real threat to political “stability” – not the market jitters around a week or two of coalition negotiations. To my mind, this kind of political instability is what Australia needs: the failure of the 2-party system to reproduce itself means that there’s a chance for some substantive changes in the political system – it introduces an opportunity for the changes to occur in a progressive direction (under the influence of some kind of popular political activity). Bring it on!

  6. If you’re right, then you can go and make a TON of money on the betting markets, that have Labour at only a 30 to 35 percent chance of winning. If you believe what you’re saying, go to iPredict, or to BetFair or to CentreBet, and put a pile of money on Labor.

    I’m agnostic, and so only have been making arbitrage plays looking at price differences across markets as a way of making money. But if you really think it’s going to be Labor, you can triple your money. Go do it! If you think you’re right.

    • Michael Foxglove 6.1

      If only gambling wasn’t a social disease that I refuse to touch. Well… mostly :).

      • iPredict is a futures market, not a gambling site.

        There’s no difference really between buying futures contracts that pay out on the value of a barrel of oil and contracts that pay out on the outcome of an election.

        And, of course, if you’re SURE that Labor will win, then it isn’t really gambling, is it?

        • Lanthanide 6.1.1.1

          Um, buying oil futures is gambling…

          • Eric Crampton 6.1.1.1.1

            And so is buying any share on the stock market (could go up, could go down), same for buying bonds, same for buying a house….

            • Bill Browne 6.1.1.1.1.1

              I buy a house to keep myself and my family warm and dry in the winter time

              • Buying rather than renting is a bet that house prices won’t depreciate substantially. I bought mostly because I wanted to set up heating to a North American standard. But had I thought in 2005 that we’d see a big property crash soon after, I’d have rented instead.

    • toad 6.2

      Farrar’s backing Gillard, isn’t he, Eric?

      • Could be; I’ve lost track. But Farrar would be one to be putting money on it on iPredict if he reckoned that. I like folks to put their money on it when there’s a market letting them do so. Otherwise, I can never tell if they really believe what they’re saying.

        • felix 6.2.1.1

          That’s because you measure everything in economic terms, duh.

          • Eric Crampton 6.2.1.1.1

            So, felix, if somebody at the bar insists that Canterbury never had the Ranfurly Shield in 2009 – insists it really really strongly – but then refuses to put money on it when you offer him the bet, that then, what, makes you more confident that he believes what he’s saying?

        • Pascal's bookie 6.2.1.2

          Otherwise, I can never tell if they really believe what they’re saying.

          First of all, why should you care whether they really believe it or not? Does your opinion on ‘whether they really believe it’ affect whether or not you think it’s true? It might I suppose, if I knew nothing at all about the matter at hand. But in that case I think I would still be far more influenced by why they claimed it to be true than by whether or not I though they were being honest about their opinion. If I did know something about the matter, then again, my beliefs about their honesty would be an insignificant factor.

          Secondly, even if their honesty about their beliefs was a decisive factor, then I don’t see how the having money on it tells me much. If I have assumed that they might be lying about their actual belief, then I probably assume that they have some motive for the lie. The obviously want me to think that they believe what they are saying, so why should I believe that they are only motivated enough to lie but not enough to put a bit of money on it. maybe their desire to have me think they believe it is worth the bet. Or maybe the bet is a hedge. There could be all sorts of plays going on, and if you assume dishonesty is in play, where do you stop.

          No, I think it’s far simpler to forget about whether or not they being honest about their belief, (because it doesn’t really matter) and just assume they are being honest. If you are still not convinced that what they are saying is true, you can conclude idiocy, or bias or some other factor.

          I don’t think the fact of betting gives you enough information to conclude honesty, if you are prone to suspecting it.

          • Eric Crampton 6.2.1.2.1

            I think folks here like to self-deceive about the relative chances of their preferred parties, both here and abroad. That one has money on it suggests passing some minimal hurdle.

            • Pascal's bookie 6.2.1.2.1.1

              That one has money on it suggests passing some minimal hurdle.

              No it doesn’t. It could just as easily suggest that they want you to think they believe it.

              • 1. Saying you believe X, but being unwilling to put money on X, suggests you don’t believe X as much as you said you did.
                2. Putting money on X makes it more likely that you believe what you said, especially if the money stakes are greater than the “convincing other people” stakes.

                Can we agree on that much?

                • Pascal's bookie

                  But you can’t know what the ‘convincing other people’ is worth to them.

                  You are already assuming that they might not be being honest about what they think, so why wouldn’t you think that any amount they bet is just an indication of how much they want to decieve you?

                  All I’m saying is that once you assume bad faith, you can’t really escape that assumption. Much simpler to just assume that they are being honest and go from there.

                  Afterall, what difference does it make?

                  • Pascal's bookie

                    Afterall, what difference does it make?

                    To what you think about the truth value of X I mean.

                    .

                  • I’m less worried about folks trying to deceive me and more about folks having deceived themselves. In general, if I’m spouting nonsense and somebody challenges me to put money on it, it forces me to consider how strongly I believe what I’m saying.

                    • Bill

                      What a load of rubbish!

                      How rich or poor are the people entering into the wager?
                      What are their thoughts on or attitudes towards gambling?

                      And what has money or strength of belief got to do with being right and wrong?

                      hint. money has got nothing to do with it and dogmatism always winds up as quaint anachronism at best.

                      hint no 2 . egotism would seem to have quite a lot to do with supposed right and wrong and an inability to shift position, ie learn

  7. Olwyn 7

    Does anyone recall a cartoon in the Brisbane Courier Mail after our 1996 election: the caption read “Weary of their harsh neo-liberal masters, the New Zealanders struck out in a bold new direction,” and the drawing was of a mob of sheep going round and round in circles. Looks like its their turn.

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    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The fallacy of the proximity argument.
    Longer term readers may remember my complaining that, as a political scientist, it is burdensome to have non-political scientists wanting to engage me about politics. No layperson would think to approach an astrophysicist and lecture him/her on the finer details of quarks and black holes, but everybody with an opinion ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Where We Stood: Chris Trotter Replies To Stevan Eldred-Grigg.
    Joining The Fight: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's argument for New Zealand staying out of the Second World War fails not only on the hard-headed grounds of preserving the country’s strategic and economic interests; and not just on the soft-hearted grounds of duty and loyalty to the nation that had given New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Universities back the climate strike
    On September 27, School Strike 4 Climate will be striking for a future to pressure the government for meaningful climate action. This time, they've asked adults to join them. And now, Lincoln University and Victoria University of Wellington have signed on:Victoria University of Wellington has joined Lincoln University in endorsing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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