Four observations that grabbed me from Insiders this morning. One from Barrie Cassidy:
Paul Keating described his win in 1993 as one for the true believers. Last night’s was not. Kevin Rudd promised to govern for all Australians. His appeal within the Labor Party itself is tempered because of his conservative cautious stance on so many issues. He will be seen as the leader the party had to have to beat John Howard. Julia Gillard will be the light on the hill.
Three from George Megalogenis:
I suspect Jackie Kelly tipped (Bennelong) over the line for Maxine McKew. Her performance that Thursday morning on AM radio my understanding of the tracking polls, a few of them went mad on Thursday night. There was actually swings back to Labor in marginals where there were previously narrowings through the week.
Going into this election, 12 out of the top 30 seats for single mothers were held by the Coalition. They’ve lost eight straight off the bat, another three are doubtful, they’ll be left with one out of 30. (Cassidy: Why?) Welfare to work. Mal Brough. May have been popular in the intervention into Aboriginal affairs, but you know, he wanted single mums to go to work. And if they didn’t go to work they were going to lose their benefits. If you think that this didn’t shift votes where the government didn’t expect them … I think it did.
The Liberal Party needs to have a good hard look at its membership base. This wasn’t just Lindsay, we saw a breakout at the Press Club on Thursday where Liberal Party members were heckling female journalists including Michelle Grattan, I think there was a meanness of spirit in the Liberal Party this year that came from its grass roots. I don’t know what it’s about, but Peter Costello (sic) needs to have a good look at it.
To elaborate on the second point. I don’t have figures on single mothers specifically, but Megalogenis’s demographic tables include data for single parents which shows 11 previously Coalition-held seats in the top 30: Wakefield, Cowper, Lindsay, Leichhardt, Dunkley, Dobell, Solomon, Page, Robertson, Kingston, Bass, with Macarthur, Hasluck, Blair, Herbert and Longman not far out. The only definite survivor out of these is Dunkley, with Labor narrowly ahead in Solomon, Robertson and Herbert, just trailing in Cowper and Macarthur, and victorious in the other nine.