The day after the day after

That lucid analysis I promised two posts ago will still have to wait another day. In the meantime, I have added a new “photo finish” thread below for Dickson, where Labor’s lead is an uncomfortable 389 votes, to those already existing for Swan, Solomon, McEwen, Macarthur, La Trobe, Herbert, Bowman and the Victorian Senate. It would also be remiss of me not to note the very sad passing of Matt Price, taken far too young at 46.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

1,367 comments on “The day after the day after”

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  1. As predicted the Liberals do now find themselves in the equivalent of the “post-Thatcher” leadership vacuum. Like most people, I can’t have any sympathy for Howard, who was as ruthless a user of power as any on the national stage in my life time.

    I can only see some hope for the Liberals if they cut deep now and try to reposition themselves. Otherwise its Kevin 2020.

    I can see some issues that will challenge Rudd and Labor, although I am impressed by the energy he has already shown.

    Climate change will be one of the biggest for him now. Signign Kyoto is one thing. Managing the economy in a world trying to reduce teh burnign of ocal will be another, and that will hurt in Queensland. For the record, I am a sceptic on clean coal. Nobody has got it to work yet. On the plus side, WA’s gas reserves will rise in value with emission trading.

  2. Kina, I’d like to see Turnbull leading. He is someone who presumably would push Labor, or at least offer bipartisan support, on climate and environment, as well as multiculturalism and other social issues. And the republic question.

  3. Hi all. I’m a longtime, avid lurker here; but as I can now safely avoid this site for a while and get my life and productivity back, I want to share a moment from election night before I go.

    I was at the party for Labor volunteers in the seat of Melbourne, having decided to attend only after receiving Antony Green’s assurances on TV that we were likely to win. The wife and I had sprung up, called a taxi, commandeered the Indian driver’s car radio to keep up with results, and arrived at the Collingwood Town Hall just as the ABC’s seat counter ticked over to ALP: 76.

    Among the crowd of party workers there were a group of Sudanese guys, part of the large African community in the electorate. I don’t know if they had been involved in the campaign, or invited to the party as guests. In any case, when local member Lindsay Tanner made his victory speech in due course, he included the following (as well as I can remember his words): “No matter whether you’re Sudanese-Australian, Ethiopian-Australian, Greek-Australian or whatever; in any government I’m a part of, you will always be welcome”.

    Huge cheer from the assembled crowd, much rejoicing from the Sudanese guys, and a warm feeling of inclusion with many a tear to the eye. It was a great moment.

    I also spoke next day to my Sudanese friends (who had fled Sudan as political refugees) who had recently gained citizenship and had voted for the first time – not just in an Australian election, but ever. They were excited that their first election as voters was such a significant one, as my first in 1983 had been. It’s humbling to realise how much you can take your vote for granted, living in Australia.

    It was a great weekend.

  4. I would like to extend my congratulations to Mr. Rudd and the Labor party for winning this years general election.

    To all the Labor supporters on this Blog congratulaions. 🙂

    May Kevin be a great Prime Minister.

    Oh and may the Liberal party come back renewed and refreshed ready to take on the challenges of the future.

  5. It’s hard to be humble when your side loses big time. Well done John.

    I hope the people in the Liberal party get rid of the right wing nutters that control it. Especially the NSW Branch. Otherwise they will be in opposition for a long time.

    Kevin Rudd will be a good PM. He will surprise many people. I hope our great country can now move forward and we can leave a lot of the fear,divisiveness, and class wars behind.

  6. Thanks Pancho. 🙂

    I think Costello did the right thing declaring that he won’t contest the Leadership. I would still like to see him as PM as I think he would be a great PM. I’m dark on JWH and the Liberal party for not going for generational change, they only have themselves to blame. In my opinion the Liberal party owes costello not Costello the Libeeral party!

  7. Chris Pyne on Adelaide local radio bleating about the media not being their friend over the six weeks of the campaign.


    Many tributes being made in respect of Matt Price, a wonderful and ever promising journalist.

    Vale, Matt.

  8. John of Melbourne,
    A most gracious comment. As one of the Labor supporters here, it is greatly appreciated. I sincerely hope that the Liberal Party returns to values that Fraser and many others espoused in many important policy areas.

    We need a strong opposition to reduce the new government’s chances of letting too many easy election victories turn them in the direction of the woeful Carr/Iemma regimes.

    All the best, mate.

  9. Thanks all 🙂

    Even though I am a Liberal supporter and I think JWH did good things for Australia. I think that no one associated with JWH’s government should be in a Leadership role at the moment.

    We need new faces and time for people to disassociate Liberal members form the past regime.

  10. RE: Abbott getting up. Gillard, Plibersick (?sp), Wong and evry other female Labor MP will be hoping and praying. He can’t handle women. They know, he knows it and what’s more female voters know it.

    Abbott will be Gillard’s plaything.

  11. Sounds like Pyne is desperately trying to take over Downer’s role as chief Liberal party whinger. Lord knows, he qualified enough…

  12. A couple of unlikely winners from the election were:

    1. The much maligned Gary Morgan, whose last phone poll was spot on.

    2. Malcolm Mackerras, whose long range forecast was somewhat disparaged but proved largely correct in terms of the Labor majority and the defeat of John Howard.

    A large slice of humble pie for me, who, as a life member of the pessimists club, consistently but erroneously foretold a win of two seats either way.

  13. 56 JoM. Thanks to you for that. Mr Squiggle, and Stephen, also showed similar integrity and generosity of spirit. Full credit to you (and any other coalition suporters here who also did likewise).

    I too wish for the (new) opposition to regroup, reform (very important), and become a strong force again. Democracy only works with a healthy contest and genuine choice. Might take them a while, though.


    And, for what little difference it makes, this is my last post. The rest of my life is suffering from serious neglect, and I also need a long break from this stuff, about 2.5 years, I reckon.

    Thanks to William, and the participants in this community. This was my first online election, it has been a great experience and I have learned an awful lot. Hope you all have too.


  14. RE Leadership. Wouldn’t it be fun if Downer got up 🙂 I think it’s highly disturbing for the Lib side if him, Abbott and Robb are being considered.

  15. paladin @ 72

    {RE: Abbott getting up. Gillard, Plibersick (?sp), Wong and evry other female Labor MP will be hoping and praying. He can’t handle women. They know, he knows it and what’s more female voters know it.}

    Too right. You can add Roxon to that list.

  16. Just me @ 78. Me Too. Is there a strategy for being weened of this intellectual crystal meth? Is there any subsidies avauilable via Medicare 🙂

  17. Yer sure thing ‘stuart’ @ 71, you forgot to put in ‘love him or loath him’ as well. We all no where Pauline Hanson stands too. BTW Hanson appears to to have fallen over the 4% line which qualifies her for public funding, about $160K, not bad for a couple of months work.

  18. [I would like to extend my congratulations to Mr. Rudd and the Labor party for winning this years general election.

    To all the Labor supporters on this Blog congratulaions.

    May Kevin be a great Prime Minister.

    Oh and may the Liberal party come back renewed and refreshed ready to take on the challenges of the future.]

    John of Melbourne, congratulations on being so well mannered and good-spirited, even in defeat.

    Let’s hope that public life and discourse can proceed on this basis.

  19. Robb! Terrific choice!

    Yep, let’s have the very guy who 24 hours after the exposure of Lindsay pamphlet Liberal thugs, claimed on Lateline that the Party had strongly dealt with them, BUT he could not name them because he never asked who they were.

    Tony Jones was gobsmacked, and Albanese just rode it for all it was worth.

    Not to mention, that the last word that springs to mind when thinking of Robb and Downer is “fresh”. They would smell like rotting fish to the electorate.

  20. Petro Georgiou -I’ll second that!!
    And maybe someone could persuade Bruce Baird to change his mind……with either of these two at the helm I may vote for the Liberals again.

  21. 56 John of Melbourne – Thanks John – as opposed to some conservative supporters on this blog you have made a positive contribution and your good wishes are much appreciated.

  22. JoM @ 87, fascinating ain’t it? It’s also ultimately revenge against Howard, as Costello’s decision potentially leaves the party in greater ruin than if there’d been an orderly succession. The worse condition the Liberal party is in, the longer their recovery period, the more tattered will Howard’s legacy seem. Howard may love the Liberal party for the rest of his days but it’s unlikely to be reciprocated.

    I can see valid reasons for Costello’s decision, but I think it’s hard to avoid concluding that he expected to be handed the leadership of the government on a platter. Leadership of the opposition wasn’t good enough.

  23. JoM @ 65
    I know there is a general inclination of many to call Costello gutless but I think it takes a lot for someone to look an unpleasant message in the face and accept that they are a part of the problem, not the solution.
    He (unlike abbott) can see that the Liberal party needs a clean separation between the howard years and what is to come. So kudos for putting ones ego to one side and doing the right thing by his team.
    Maybe he would have been a good prime minister, I don’t know. I just feel that yesterday was the first time we have seen humility from Costello, an attribute that a prime minister needs in spades, and an attribute that howard lost.
    Either way the liberal party needs more moderates and Costello may have been a smarmy git, but he wasn’t a complete bastard. Let’s hope his “mentoring” has a positive effect on the attitudes of the parliamentary Liberal party.

  24. Bruce Baird stripped off his charm mask during the last week of the campaign and was very rude to Penny Wong in a Skynews joint interview with Helen Dally.

    Baird hogged the time with waffle and scaremongering, then kept trying to interrupt Wong.

    Fortunately, Wong just ignored him and kept going with positive points, so Baird became agitated to the point of bright redness in his neck and face.

    It truly looked like Baird was going to have a stroke.

  25. The AEC may have chosen wrong TPP in Melbourne. The Greens look like they will top the liberals but its only academic as the ALP has over 50% of the primary… But a marginal 2PP percentage either way

  26. So by my count the Liberal Party has 14 members (and 11 Senators) with previous experience of opposition but with that number including Ruddock, Downer and Costello there may yet be a further drop.

    If Ruddock resigns (and Howard stays down :-), Tuckey will become Father of the House, no?

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