How’s it swinging

Below is a preliminary Mackerras pendulum/table based on current results. The first thing to note is that the Liberals seem to be enjoying one-way traffic in late counting. They have taken the lead in Dickson, Swan and Bowman, appear home-and-hosed in La Trobe and are strongly placed in Macarthur. An 862 vote lead in McEwen would also normally be a basis on which to claim victory, but there are reports of “the discovery of about 3000 votes wrongly sent to neighbouring Scullin” which don’t seem to have been factored in yet. Only in Herbert has late counting actively improved Labor’s position. They are also keeping their noses in front in Solomon, although the imminent count of electronically lodged military votes might narrow the gap. If these trends continue Labor will end up with a relatively disappointing haul of 84 seats, against 64 for the Coalition and two independents. In that case it would take a loss of only nine seats at the next election for Labor to lose its majority, which would occur on a uniform swing of just 1.7 per cent. Bennelong again emerges as the litmus test seat: Labor can take comfort in the likelihood that it will swing heavily to them in John Howard’s absence. The next seat up the pendulum is Petrie in northern Brisbane, where Labor currently leads by 2.3 per cent.

Labor supporters might assume that federal politics will now follow the precedent established time and again at state level, where Labor enjoyed landslide re-election wins after establishing themselves in power. However, the historical record at the federal level offers the unhappy precedent of first-term swings against every post-war government (though only in 1998 was it greater than 1.7 per cent). I have a high enough opinion of Malcolm Turnbull to imagine he can steer the party clear of many of the obstacles that have faced it at state level, should the party be sensible enough to make him leader. Whoever takes the mantle, they will face the severe difficulty of a party room dominated by members from Western Australia, whose sensitivity to the national mood is indicated by today’s front page headline in The West Australian: “WA Libs demand party stands by WorkChoices”.

26.5 Batman
25.4 Grayndler
24.1 Throsby
23.6 Melbourne
23.3 Wills
22.0 Gellibrand
21.2 Scullin
21.0 Chifley
21.0 Gorton
21.0 Watson
20.0 Port Adelaide
20.0 Sydney
New England 24.6 (IND vs NAT)
Mallee 21.6
19.5 Calwell
19.2 Blaxland
18.9 Fowler
18.5 Cunningham
17.0 Reid
16.4 Hunter
15.9 Newcastle
15.8 Lalor
15.6 Denison
15.6 Fraser
15.3 Maribyrnong
15.3 Werriwa
15.1 Shortland
Murray 18.3
O’Connor 16.6
Kennedy 15.9 (IND vs ALP)
Riverina 15.7
14.9 Oxley
13.9 Prospect
13.7 Hotham
13.6 Kingsford Smith
13.5 Capricornia
13.3 Charlton
13.1 Lingiari
12.5 Barton
12.5 Griffith
12.3 Holt
12.0 Rankin
11.8 Canberra
11.2 Banks
Moncrieff 14.4
Curtin 14.3
Bradfield 13.6
Maranoa 13.0
Mackellar 12.6
Parkes 12.4
Mitchell 11.4
Calare 11.3
Farrer 11.3
Fadden 10.4
9.5 Corio
9.5 Fremantle
9.5 Richmond
9.4 Perth
9.2 Jagajaga
Warringah 9.5
Moore 9.3
Barker 9.1
Pearce 9.1
Indi 9.0
8.7 Bruce
8.6 Ballarat
8.6 Lilley
8.6 Lyons
8.5 Adelaide
8.0 Melbourne Ports
Kooyong 8.9
Tangney 8.8
Berowra 8.7
McPherson 8.7
Lyne 8.4
Wide Bay 8.3
Groom 8.1
7.9 Isaacs
7.8 Makin
7.5 Chisholm
7.4 Lowe
7.4 Macquarie
7.2 Parramatta
7.1 Lindsay
7.0 Brisbane
Flinders 7.8
Wannon 7.3
Cook 7.1
6.9 Wakefield
6.1 Brand
6.0 Bendigo
Higgins 6.8
Mayo 6.8
Casey 6.1
5.1 Hindmarsh Forrest 5.8
Gippsland 5.7
Menzies 5.7
Goldstein 5.6
Canning 5.4
North Sydney 5.2
Aston 5.1
4.9 Blair
4.8 Bonner
4.8 Moreton
4.7 Leichhardt
4.6 Kingston
4.5 Franklin
4.1 Dobell
4.1 Eden-Monaro
McMillan 4.9
Greenway 4.6
3.7 Longman
3.5 Dawson
3.1 Forde
Grey 3.9
Ryan 3.8
Wentworth 3.7
Dunkley 3.5
Gilmore 3.4
Hume 3.4
2.6 Flynn
2.4 Page
2.3 Petrie
Boothby 2.9
Fairfax 2.6
Fisher 2.6
1.7 Bennelong
1.7 Deakin
1.5 Braddon
1.4 Hasluck
Hughes 1.8
Kalgoorlie 1.6
Cowan 1.4
Hinkler 1.2
Paterson 1.2
Stirling 1.1
Cowper 1.0
Sturt 1.0
0.9 Bass
0.9 Corangamite
0.8 Solomon
0.5 Robertson
0.4 Herbert
La Trobe 0.5
McEwen 0.5
Macarthur 0.4
Bowman 0.02
Swan 0.02
Dickson 0.01

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.

720 comments on “How’s it swinging”

Comments Page 14 of 15
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  1. marky marky “I tend to think that some people those who have never experienced a Labor government in their voting lives voted Liberal this election due to them being unsure or concerned about what Labor stood for or who were scared off by the Liberal scare campaign. Next election this may change, if the economy holds up.”

    The economy is in bad shape now, but telling the people wont do any good and may make fear and tensions worse. Methinx most Liberal voters haven’t got a clue what the Liberal Party has always stood for, let alone Labor. Big Business, multinational take-overs, full privatisation and laissez-faire capitalism.

    All those famous surpluses, aren’t “surpluses” at all. They are proceeds from sales. CSL, Telstra, most of the national Gold Reserves, airports, utilities and service sectors in education, health etc. There’s not much left to sell – Medibank Private and Aboriginal lands. Worst part is that most of it was sold for garage sale prices.

    Every three years give some of it to tightly targeted sub-populations, to “buy their votes”, tell them they’ve “never been better off” – and they are happy with their lollies. While robbing other sectors of the population to help pay for it, and ruthlessly silencing those sectors, or demonise them as ‘bludgers’. Order the ABS to change the counting rules on employment statistics, and the true scale of poverty in Australia was one of their best-kept secrets.

    You can sell your house, car, furniture, DVD collection etc – and you can live on the cash for awhile. But, eventually it runs out. Same with selling off a national economy. Its run out.

    “Labor will have to be on it’ guard over the next three years.”

    True. They will have to go back to the grass-roots principles of what it stands for, as they seem to have done quite admirably during the campaign, which surprised me (after the Latham disasters!).

    Also, the positive “team” strategic approach is refreshing! They keep highlighting they are a *team*, right down to the lowliest back-bencher.

    They can’t afford any faction-splitting or in-fighting, and need to work solidly as a team for at least 3 years. No loose lips, no idiots, no Tony Abbotts. Present themselves as the ‘Quiet Achievers’.

    Meanwhile don’t upset the rich folks, or the social conservatives, don’t even stoop to the level of engaging in any childish revenge or “payback” tactics, far too busy now, no time to be bothered with what the Liberals do, or don’t do. Cross that bridge if/when you come to it.

    Rudd, and his whole team’s attitude of “lets just get on with it” has really impressed me,

    its like they are saying: ” We have far more important issues to deal with, than petty Party politics, we have a country to rebuild from scorched earth, and lets start with the kids.”

    Maybe meaningless symbolic rhetoric, but very impressive – and after 11.5 years of fascist repression, like a breath of fresh air!

    Yay! Lets *move on* Australia!

  2. How does it make sense for a government in 2007 to apologise for events that are at least 50 years old?

    50 years? Alleged war criminal John Winston Howard and his lackey Brough was trying to steal Aboriginal land up to the very last day of their government.

    And please no BS of how it was in pursuit of a noble cause. Dolly let the real reason, that they were doing it to get a boost in the polls, slip on Sunday.

  3. Malcolm is going to end up with about 42 knives in his back. I’m surprised that Julie Bishop is making such a play at deputy – she really is quite dim. Abbott tonight on Lateline has made it pretty clear that these Green-tinged changes Malcolm-the-Reformer is going on about are unlikely to wash in the partyroom.

    What I’d love to know is why Dolly did not attend Dear Leader’s luncheon this afternoon. I wonder what he’s up to.

  4. Rain i agree but the electorate is fundamentally stupid, has not got a clue.
    I am with you on getting back to traditional values but if you think this Labor government will you are dreaming. This party is economically conservative and socially conservative to a degree. And i agree the economy is in a mess but try telling that to the media hacks and the business elites who are doing very well for themselves.
    To go about blaming Latham is wrong. I actually think Latham would have been better than Rudd because he went to an election to slowly get rid of Private Health Rebate, and rid of universities multi millionaires fees in uni’s unlike this government. Morever he had aim to clean out the machine men who run the current Labor Party, Rudd i am afriad will let rule the roost. And on Forestry at least Latham wanted to do something here, feeble Rudd caves in.

  5. Abbott on Lateline tonight, answering questions on the leadership adn one from Tony Jones reverting to the Lindsey disgrace. Abbott is not my favourite person but even he agreed that Lindsey should be investigated. A step forward if he can admit it; or maybe it just means he knows he is in the clear and his enemies might be involved.

  6. Abbotts line of the interview was on ‘Lindsaygate’ where he said they were ‘well connected lunitics’ lol!

    Well if we thought there was nothing to separate the two parties before the election with Malcolm in they’ll be virtually nothing to separate them except maybe on Iraq lol. Don’t you just love consensus politics!

    Dont worry HH there is still another 1000 or so votes to go in those seats they are all still up for grabs really. I’m worried about Bowman and Herbert its line ball there.

  7. Marky,

    Rudd re-acquired the two seats from Tassie that Latham lost. Rule no 1 for implementing your program is to win government. I think the Rudd Baron did that last Saturday.

  8. I feel like emailing Abbott and telling him as a Tory, you won’t win an election because women wont vote for you and neither will any moderate Tory. God i like Abbott and all but somebody please remind him of Peacock/Howard of the 80s…

  9. My point is that the electorate is fundamentally stupid, and am not disputing that Latham was to idealistic nonetheless i look at the individual and he was someone that actually in my mind who wanted to make a change to this country whilst this current group will touch the edges.
    We should on forestry try to reach compromises between the Environmentalists and Loggers and stop the conflict but will Labor- No.

  10. Keating rejected him, he did the same thing to Nelson, gee if it wasnt for Keating the Libs would have Tony Abbott as our leader lol!

    So two former Labor voters are vying for the leadership of the Conservatives lol i love the irony.

  11. The Mad Monk did as much as “Lindsaygate” to contribute to the Liberals election loss. It’s time Abbott left politics, he’s seriously deluded if he thinks he’s got anything positive left to offer.

  12. Hey, my mother met Maxine McKew today, seriously! Mum teaches at a school in Bennelong, Maxine came along today to look at the computers they have at Epping Boys High. The principal brought Maxine to meet the history teachers.
    Mum was very excited!

  13. Glen: it’s interesting Costello and Downer weren’t at Howard’s farewell lunch today. I guess Peter and Tanya won’t be invited to the Chrissy Party at Woolstonecraft LOL

  14. Rumor is Conroy, Macklin, Ferguson and Roxon will all be included, mediocrity keeps it place.
    I have no doubt the cabinet will have just enough members of the right over the left to form a majority. It will not be Team Rudd, but Team factions.
    What will a national inquiry into supermarket prices achieve? ‘

  15. Did she get an autograph? The personality of the celebrity takes control. What next.
    Don’t get me wrong though i like Maxine, far better than Cornes, actually not in the race. Maxine should be in the cabinet ahead of Conroy, whose ambition in life is to ensure the right controls the Labor Party.

  16. I imagine Rudd will make Combet, Shorten, Maxine and perhaps Mike Kelly parliamentary secretaries, with the option to promote them later in the term of government.

  17. HA HA Glen
    Marky Marky: no, she didn’t get an autograph, but she talked to Maxine twice in one day.
    If Rudd was seriously deciding this on merit, half of the shadow cabinet should be out the door, including Conroy LOL

  18. Where is Labor’ affirmative action policy to get more women in parliament gone and does it exist in regards to cabinet posts or as ususal it has taken its advice from the business community regarding women appointments.

  19. I agree HH, after all this election was about ‘new leadership and fresh ideas’, what’s new and fresh about Crean, Ferguson, Conroy, Macklin. What’s there to lose i mean the Tories atm are a mess they’ve got to use this political capital now.

  20. Ticket for Tony. Courtesy Malcolm.

    A showpiece of the Jezuïetenberg is the Alhambra (above), a tribute to the palace in Granada, Spain; 30 Jesuits worked on this complex in their spare time from 1927 to 1930.

    A cave is a place of mystery, a rift in the earth that gives passage to the underworld. A few steps into a cave and you are on your own for light and for direction. Caves are where bears spend the winter and bats the daylight hours.

    In Plato’s cave, perhaps the most famous image in classical philosophy, shadowy figures project mere hints of outer reality to observers chained inside. In ancient literature, Aeneas entered the Sibyl’s cave to learn his destiny.

    Dante’s cave gave entry to his inferno-Abandon All Hope, the sign above its entry warns.

    In 1967 the caves came under the care of a private foundation. They became a national monument in 1996.

    One young Jesuit, Ad de Smit, in 1948 left behind a description of how his companions spent their Wednesdays at the caves. After their hour-long walk out there, some began to work on the art immediately, some after lunch. In mid afternoon a volunteer cook provided tea prepared at a gas stove in the kitchen. At about 4:30, they all gathered in the dining room for tea or coffee and sandwiches and apples. They talked and joked, and finally changed clothes and walked home.

    The last one out turned off the lights and locked the door.

    Fr. Edward Schmidt, SJ, Company’s business manager, visited the caves in the fall of 2001 and, with the curator’s OK, signed the wall.

    Then the caves fell silent. For a week the sphinxes and giants, monsters and Sargon’s cherubs had the caves to themselves. They did their work: they watched over their treasures and kept them safe.

    Today they guard them still.

  21. Actually i would have Simon in cabinet, because he has a few skills, and i would have Bob McMullan cannot always do things based on freshness. It should be about intelligence and ability. Macklin and Conroy though have no ability and should be taken to the backbench. Conroy actually should be told that his time is up, but no one will touch him. Ferguson should go also, this guy is a thug.

  22. Quite funny that we are still arguing over saying ‘Sorry’ to the stolen generation. How did that one simple word become the Verdun of the culture wars?

    If Ruddster is smart he should wait for Turnbull to be elected leader then offer him the opportunity to make a bi-partisan apology. That ought to set the cat among the pigeons. Do you think Turnbull will last the week if he accepts?

  23. Good one, Turning Worm. 689.

    Turnbull would accept, in view of what he has acknowledged.

    ‘The contenders for the Liberal leadership are continuing to jettison policies from ‘the Howard era’, with Malcolm Turnbull vowing to say sorry for Australia’s ‘stolen generation’.

  24. The alternative to involving Turnbull is to continue to act presidential and leave the Libs to their own squabbling. Do we really want one wedge politican replaced by another? In some ways, this is the question for Labor – do they want revenge or do they want to do a better job? I’m hoping the latter

  25. According to Michelle Grattan the three new stars, Combet, Shorten and McKew will all be offered parliamentary secretary positions. Not a bad compromise with the ‘no parliamentary experience’ concerns.

    No other info yet on cabinet positions.

  26. Not suggesting wedge. Kev would be smart enough to get Turnbull to declare on it before he accepted or otherwise, depending on Lowitja’s sensibilities, as representative and her own personal feelings.

  27. Don , its a wise decision re new MP’s

    Pity about Brendon Nelson , Labor would have beaten him in 2007
    Turnbull will be more difficult due to his long experience in presenting spin credibly

  28. Much hubris I see for the Tories.Here in Qld ugly Liberal factioalism has broken out all over again and will not go away in the long term.That’s the way it is up here.LOL!!!!
    Springborg has made a return as well,watch out Seeney!!!!
    Seriously though,the Liberal hubris will see the ALP returned again when Bligh heads to the polls next year.EARLY
    The sucker opposition is doing it again.LOL!!!!!!!!

  29. Good move, it is, Don Wigan. Not unexpected. Keeps Maxine out of the way of those who would target her, and defeats the union scare nonsense.

    On the ‘Sorry’ bit, Turnbull still has to drag the kicking and screaming with him, somehow. Electorate don’t wannas.

    Can’t quite figure, myself, how ‘Sorry’ can ever be representative, as far as the gravely wounded see it, when the maddies are still at it.

    What, by the way, would be the difference between the Paul Keating apology and a Rudd apology.

    It really would need to be ‘enshrined’ in some way.

  30. On Crean mentioned above, I think he’s a fair chance of inclusion. I’m sure he would have played some role in the Rudd-Gillard alliance and is perhaps due for a reward on that basis. Might get either Foreign Affairs, Attorney-General or Regional Affairs (current shadow).

    If it’s one of the latter two, the Libs ought to be a bit nervous. Crean is a capable attack dog. If he goes into the AWB or the Regional Rorts scandals he can discredit quite a few. If any of it backfires, he could be retired to a foreign posting.

  31. How does it make sense for a government in 2007 to apologise for events that are at least 50 years old?

    Because the ramifications and advantages to whites of the theft of aboriginal land and the virtual enslavement of aboriginal children continue to this day. While we cannot turn back history, we can at least apologize for what we did and what we continue to profit from.

    These acts were done by Australian governments – state and federal – and there is a corporate responsibility for them. All of us alive today, as Australan citizens, bear a share of responsibility for the acts of our forebears, for they have become our acts in all but the most crude, literal way. We may not have stolen land personally, or abducted aboriginal children personally, but we live in a country that benefits from these acts. That they were done 50, 100 or even 200 years ago makes no difference.

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