D-day plus 2

Remember to keep following the late count action in the Photo Finishes threads below. In lieu of any new commentary on the current situation, now might be a good time to draw attention to the fact that I wrote a conference paper last year on minority government formation and the rise of the Greens. Meantime, here’s a new thread for general discussion.

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.

4,146 comments on “D-day plus 2”

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  1. [Thomas Paine – well argued except you are wrong. A minor point I know but just thought it needed to be said. In order for a logical argument to succeed it must be based on valid and true assertions. Your argument is contestable on both grounds]

    Gweneth – that gave me the best laugh I’ve had all day..

  2. Most PBers are no doubt aware of your view, TP. You have been posting the same message for weeks now. Do you have anything else to contribute?

  3. If KEvin Rudd was still PM we would’ve won with 99% of the vote and won a million seats and we’d all be living on Mars!

  4. The information in this blog has kept me sane over the past days. I haven’t posted much in the blog but am grateful for the often well argued information and heartfelt comments of many – especially my say – thank you and I have just read the difficulties you face even in expressing your comments in the blog – go girl!!

    And of course the “boys” as well (please take this as a compliment) – you are a great mob – my OH wonders where my information is coming from when I make a pronouncement based on information from the blog.

    I have spread the news about this place and this particular post election thread is an amazing one – a roller coaster ride of hope and despair in one!

    I do work full-time but have today and tomorrow at home to follow this better – all because my second grandson was born this morning at 5.14 am and if that isn’t an extra incentive and reason to follow what is happening in Australia I don’t know what is!

    And ‘my say’ I know Andrew Wilkie – he stood for the Greens in Bennelong in 2004 – what an ethical and thoroughly decent, highly intelligent and deeply considered person. He will be a great asset in the Australian Parliament – comparing him with some others already there gives me great hope about an immense uplifting in the standards in the place.

  5. I’m reaching the point of just wanting to go back to the polls for the House before Xmas.

    How would it work if 1 or 2 (or more) of the Indies, says ‘No Confidence’ in either?

    On the bright side, all parties must have blown their election campaign budgets, and might have to fall back on just simply trying to sell their policies…

  6. Interesting to see that both the Libs and the hard nosed, purist, wing of the Greens are doing their best to assassinate Paul Howes, by simply playing the “doing in Rudd” card. In reality both such groups loathed Rudd, and both did their damndest to get rid of him themselves.

    Howes, I should add, is NOT someone who reflects my own views. I sit somewhere around the point where the pragmatic end of the Greens meets the left wing of the Labor party (an area where there is a fair amount of overlap, I would suggest)

    As I said earlier, I had my doubts about Howes myself. I’d suggest that anyone here who is not simply playing games for their own particular party or faction and who takes a bit of time by taking a look at the man, rather than simply wanting to get rid of a potentially very dangerous future “enemy” with a bit of simplistic slander, should take a look at last night’s “Australian Story” – http://www.abc.net.au/austory/

    Whether you agree with him or not, unless your political views take you so far up your own fundament that you can’t see daylight, you will no longer be able to dismiss him as either a “faceless man” or , as jimp would have it “everything that is sick about the current ALP. An unelected, strident, pompous fool.”

    He is very, very clearly far from that and those who underestimate his strength, belief and intelligence simply do themselves some real dishonour, I fear.

  7. Rudd was smiling like a Cheshire cat on election night. Not sure if he was happy about the fact he’d received a huge swing against him or whether it was because Abbott was about to be PM.

    Either way, it was nauseating !

  8. What would you prefer now Thomas Paine A Gillard or Abbott minority Government?

    Would you now like an Abbott Government to teach that mean Julia a lesson?

  9. As a repeat of my earlier comment. It is looking highly likely that we will get PM Rabbott.
    Does anyone have a clue about what ideas or policies he is bringing to government?
    I have been flat out trying to think of anything other than the PPL which is in 2014.
    Aside from that the ‘Boatphone’.
    Plus he has a situation that requires a hell of a lot of concensus.
    What do PB’s think the government will be like?

  10. Congratulations Arbeze on your second grandson. Yes I agree with your comments on Andrew Wilkie, he was a very brave man, when he stood for Bennelong and what was thrown at him, I can’t imagine him supporting the libs

  11. janice2@4002

    Sorry, but if you really do think Rudd would have won you are living in fairy land. Rudd was mortally wounded by a toxic, feral media and the rabbit and his Mining Co mates were all set to finish him off.

    Fairyland is a busy place at present.Your appraisal is even more farcical than the current post-debacle ‘Arbib/Bitar/Howes/Shorten/2 southern F’s’ line now running. It was all the fault of their opponents in the party for doing the leaks. I’m afraid the analysis will need to be rather more searching and honest than that.

    Just look a the objective chronology compared to the PV charts from November 2009

  12. The proposition that Rudd could have won an election is just completely unsupportable. By the time he was sacked, his net satisfaction numbers were in negative country and getting worse every week. Even though Labor appeared to have a nominal 2PPV running around 52/48, this was a theoretical projection only. Labor’s Primary vote had fallen to 35% (iirc) in Rudd’s last few weeks and begun to stagnate at these levels. In WA, Labor’s vote appeared to have fallen into the 20’s – a truly astonishingly bad performance.

    We have just seen it is not possible for Labor to win with a PV even around 38.5%. So with an unpopular leader and a PV running at 35% and ebbing lower, Labor could have expected to lose very many more than 11 or 12 seats had they persisted with the bizarre mismanagement of Kevin Rudd. They would most likely have been annihilated, losing nearly every seat in WA and Queensland, while suffering further losses in SA, Victoria and NSW.

    Labor have done reasonably well considering they faced oblivion just 2 months ago, they started with a more or less untested leader, ran a campaign with almost no policies to speak of, and faced an energetic and quite cogent opponent.

    Just the same, Labor should not think they will soon be electable again. They have a long way to go to become competitive. They have almost no MP’s in WA, only a minor share of the seats in QLD and are viewed with deep cynicism in NSW. In Victoria and SA, Labor benefit from the pathetic inadequacies of their opponents, but are hardly popular in their own right.

    This election appeared to be about nothing, but is proving to be one of the most interesting for many decades.

  13. Rod

    I watched Ausstory, and in my view it was not a pretty picture for young Mr Howes. I don’t think he’ll have a senior role in the ALP if they try to clean up the party.

  14. Suppose for a moment, that we’re back to the polls within weeks or a few months, owing to a failure to form a stable government on either side.

    What does Labor do with Kevin Rudd? Does he become Foreign Minister? Surely the qusetion can’t be left hanging again. And who becomes Finance Minister? Actually, who is Finance Minister now?

  15. Now that Arbib, Bitar, Shorten, and (hopefully) Howes have been put into a box for a while, every time there is a camera around a Labor MP they should be talking about the great state of the nation. No more “it was the leaks that done us in” rubbish – it should all be about jobs jobs jobs. Tell the media that there is no need for people to be nervous nellies about a short period of uncertainty right now, because whoever forms govt is going to be inheriting a solid economic platform. The ALP must be bold in owning its successes – be shameless in it – especially if they don’t get to form govt. ***Don’t let the Coalition re-write history like was done to Keating.*** Besides, we could be back at the polls within 9 months, and they need to start taking charge of the agenda.

    The ALP might feel like it is floundering a bit right now, but we all know that they stand for education, health and keeping people in work. Go back to basics, plug away with a cohesive message, and reform that over-arching grand agenda – the Big Idea.

    Oh, and if Abbott gets the job, for every cut that the Coalition makes the ALP need to translate that into jobs lost.

  16. Dee, it will be a do nothing government largely. So not much change from the current situation 😉

    They won’t be able to privatize Medibank Private… PPL will be a nightmare to get through the House of Representatives unless Labor support it. Temporary protection visas won’t be back. They should be able to get through the mental health stuff…

  17. Rod Hagen,
    [Whether you agree with him or not, unless your political views take you so far up your own fundament that you can’t see daylight, you will no longer be able to dismiss him as either a “faceless man” or , as jimp would have it “everything that is sick about the current ALP. An unelected, strident, pompous fool.”

    He is very, very clearly far from that and those who underestimate his strength, belief and intelligence simply do themselves some real dishonour, I fear.]
    When I saw Australian Story I couldn’t help but think it is a pity it wasn’t run before the election.

  18. [Rudd was mortally wounded by a toxic, feral media]

    Rudd was entirely the author of his and his Government’s misfortunes. The sooner he leaves politics the better off Labor will be. He had every power necessary and every opportunity required to do a good job. He took all the credit for things that went well and deserves equal measure for his errors and misjudgments.

  19. Abbott on saturday night said ” it is too early for triumphalism (crowd roars) ……. but..” it may have been his high spot.

    the distaste for the Nats being professed by Windsor and Katter (Katter more for the Coalition as a whole) is remarkable to behold and with good reason. both are near the end of their careers, so probably don’t care too much whether they stand in 2013. Revenge, however, is in their hands now.

  20. Psephos

    Lev, if you’re proved right, I will take back my current belief (based on our last conversation) that you’re a complete idiot. Maybe I’ll reclassify you as an idiot savant.

    Adam, can you even try to engage in a civil conversation? Just for once? You know, no trolling, no childish name-calling etc? You might not realise this but everytime you act like this you go down, not up, in other people’s estimations.

    After your last effort some of your friends emailed me apologising for your behaviour and making the excuse that you were going through a difficult time. You didn’t know that did you?

    It’s quite alright to disagree with someone. It is a different matter whatsoever to be a dick about it. Don’t be that guy.


    Re the Lev Lafayette theory of salvation in the postals. One of the defeated Qld MPs advises me he thinks it’s bunk.

    Maybe that’s part of the reason that they’re defeated 😉

    If conducting party-based postal ballots wasn’t worthwhile then party’s wouldn’t engage in it.

    Where there is a significant difference between the two it stands to reason that the party who made the greater effort will do better than usual. At the very least this should be worth a statistical post-mortem to see whether party-submitted postals have any effect on party vote from postals.

  21. [I have been flat out trying to think of anything other than the PPL which is in 2014.]

    Dee, even that would have to be doubtful. My bet is that Abbott won’t be able to justify such a generous/unfair (whichever way you look at it) and we will end up with a slightly more generous version of the ALP PPL scheme so he can tick the box that he met his promise.

  22. Alias, I like your compromise suggestion of “the rabid Monk” moniker.

    Voters beware:
    [Rabies is a viral disease that causes acute encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) in warm-blooded animals. It is transmitted by animals, most commonly by a bite from an infected animal but occasionally by other forms of contact. Rabies is almost invariably fatal if post-exposure prophylaxis is not administered prior to the onset of severe symptoms.]

  23. [Dee, it will be a do nothing government largely. So not much change from the current situation]

    Add to that a few cash hand-outs around election time, and that’s about the extent of it.

  24. The ALP (and some of its supporters!) seriously need to stop the Rudd bashing. I’m not one of those people that thinks the Coalition could be in govt for the next decade – they just won’t be able get away with the same kind of rubbish as if they had an outright majority. Let Rudd lie. If we’re back at another election in short time this ongoing in-fighting is what will kill Labor.

  25. [The proposition that Rudd could have won an election is just completely unsupportable.]

    No it’s not. It’s that focus group/polling driven thinking that got Labor into the trouble that they are now in.

    Kruddy’s “natural” level of polling was about 53/54% 2PP. A good campaign, and some political courage coulda got him back there.

    Polling measures “what is” not “what will be”, and people are notoriously bad predictors of their future behaviour.

  26. Exactly fiz, Labor need to put together a good electoral strategy to return to government and unite in defeating Abbott.

    Prior to the 96 election senior Labor figures got together to chart a return to government… Unfortunately it fell short. This time they start from a much easier place.

  27. The most important thing about winning over the independents is labor will build the nbn if they can scrape in and it will be virtually impossible for the libs to tear down in 3 years time when 40% of the country has it. The people working at the nbn are very competent and professional and I predict it will be a very achievement to point to as well as big stick for labor to hit the coalition with for many years to come.

    Rabbott doesn’t need anything legislation to stop the NBN straight away. So offer the independents anything they want Julia, whatever it takes!

  28. Ltep

    Based on Rudd’s form I think he’d sooner join the Libs rather than risk the ALP retaining Griffith at a by-election!

  29. In case anyone thought the Coalition weren’t trying to set up a sense of outrage in the Public’s mind, if the conservatives don’t get anointed, cop this (from my email inbox, direct from “Liberal HQ”):

    Labor’s Civil War

    It is becoming increasingly clear that Labor cannot provide the stability and certainty Australians need from their Government.

    Labor is embroiled in civil war.

    Former NSW Labor Premier Morris Iemma has declared war on Labor national secretary Karl Bitar and power broker Mark Arbib, blaming them for Labor s poor election result.

    Queensland Labor Premier Anna Bligh (who is also the new ALP National President) knows the factions are trying to get rid of her, so she has publicly sought to protect herself by attacking what she calls Labor s NSW disease .

    NSW Labor Premier Kristina Keneally publicly blames Kevin Rudd for Labor s poor performance.

    Defeated Labor candidates Maxine McKew and Alannah MacTiernan have blamed the people who knifed Rudd and the Labor Party culture.

    As Tony Abbott said:

    A government which was incompetent and unstable before an election, when it had a majority, is highly unlikely to be stable and competent after an election when it doesn’t have a majority, particularly given the civil war which has now broken out inside the Labor Party.

    Only the Coalition can offer the country a fair go for our regions. Only the Coalition is capable of offering the country a consultative and collegial political culture, because this is very much in our political DNA.

  30. Actually Dee now I think of it, the Libs have floated the idea of bringing back their access card. Given it couldn’t get support from a Coalition majority Senate committee inquiry I’m not sure it’d manage to pass both houses.

  31. My advice this evening is that Labor expects to hold Corangamite and Hasluck.

    Hasluck looks as good as gone to me

    Libs will extend their lead out to 650-700 on remaining pre-poll & postals – not going to turn that around on 5000 absent votes

    2001 & 2007 trend suggests ALP will go down by 250-300 at a minimum

  32. [The ALP (and some of its supporters!) seriously need to stop the Rudd bashing. ]

    Seems to me that the serious people in the Labor Party aren’t bashing either Rudd or Gillard at present. They are doing their dangdest to show the strengths of the party. It is only the Anna Bligh’s and Morris Iemma’s and others of their ilk who simply can’t help themselves at a time when unity is very important. Their antics in the last couple of days made me realise for the first time just why Queenslanders are so keen to get rid of Anna and why NSW had to dump Iemma, in fact!

  33. I wonder if the Independents take steps to clean up parliamentary debate, to place the focus on issues based debate rather than personal slanging matches, Australians as a whole will likewise follow suit in relation to debates on discussion boards ?

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