Major betting agencies still have Labor as the favourite to win the May 18 election. Sportsbet has Labor taking of 82 of seats across Australia with the Coalition on 63, while Ladbrokes has Labor winning 87 seats and the Coalition, A party requires the magic number of 76 seats to form a majority government. Polls consistently indicating a change of government and enormous publicity around the election had buoyed betting with agencies.
To join the conversation, please log in. Don't have an account? Join the conversation, you are commenting as Logout. Warning: Distressing. But there is a realignment taking place. The wave that has broken across liberal democracies in the West has washed up in Australia. The conservatives have been in power for six years, and after this victory some analysts are predicting at least another six more. Throughout the world, long-silent voices are making themselves heard and it is shaking up politics as usual.
In the United States, Donald Trump tapped into the frustration of those who felt left behind and promised to make their country great again; Viktor Orban in Hungary has entrenched his leadership by toughening the borders and stopping refugees; in France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Italy, far-right parties are increasing their popularity.
At its worst, there are fears of resurgent fascism—certainly nationalism is back. People are saying they want to belong and they want their leaders to put them first. On immigration, trade, climate change policy, and more, countries are putting themselves first amid a blowback against multilateralism and globalization. After two decades marked by Middle East wars, the financial meltdown, and the Great Recession of , whatever consensus had held around the free movement of goods and people and pooled sovereignty is looking frayed.
Compulsory voting also cushions Australia against get-out-the-vote campaigns and voter suppression efforts that can be so decisive in countries like the United States. But there are similarities: The political divide so critical elsewhere in the world is alive in Australia. The other similarity is that Shorten, like progressives globally, lost the ability to talk to big numbers of Australians—whether on religious freedoms, free speech, tax, or climate change policy.
He created too many potential losers. Even worse, he lost the ability to listen. Progressive hubris plays into the hands of the conservative right. The right is at home talking about nation and family and faith. Scott Morrison is a Christian, rugby-loving, suburban family man. He came to power in the s as a former union leader and towering figure of the left, but his message was summed up in one word: consensus. In four elections, he was never defeated. And he was a rugby fan.
Stan Grant is a professor of global affairs at Griffith University and a global affairs analyst at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Trending Now Sponsored Links by Taboola. The government has gone to great lengths to keep asylum-seekers from its shores. Now it might have to accept some of them after all. Revelations about Chinese influence have rocked Australian media and politics.
That compares to only 73 per cent of Labor-intended voters backing their party leader, Mr Rudd, while 55 per cent of Green-intended voters backed Mr Rudd. As campaigning resumed, the Australian National University released the findings of its latest poll into voter attitudes. It showed:. The matter of political donations—legislation for which had languished throughout the 43rd Parliament—also received some attention via an opinion piece by academic Brian Costar:.
The Australian Electoral Commission then has about four months to process the returns for publication. Because the election is being held in September and the relevant financial year will end on June 30, , donations gathered between July 1, , and June 30, , will not be made public until February Donations made before July 1 this year will be revealed in February When the electoral roll closed at 8pm on August 8, a total of 14,, people had enrolled to vote—, more than at the last election, and significantly more than the previous comparable period from to when the increase was just over , In April the Grattan Institute had released its report Budget pressure on Australian governments and in doing so happened to provide a useful context for subsequent economic debate.
The Institute reported, among other things, that:. The Australian economy is expected to grow by 2. The underlying cash balance is estimated to be in deficit in and and projected to remain in deficit in —16 and to return to surplus in — This approach was ridiculed by the Government, who suggested that the Coalition was avoiding the use of PEFO as the basis for its costings for dubious reasons.
It was reported that the Coalition planned to give a clear explanation of how individual Coalition policies would be costed, and that it had already submitted policies to the PBO for scrutiny—with detail to come later in the week about its paid parental leave scheme. Queensland voters rank Mr Rudd and Mr Abbott close to level-pegging on the key criteria of trustworthiness and competence. Mr Abbott is rated 4. It is notable that left-leaning respondents had Rudd and Milne on a level pegging, as did right-leaning respondents—although right-leaning respondents rated Rudd and Milne much less favourably.
Among male respondents, Milne was noticeably the less-preferred leader. Midway through the week Tony Abbott announced that the Liberal Party would preference Labor ahead of the Greens in all House of Representatives seats. It was not clear whether the Coalition decision would apply to the Senate as well. Abbott justified his decision as follows:. But that will not occur if there is a continuation of Labor-Greens minority government.
Minority government is an experiment that has comprehensively failed…. Under no circumstances will I allow the Coalition to enter into a minority government arrangement…. Rudd subsequently said that he ruled out doing deals with the Greens or independents in the event of another hung parliament, but he did not commit to going back to the polls if voters were indecisive on 7 September. In the past the Liberal party has ignored philosophical differences and taken the entirely strategic decision of recommending preferences for the Greens ahead of Labor.
Antony Green was of the view that The Greens Deputy Leader Adam Bandt would have to poll above 40 per cent on first preferences to retain the seat of Melbourne. The following day also saw the launch of the marriage equality website vote4love. Halfway through the second week of the campaign, it appeared that popular and journalistic interest in the election was flagging.
Consider the equation before voters. On one side is a two-term government racked by spectacular hatreds, dragged low by broken promises on carbon and the surplus, various program failures and a worsening economy. This gaffer-taped operation is asking voters for another three years.
On the other side is an opposition famed for its negativity and woefully small-horizon thinking, yet uncannily united and consistent. To ensure a fairer system for genuine refugees waiting offshore, we will reserve the Refugee and Special Humanitarian Visa quota for genuine applicants who apply through the proper process.
Details of the process are available on the AEC website. When nominations closed, a record 1, candidates had nominated to contest the federal election. Fathers would be eligible for two weeks out of the 26 weeks at their actual wage or the national minimum wage whichever is greater , plus superannuation. This will affect only around 3, companies — less than one out of every companies in Australia. The policy was already a cause of some controversy, including internal Coalition dissent.
The debate on the PPL scheme was to resurface throughout the campaign. Some state premiers were unhappy with an assumption they would contribute to the scheme:. South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill rebuked the Opposition leader for announcing a plan that needed state funds to work, and declared he would not make any commitment to help pay for the federal scheme.
Monday began with bad news for Prime Minister Rudd as a Newspoll showed voter dissatisfaction with him had jumped six points to 54 per cent, and his satisfaction rating had dropped to 35 per cent—his lowest rating since returning to the Labor leadership. With the betting markets largely unmoved from their recent positions, three national polls showed things moving against Labor:. An Essential poll, however, showed Labor gaining one percentage point to be at 50 per cent—level with the Coalition.
Glasson, who is running an intensive local grassroots campaign, leads Rudd on a two-party preferred basis by 52 per cent to 48 per cent. Meanwhile, the newly-formed Palmer United Party unveiled its policies, which included:.
Amongst the press and pundits there was a widespread view that Labor was doomed. As well, there was a new levy of 1. Just two months since the Labor Party dramatically switched its leader, some senior members of the Government are now complaining that Ms Gillard would have performed better than Mr Rudd. There are now at least eight Labor-held seats in real danger, including those of Chris Bowen and Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury, with another two at risk.
The Economist published its own assessment of the looming election in the following terms:. Despite his high-handed style, Mr Rudd is a Blairite centrist. A strategic thinker about Asia, he has skills that will be useful, especially as Australia has to balance its economic dependence on China with its security dependence on America. It would be nice if he revived his liberal approach to asylum-seekers.
And, who knows, he may even live up to his promise to be less vile to his colleagues. The final week of the campaign saw Rudd defiant in the face of the polls that continued to point to a landslide victory for the Coalition. With only days to go, and the solid prospect of an Abbott government, the politics of climate change re-emerged in the light of an address to the National Press Club by the Opposition Leader in which he said he thought that a Coalition victory would mean that Labor in Opposition would capitulate and agree to the repeal of the carbon tax.
Labor will fold and back us on carbon tax repeal - just you watch. And Tony Abbott is obsessed with absolute senate power. Of interest, too, were the amounts that the parties had committed to spend in meeting election promises:. A total of 14,, people enrolled to vote in the federal election, an increase of over , since the last election. An estimated 1. This national figure included Senate candidates for the 40 Senate vacancies and 1, candidates for the Representatives seats.
There were female candidates and 1, male candidates. Altogether, group voting tickets were accepted. The Australian Electoral Commission registered 54 unrelated parties plus 23 branches of the major parties. Voter turnout in the House of Representatives was It is perhaps surprising, given the size of many Senate ballot papers that the rate of informal voting in the Senate was lower than at the previous election, and was also lower than the informal vote in the House of Representatives.
The informal vote in the House of Representatives was 5. This compares to around 2. Over 1. This compares to just over , in ABC election analyst Antony Green has provided a comprehensive overview of the rise of minor parties and independents:. Support for minor parties and independents reached record levels for both the House and Representatives and the Senate at the election.
Support for non-major party candidates reached In the Senate, support for non-major party candidates reached In the House the The level of support for independents and minor parties has now been above 14 per cent at every election since Non-major support in the Senate has always been several percentage points higher than in the House. The new record of Minor party and independent support in the Senate has now been above 19 per cent at every election since … The election also set a new record for a gap between non-major party support in the two houses, non-major support being The previous record was in when the Nuclear Disarmament Party ran a Senate-only campaign and created a gap of The rise in support for minor parties and independents stems from a decline in support for the traditional parties.
It is a trend seen in most western democracies but has happened more slowly in Australia. The rise in independent and minor party support has occurred in conjunction with a rise in the number of candidates contesting Federal elections. It should be noted, however, that the seats of Lyne formerly held by independent Rob Oakeshott and New England formerly held by independent Tony Windsor both returned to the Coalition. The Coalition had a decisive win in the House of Representatives, with a two-party preferred vote of The Coalition won 90 seats, Labor 55 seats, with the remainder going to small parties three seats and independents two seats.
Despite a national swing of 3. With a record number of candidates registered for the election it is perhaps not surprising that there were some unexpected outcomes in both House electorates and Senate seats. Several of these outcomes were the result of elaborate preferences deals among the small parties in particular. Political parties have become adept at influencing the flow of preferences—especially through ticket voting in the Senate, and the distribution of how-to-vote cards more generally.
The election was distinguished by the extent to which sophisticated preferencing strategies were employed by parties and candidates to optimise their chances of success—with results that dismayed many observers:. Microparties have been elected at the expense of better-known parties, so reform is in the interest of all major parties, as well as being an improvement to Australian democracy. With the lower quota of 7.
There appears to be an appetite for reform; at least six suggestions for reform have been offered:. He … has been instrumental in the campaigns and preference arrangements for Independent and minor party candidates in local, state and federal elections… Prior to founding Independent Liaison, Glenn Druery worked at the NSW Parliament as the liaison and negotiator for the many Independent and minor party MPs.
A more detailed account of the WA Senate vote, and the complications that arose—not least because of some lost ballot boxes—appears later in this paper. The NSW Senate ballot paper was a large one, and the Liberal Democratic Party appeared on its top left hand corner—a very advantageous location. The seldom-mentioned party gained 8. NSW Senator-elect David Leyonhjelm freely admitted that his election was largely the result of votes gained as a result of the long ballot paper pushing votes to the Liberal Democrats who were the first-listed party and because voters confused the Liberal Democrats with the Liberals.
Early in August, reports had emerged that Liberal frontbencher Sophie Mirabella—the Member for Indi—was under considerable pressure from a local conservative independent candidate, Cathy McGowan. There were also claims that the local National Party was working hard to unseat Mirabella.
The strident personal criticism of Mirabella from several quarters reignited comment about the role of gender and misogyny in politics, with feminist activist Jenna Price arguing:. Or bitches. There was a 7. KAP and the Palmer United Party negotiated a preference agreement for the election, agreeing to exchange preferences above the major parties for all jointly contested lower house seats across Australia, while continuing to negotiate independently regarding Senate preferences.
But Mr Palmer has been a player in Queensland politics for decades. There is sufficient political savvy behind his pronouncements for us to take notice of his intentions…. So whatever you think of the United Australia Party [ later Palmer United Party ] push, Mr Palmer is no political novice seeking to clumsily exert influence for his business interests.
PUP had planned to field candidates in all House of Representative seats at the September election as well as Senate teams in all states and territories. Palmer himself stood for, and won, the House of Representatives seat of Fairfax by 53 votes, following a long and controversial re-count. There had been some controversy about the proposed composition of the first Abbott ministry because, as Opposition Leader, Abbott had publicly committed to retaining his existing Shadow Ministry when in government.
He had earlier stated his intention to stay in Parliament if he won the seat of Griffith, even if he lost the election. The smart thing for the party and the smart thing for Kevin in my view is to not just walk away from the leadership but to walk away from the Parliament …[and thereby] remove for all time the remnants of those political and leadership disputes and difficulties that we had from the moment effectively of the defeat.
Although I was frustrated beyond belief by his disorganisation and lack of strategy, I was never personally a victim of his vicious tongue or temper. I did, however, see how terribly he treated some brilliant staff and public servants. Good people were burnt through like wildfire. The Senate had proved to be an interesting contest, with small parties winning six of the seats—pending recounts in the WA Senate. The Coalition won 17 Senate seats, Labor won 13 seats and the Greens three seats, with one independent returned.
As discussed above, the Senate outcome prompted debate about the fairness of the Senate voting system, given that the distribution of preferences delivered Senate seats to parties with a very low primary vote. South Australian independent Senator Nick Xenophon announced his intention to introduce legislation to change the Senate voting system to optional preferential below the line.
However, the closeness of the result—14 votes separated two minor parties at an important point in the count—was challenged by defeated candidates sitting senator Scott Ludlam Australian Greens and Wayne Dropulich Australian Sports Party. On 10 October, Killesteyn said that after due consideration he had ordered a recount of Western Australian Senate ballot papers where electors had marked their ballot above-the-line. It was the largest recount nearly 1.
However, during the recount a serious administrative issue came to light. Specifically, 1, votes—all of which had been verified during the initial WA Senate count—could not be located, rechecked or verified in the recount process.
These votes were classified as 1, formal above-the-line ballots and informal votes. A fifth category—a small number of provisional votes—were cast in the Division of Pearce and were informal. Commissioner Killesteyn requested the former Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty to undertake an independent inquiry into the matter of the missing votes.
The AEC received criticism over the missing ballot papers from a number of sources. He said the initial count should stand. On 8 November the AEC released the preferences distribution for the missing votes. It also revealed that the number of missing votes was 1,, five fewer than initially announced.
Green gave a detailed account of the matter on his blog:. The AEC has today released its tally of votes by party for the WA Senate votes that were counted in the days after the election but were unable to be found during the re-count. If these votes could be included in the count then they would produce the closest Senate election result in Australian history with a gap of just a single vote determining the final two Senate seats.
The critical contest that determined the final two seats occurred early in the count between two parties polling just 1. The competing parties were the Australian Christians, who had the benefit of ticket preferences from the previously excluded No Carbon Tax Climate Sceptics, and the Shooters and Fishers Party, who had the benefit of preferences from the previously excluded Australian Independents and the Fishing and Lifestyle Party. On the first count the Shooters and Fishers Party led the Australian Christians by a critical 14 votes, 23, to 23, On the re-count which was conducted minus the missing votes, the Australian Christians led at the crucial count by 12 votes, 23, to 23, for the Shooters and Fishers Party, resulting in the Shooters and Fishers being excluded and the last two seats being won by Wayne Dropulich of the Australian Sports Party and Scott Ludlam of the Greens.
The missing votes were all ticket votes so there is no doubt where the preferences of each ticket go. The tally of missing votes released today by the AEC gives an extra 3 ticket votes to the Australian Christians and two extra ticket votes to the No Carbon Tax Climate Sceptics, and 14 votes to the Shooters and Fishers Party and an extra 4 votes to the Australian Independents. That is an extra 5 votes for the Australian Christians and 18 for the Shooters and Fishers, a net gain of 13 votes for the Shooters and Fishers.
The new tallies at the critical count if these votes were included would be Shooters and Fishers Party 23, and the Australian Christians 23, So the Shooters and Fishers Party would lead by 1 vote, yes, just 1 vote out of 1. This would result in the Australian Christians being excluded and the result being changed again, this time with Palmer United and Labor winning the last two seats. Sometimes elections are determined for the winning candidate by a lead of just one vote.
In this case the last two seats are determined by the lowest placed candidate trailing by one vote and being excluded. The last two seats being determined by the race for last place. This is so close that even if the votes were not missing, the result would go to the Court of Disputed Returns to adjudicate.
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