D-day plus 1

As you can see by the threads below, there are five seats still in doubt as far as I’m concerned, though it’s not unknown for outsiders to emerge on the radar late in the count. In post-redistribution terms, Labor has lost Bennelong, Macarthur, Macquarie and Gilmore in New South Wales; Bonner, Dawson, Dickson, Flynn, Forde, Herbert, Leichhardt and Longman in Queensland; Solomon in the Northern Territory; and Swan in Western Australia. In Victoria, Labor gained McEwen and La Trobe and lost Melbourne to the Greens. Also in Western Australia, as a notional count conducted late in the evening has made clear, Wilson Tuckey has lost O’Connor to Tony Crook of the Nationals, who has promised to sit on the cross-benches rather than join the Coalition party room.

This produces a base result of 70 seats for Labor and the increasingly complex beast known as the Coalition (42 seats for the Liberals, 21 for Queensland’s Liberal National Party, six for the NSW and Victorian Nationals and one for the Northern Territory Country Liberal Party); one seat for the non-Coalition Nationals WA; one for the Greens; and three independents. Of the five seats in doubt, as many as four could go to the Coalition (three to the Liberals and one to the LNP), with the other being the contest between Labor and an independent in Denison. Labor’s best case scenario involves an independent in the Speaker’s chair and a bare majority on the floor (with Adam Bandt of the Greens as a further safety buffer). At the other end of the scale, a loose arrangement with Tony Crook could allow the Coalition to achieve something similar. In between are various scenarios involving a collective kingmaker role for Tony Windsor, Bob Katter and Rob Oakeshott. The best guess at this stage is that the four Labor-versus-Coalition undecideds will break two-all, while Denison is impossible to read.

One imagines the independents’ most pressing concern would be the deep conservatism of the electorates; however, Labor has in its hand the prospect of Labor-Greens Senate majority that would complicate any Coalition claim to offer the greater stability. If a minority Coalition government eventuated – and this intuitively seems the most likely outcome – it would presumably be keep to set up some double dissolution triggers with an eye to another election about 18 months down the track. For the time being it would have available to it the existing Senate configuration until the middle of next year, in which it could pass legislation provided it had the support of Steve Fielding and Nick Xenophon.

Which should give you all plenty to chew on. This thread is for general discussion of the situation: I ask, more in hope than expectation, that emotional and rhetorical overkill of one kind or another be kept to a minimum. If you wish to discuss late counting, please do so in the thread below.

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.

2,480 comments on “D-day plus 1”

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  1. No 2450

    Radguy, as a Labor supporter, you’re hardly authoritative on who in the Liberal Party is liked. As a member of the Liberal Party, Abbott has won a massive amount of goodwill by the party faithful with his disciplined and assured campaigning skills. Even the doubters are surprised and humbled. Our position was untenable 12 months ago. Now we are on the cusp of forming a government.

  2. Radguy – remember always put your money on self interest it’s the one horse in the race you can guarantee will be trying.

  3. Pedro, self interest is what gat the ALP in trouble.

    Good on you Frankie, I was absolutely correct with my prediction made the weekend that Rudd was deposed. (a bit freaky actually!)

    I seriously doubt Abbott will be PM.

    I am a green hack by the way.

  4. I’ve posted this in the Hasluck thread, but I note that Keneally said that the postals were sent out around the time of the highly damaging Gillard leak. Is anyone worried about the effect this may have on the postals?

  5. In Australia the government party always provides the Speaker.
    Of course it’s a top job,a large salary,a splendid suite of offices,and all the perks of a Ministerial job.
    Harry Jenkins has been a good speaker but certainly he would not carry on the job under a Abbott government.which would help the Tories take power.Harry,whom I know ,and like his father before him ,is a long standing ALP member of the House

    By the way,in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs…as elsewhere in the state of Victoria,the Labor-Green vote has shown some large rises.
    In seats like Higgins(Costello’s old seat)and Kooyong amd others the Liberals votes were in the lower 50% range.
    Some are now vulnerable to a Green-Labor takeover,and in rural seats like Ballarat and Bendigo…once seen as viunerable,the Liberals position is hopeless!
    Victoria is now Labor great fortress,and the coming state elections look good for Brumby…the Libs are making noises about talking to the Greens,which shows how desperate they are.
    While all eyes were on the north,the Victorian result have deserved more carefull attention,and the winning of McEwan and La Trobe
    have keep Julia in the game today

    Three cheers for Victoria and for Marvellous Melbourne,!! as always …the citadel of Australian left-liberalism in the truest sense of the word…We saved the nation from the madness of the peasants hordes in QLand and WA.!!

    Victoria has been the Stalingrad which turned back a triumphant Abbot…They shall not Pass !

  6. Any word of any pollsters back out in the field?

    I’d assume they’d be polling again to inform and influence the government formation negotiations.

  7. Didn’t watch that, Puff. Only cos.

    Think the 1942 (?) Scarlett Pimpernel, Leslie Howard, is on now, probably.

    Did go to Aida couple of weeks ago.

    Tosca would have been appropriate.

  8. crikey whitey,
    yes SP just starting here. Aida would have been good. My promise to me now all the chicks have flown nest. Get to see some live opera. 🙂

  9. Go Opera, Puff!

    When dollars are an issue, book early and cheaply.

    If you live in Melbourne, much as I love our Adelaide Festival Theatre, the Arts Centre theatre is so gorgeous.

    Went over there for Rusalka. In my top five best ever.

  10. CW, wasn’t the Scarlet Pimpernel that guy who tried to save some of the born-to-rule class from their fate when the peasants finally got sick of them being so up themselves?

  11. cw, I am in Adelaide. Am a carer right now, so not rolling in it and can’t do any overnighters.
    (but I love Puccini. )

  12. Yep, Puff.

    Bit like now, really.

    But who, in this case, are the peasants?

    Anyway, I was only thinking of performance.

    A mask takes one only so far.

  13. Surprised nobody has mentioned the appalling lack of decency shown by the Coalition faithful when Abbott congratulated JG on a campaign fought hard = booing by the moronic monkeys …compared to polite applause by the obviously sober other side when JG returned the same…this ‘born’ to rule kind of arrogance and stupidity is exactly the kind psychological profile we see repeated here in these forums, but is the norm in the ‘less than zoo’ like atmosphere of the rabid right blogs.

  14. William, please send Puff my email address.

    Do come, Puff. My opera loving friends are nurses and stuff, work in aged care sector now.

    When I say the shed, it is a shed, but it has a fantastic TV etc. Accoustics excellent.

    (Neighbours love it)

    This Madama Butterfly was produced by the late and so very missed Minghella (think English Patient )

  15. Thinking its hasluck and Denison up for grabs only

    Without them its 72 alp – 71 coalition + 1 wa nat – 3(ind)-1(grn)

    I think in decreasing order of probability:
    Hasluck (LIB) Denison (IND): 72 – 72+1 – 4 – 1
    Hasluck (LIB) Denison (ALP): 73 – 72+1 – 3 – 1
    Hasluck (ALP) Denison (IND): 73 – 71+1 – 4 – 1
    Hasluck (ALP) Denison (ALP): 74 – 71+1 – 3 – 1

    Need to game out what’s going to happen in the first two (i think ALP minority govt pretty safe in the bottom two) instances.

    The key question is who is going to accept the speakership. Katter would be the best (Windsor ruled it out, Wilkie/Oak more val on the Reps floor?)?

    In the first (worst ALP) case, 72 + Green = 72 + WA Nat, Wilkie leaning ALP and 3 conserv indeps. Tough. Best strategy is imo a formal ALP-GRN coalition: the senate majority will be a powerful influence on the independents to give confidence in the Reps for stable government’s sake? Not sure if its realistic – Bob Brown minister for climate change?! That “coalition” has 11 months to prepare for the new senate and properly think out / negotiate and sell its ultimate joint positions for the Aus public and the before putting them to the indies in the Reps.

    Less necessary in case 2, and prob unnec in the bottom two?

    GG mentioned a v interesting poss: could the indies + GRN party agree on a common platform and promise passage thru both houses to the major that supports it?

    I am interested in who the GRN party wants to talk to and in which order. They have decisive king- and policy-making power right now if they want to exert it imo.

  16. I assume all those people who had earnestly declared that if they woke up Sunday morning and Abbott was PM they would catch the first available flight departing Australia now interpret their promise as only meaning they would leave if Abbott clearly was the winner on election night and not if he becomes PM by virtue of late counting or horse-trading with the Independents.

  17. [ I thought of flight, but when checking how to get away, the signal dropped out.

    It is not necessary to book flights out of Australia via the internet. Either a visit to or a telephone call to your neighbourhood travel agent could secure a one-way ticket out of Australia.


  18. There has been little discussion about the type of deal the Independents are likely to make with Labor (or for that matter Abbott). It will not be a “coalition”. It will simply be an “agreement”.

    The bare basis of it will be an agreement to pass supply bills and not to support motions of no-confidence, except in circumstances of clear misconduct.

    One would expect it would have some elements of parliamentary reform, for example as set out in the Memorandum of Understanding between Moore,McDonald and Hatton in NSW in 1991.

    A good resource for examining the various “agreements” entered into in the past is set out in the NSW Parliament website:-
    Minority Governments in Australia 1989-2009: Accords, Charters and Agreements

    The actual text of the various agreements is an annexure to the paper

    Interestingly, Tony Windsor, who is the only MP in the federal parliament with prior experience of a hung parliament, was not part of the 1991 MOU. He had already thrown his support behind Greiner a few days after the election, in return for some pork barrelling for his electorate (e.g. a new police station) – thus enabling Greiner to govern without the support of the 3 non-aligned Independents (Greiner only needed their support after January 1992 when the Liberals lost a seat they had won at the general election, in a re-run ordered by the Court of Disputed returns). Maybe after 20 years Windsor has changed his emphasis from electorate specific issues (there is one huge project in his electorate at present that needs immediate funding – an upgrade in capacity of Chaffey dam) to broader issues.

  19. In terms of electorate specific “pork-barrelling” I note that Windsor on the 7.30 Report nominated “health” as his No 1. issue. There are health issues that affect both the seat of New England (Windsor) and Lyne (Oakeshott), but both are state issues.

    In Lyne, the building of a 4th Pod of the Port Macquarie Hospital has been a burning issue for years, but has been largely ignored by the NSW government. Perhaps Oakeshott will seek federal funds (in place of NSW state funds) for the building of it.

    In New England, the building of a new Tamworth Hospital is a very significant issue. At the 2007 state election, Windsor’s protege in the seat of tamworth, independent Peter Draper, promised that a new hospital with works to begin prior to March 2011. The NSW Labor government re-iterated this promise every 6 months or so, until the budget in June 2010 – when it was disclosed for the first time that there no funds would be provided to build the new Hospital. Draper had stated continuously that he wanted to be judged on his delivery of a new Tamworth Hospital as promised by him. The failure to provide the hospital as promised, is obviously hurting his chances of re-election. Thus it is possible Windsor will be asking for federal funding (in place of state funding), so that construction work can begin virtually immediately (all the planning work has been completed apparently).

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