Some day this war’s gonna end

In the meantime:

• The Australian reports the dunce of the Senate, Steve Fielding, is contemplating adding constitutional vandal to the extensive list of black marks against his name. Fielding polled all of 2.7 per cent of the vote in Victoria on Saturday, yet remains a serious prospect to retain his Senate seat thanks to a disastrous electoral system that Labor has been determined not to reform.

• Today’s Sydney Morning Herald editorial offers some fascinating speculation about Tony Abbott’s tactics in the past few days. The paper’s national editor, Mark Davis, detects a high-stakes game with the objective of final victory at a fresh election. It is evident he will be backed to the hilt in this endeavour by The Australian, which has jacked up the hysteria today by (among other things) running a lead news story that describes former Office of National Assessments intelligence analyst Andrew Wilkie as a “radical”.

• On Wednesday, the News Limited tabloids published a Galaxy poll of 600 voters in the rural independents’ electorates of Kennedy, New England and Lyne, which predictably showed a 52 per cent supporting a Coalition government against 36 per cent for Labor. Respondents were evenly split as to whether they wanted a fresh election. Some national polling at the moment would be uncommonly interesting.

• There has been talk of a legal challenge, or at least the possibility of one, against the election of Coalition candidates Russell Matheson in Macarthur and Natasha Griggs in Solomon, on the basis that their position as councillors runs foul of the archaic constitutional requirement that candidates not enjoy “office for profit under the Crown”. Constitutional expert George Williams has been quoted saying such a challenge would have a “one-in-four chance of winning”. Labor successfully engineered a re-match in Lindsay in similar circumstances after the 1996 election, only to have the voters respond to their sore-loser act by delivering a further 5 per cent swing to the successful Liberal candidate, Jackie Kelly.

UPDATE: Here is a link to the Brisbane late counting thread, which has dropped off the front page. I’ll come up with a more enduring solution to this issue later today.

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.

1,037 comments on “Some day this war’s gonna end”

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  1. OC- My OH and I worked our butt off for Watters and it was a shame Vaille was still there. A few years later Watters literallysaved my OH’s life – a good bloke.

  2. SPECTATOR – I’ve been making the same point. These indies have been craving this movement all their lives (as they should). Why give up now? And why tie your fate to a lunatic like Tony Abbott who will treat you like crap, then stab you in the bag and trash your legacy. I think they’re a lot smarter than that.

  3. This story on Boothby makes me think there is nothing in it:
    [Chris Drury from the A-E-C says there is no suggestion that anyone tampered with the ballot papers.

    He says the matter is an irregularity.

    “It’s a bit of a novel situation and we don’t think it’s happened before so we thought it was appropriate to seek legal advice about that,” he said.

    “The latest results for Boothby over all on a two-party-preferred basis, there’s a lead by the Liberal Party of 1,456.”]
    If there was no tampering, and no aspect that woudl change the result, then it will only make labor look bad if they pursue it. If there was tampering, that is different.

  4. [the libs theme is to go back to the Polls.]

    Presumably ‘cos they know they can fool the electorate much more easily than they can fool the indies.

  5. [If there was no tampering, and no aspect that woudl change the result, then it will only make labor look bad if they pursue it.]

    True.. that’s why I’m hoping someone here can give a definitive account of what happened.

  6. All Abbott’s bully-boy BS is coming back to haunt him now:

    Sorry Wilko!
    No hard feelings Windso!
    Katmeister! I love teh bush etc!, isnt it fantastic

  7. ANDREW – When treasury shows that the libs costins are all crap, Tone is just going to have the biggest dummie spit of all times and explain this was precisely why the libs couldn’t trust treasury. He’ll demand that Wayne Swan be arrested and charged with something. Jab and move; Jab and move. That’s all Tony does.

  8. How is Barnaby Joyce going to work with the Independents if he’s already bagged them publicly. Abbott probably will have more instability than Labor.

    Labor has probably had a big fright in changing to Julia so they won’t want to go through all of that again in a hurry if they stay in Govt.

  9. The minority govt under coalition.

    WA Nat
    Indies/Katter, Oakshott, Windsor, Wilkie
    Add Barnaby Joyce love of Katter in the mix.
    How is Abbott going to get them all in the same tent?

  10. Oakeshott today: “I’m more conservative in my economics than not, and naturally leaning to the Liberal Party normally…” Today in the media

  11. Victoria, now that would be a boxing tent for the pugilist wouldn’t.

    The Boganville Bugle (The Advertiser) has a fairly lengthy story on Boothby

  12. cud chewer @929
    [D@W @915, can you break that down for me how that works, in simple terms.. maybe a simple concrete example?]

    You would be best to email me or you can read my submission to the JSEM Google [Wright System Proportional Representation]

  13. Abbott and the Libs scare about a Labor-Green alliance misses the point that the primary vote for these two parties is over 700,000 more than all permutations of the L-NP. 😛

  14. Abbott saying that because Crook doesn’t support the mining tax, he should be included as one of the Coalition sounds like a TTH excuse …

    The reality is that he was on the ballot paper for the Coalition but he has made it expressly clear that he will sit on the cross benches.

    I think it’s very interesting that people are comparing him to Adam Bandt because I don’t agree. The major reason Crook won’t support the ALP in this situation is due to the the mining tax. Besides that, he’s pretty much independent and could make the Coalition very unstable on many other issues such as the NBN, investing in local infrastructure etc. Bandt on the over hand will be much more cooperative with the ALP as (from what’s been reported) he’s never been apart of the party and he has an interest in providing stable, progressive government.

  15. SHOWSON – Totally agree – but sssshhhh, we’re not allowed to praise Rudd around here.

    Surely, though, he’s going to be Foreign Minister? Otherwise its by-by-by-election time in Griffiths.

  16. [Makes Grylls success all the more amazing & frankly his mental abilities as determined by your good self would still put him ahead of most of the Barnett cabinet.]

    He wasn’t particularly thick, just desperately immature. That was before he gained the leadership though.

  17. [Abbott and the Libs scare about a Labor-Green alliance misses the point that the primary vote for these two parties is over 700,000 more than all permutations of the L-NP]

    thats what so SCARY about it! 😉

  18. [And why tie your fate to a lunatic like Tony Abbott who will treat you like crap, then stab you in the bag and trash your legacy.]

    Yes, definitely unwise to throw in your lot with anyone likely to stab you in the bag.

  19. It sounds melodramatic but I think it is now a case of the underground or resistance to the forces of conservatism. If JG forms a Govt then they should stop all advertising in the msm and do it on-line instead. Hit the b—ards where it hurts. I don’t know how it could be done but get as many people as possible( PBers and friends) to boycott any goods or services that are advertised in Murdoch papers from for example pages 1 to 6. The msm strength is in advertising. Let’s attack that strength. Isn’t there an “art of war” theory like this?

  20. Tony’s opening words after Treasury roasts his costings:

    “I just feel terribly let down – terribly. We knew that Treasury was worse than the Cosa Nostra and the Hells Angels put together. But we decided to trust them, to help this process work. We put our fate in their hands, and they let us down again. God, you’ve got no idea how let down I feel right now. I’ll pray for them, but I doubt God is in a forgiving mood.”

    When you think about it, he’s spent the last few days laying the groundwork for that speech.

  21. victoria @ 958 How is he going to keep himself in the tent? He is hardly Mr Discipline.
    To use the Crikey Clear Comment Preview script, install in order:

  22. Main point I’m trying to make about Bandt and Crook: Bandt is from outside the ALP trying to stabilize the situation for progressive purposes, Crook is from within the Coalition trying to destabilize the situation for political and electoral purposes.

  23. The minority govt under coalition.
    Victoria @ 958

    You ask the question

    WA Nat
    Indies/Katter, Oakshott, Windsor, Wilkie
    Add Barnaby Joyce love of Katter in the mix.
    How is Abbott going to get them all in the same tent?

    At least with Abbott, the WA Nat, Katter, Windsor and Oakeshott could conceivably be in the same sleeping bag. The 4 above would be stranger tent sharers with Gillard.

    Adam Bandt would be the only one definitely in her sleeping bag.

  24. [hughb @932 lol – that must have been quite an experience!]

    It was interesting, I must say. The whole experience gave me an insight into the young rural male mind that I’m really not sure I wanted.

  25. We have seen letters from the Indies to Julia, Julia to Indies, Julia to PMO, PMO to Julia, Julia to Tone.

    From Tone?

    Anyone see a trend?

  26. Hilarious to see Abbott call his backflip a victory for him!! I wonder why he relented? Was he told it was game over if he didnt?? Otherwise why take the risk?

    One theory circulating at the moment is that Abbott doesn’t want to win. I believe this, but do his masters want to risk a minority Labor government actually working? There’s always the chance that Coalition/MSM attempts to destabilise the Labor government won’t work, especially when the new look senate takes effect next July. If the general public see results, why wouldn’t they vote Labor again next time, possibly giving them a clear majority?

    What this means is that, although Abbott was an asset for the Coalition pre-election, he has fast become a liability post-election. His dithering, his tendency to revert to pre-election attack-dog campaigning, and a reluctance to cooperate with the Indies is not the sign of someone who is prepared to truly own the prime ministership. Sure, he wants to win. It’s like a boxing match. It’s just that he doesn’t want the responsibility that comes with the prize.

    Abbott’s conflict between claiming the prize now or fighting for another day also seems to be confusing the little minds over at News Ltd. One minute they are arguing that the Indies should award government to the Coalition, the next they want a whole new election and to this end already appear to be drawing the battle lines between themselves and Labor/Greens/Indies. They have no idea what Abbott is trying to do.

    Anyway, bottomline: Abbot is now revealing himself as unfit to be P.M., no matter how much News Ltd betray this country trying to make him appear otherwise. The cracks we all knew were there now appear as gaping holes… and they’re getting harder for the MSM to cover up.

  27. The simple answer to News and the Tories is that:
    If the parties were fairly and proportionately represented in the House, according to their degree of support in the community, then Labor and the Greens would easily have the numbers between them.

  28. Rosa @ 969

    You raise a good point that if Gillard does not form government there may not be much for Rudd to stick around for … on the other hand, he may want the chair down the front again….

  29. [959

    The Independents should demand that Rudd be made Deputy Prime Minister. He would be better at the job than Swan.]

    Rudd should be offered on the end-of-season draft. One Rudd + one diplomatic posting in exchange for a by-election in Boothby and one WA Nat…..sounds like a good deal to me….

  30. Yet again, editorial changes to the text of ABC Online content.

    Earlier, Tony Abbott’s changed position on costings was being described as a ‘backdown’.

    Now it’s just a ‘change of heart’.

  31. Tony Abbott’s plan to save $3.8 billion by hacking 12,000 jobs out of the federal public service could “devastate” The Australian newspaper, according to a well placed Canberra insider. Crikey article today pointing out TA’s culling of PS impact on the oo. I’d like to see that!

  32. I am wondering why the Murdoch hacks have gone the “new election” line so quickly.

    They are really Leftie ALP supporters posing as RW attack dogs would be a logical answer; but “logic” with Murdoch’s Mob?

    The alternative is they have zero political nous. All it took was for Katter to state the obvious

    ”Every person in Australia at the present moment believes he’s got something to hide.

    then the ABC, other TV commentators & Fairfax to reiterate & elaborate it, and today we have Tone’s amazing triple back-flip – pity about his pool entry – for them to be screaming 10, 10 [repeater] Victory!.

    Maybe that’s why Rupe wants to paywall them. More credibility if only rusted on Libs read it.

  33. I do hope the Indies chose Labor, and while I DON’T agree it is simple, there are many good reasons for the Indies to chose Labor, in their own self interest. Abbott as PM will just srule till his Senate numbers run out, then seek a DD or new election. Either way the life expetancy of the independents under Abbott woudl be under 12 months.

    That being said, I think we have to face facts: at 72:73, it looks like Labor has lost the election and, even with Bandt and Wilkie, cannot prevent a coalition government if the Indies choose the Liberals. That is failure, and yes, it was a terrible campaign.

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