Wow. That’s not what I expected. A hung parliament.
(Love the way the ABC Morph character MPs are in different poses, including some having their legs crossed.)
A few thoughts (some of which I was going to post last week before other events intruded)…
Who knows what’ll happen now. Just have to wait and see I suppose.
One of my beefs was the lack of a sound GHG emissions reduction plan from Labor over the past term. I’d be hoping the strong Green vote and large number of Greens senators would force whoever forms government to finally take some real action.
Perhaps this and other issues was why most of the swing appeared to go from Labor (down 5.4%) to Green (up 3.7%), and not so much to the Coalition (up 1.8%).
It’s only a three months until the Victorian state poll. The major state parties must be wondering how strong the Green vote will be this time round.
The popular vote
Abbott is claiming more people voted for the Coalition than for Labor, so they won the popular vote, and have more of a right to form a government than Labor.
The primary vote figures (as of last night, via the ABC web site):
- Labor: 4,000,155 (38.5%)
- Liberal + LNP + National (Coalition): 4,483,037 (43.2%)
I think Abbott’s argument would hold a lot more weight if their primary vote had been over 50%. After all, Labor plus the Greens come out at 49.9%, for example, which is well over the Coalition’s 43.2%.
Gillard is claiming the two-party preferred vote was higher for Labor than the Coalition, so they have more of a right to form a government.
Those figures (as of last night, via the Electoral Commission):
- Labor: 5,041,399 (50.67%)
- Liberal/National Coalition: 4,908,094 (49.33%)
Of course ultimately it depends which side can convince enough Independents and Greens to work with them. It probably didn’t help that Warren Truss and Barnaby Joyce from the Nationals both apparently had a go at two of the Independents on television on Saturday night.
Given the three Independents identified so far are all in regional areas, it also sounds like the National Broadband Network will be way more important than one might have thought just a week ago. I’m coming around to the idea of an NBN, as a kind of complete rebuild of the existing copper wire network. Still very expensive of course.
Turns out that until each party has its official campaign launch, us lowly taxpayers foot the bill for their gallivanting around the country:
Additionally, a loophole in Department of Finance policy means the sizeable daily travel allowances for politicians and staffers are paid out of the public purse until the day of the respective political parties’ campaign launch.
Here’s the timeline:
- Announcement of the election: Saturday 17th July
- Writs issued: Monday 19th July
- Greens campaign launch: Sunday 1st August
- Liberal/National campaign launch: Sunday 8th August
- Labor campaign launch: Monday 16th August
- Election day: Saturday 21st August
Ridiculous. I think it’s time for the rules to change so that the parties themselves start paying as soon as the writs are issued.
Which party will propose it?
And how about other reforms, such as the proposed Parliamentary Budget Office, which might give us a more meaningful campaign next time by avoiding the sniping over costings?
Or a more formal protocol for leaders’ debates during the campaign?
The polling place
Where we voted, the lines were relatively short and moved quickly. And the sausage sizzle was well-supplied and tasty.
Sadly some voters queued for ages and then couldn’t get a sausage.
Perhaps it’s time the polling place guides included annotations for (s) sausage sizzle, (c) cake stall, (t) trash and treasure stand, and so on.