Some scattered thoughts on the Victorian election:
• Hats off to Peter Brent of Mumble. His pre-campaign post of October 21 was outstanding in its prescience, and his post-mortem from yesterday said it all in 278 words. I am particularly keen on the idea that the late swing to the Coalition was not so much a reaction to campaign events as something that was always going to happen when minds became focused. This happened uncommonly late in the piece due to the national politics fatigue which has inspired Possum to write off the significance of any federal polling conducted before the new year.
• This is not to say that Labor didn’t make errors, and that the attack ads on Ted Baillieu’s real estate undertakings weren’t among them. Indeed, it may even have been enough to push them over the edge. The Roy Morgan Reactor “worm” responses to various party ads are instructive: the Baillieu Knight Frank ad was easily the most poorly received. The Liberals’ positive ads also went down a lot better than Labor’s, another symptom of the inherent difficulties faced by an ageing government. I suspect the Liberals did very well out of the message that voters should avoid signing on for 15 years of Labor government, which doubtless tapped into awareness of the situation north of the border.
• The debacle for the Greens ran deeper than a simple failure to win lower seats which might be blamed on Liberal preferences. Their 10.6 per cent primary vote was 2.1 per cent lower than at the federal election, and they seem likely to lose one of their three seats in the upper house. My guess is that extravagant claims for their place in a new paradigm lost them support they would normally get from voters who are indifferent to them ideologically, but simply seeking somewhere to park a protest vote. Compounding this was the Liberals’ preference decision, which as well as being damaging in purely instrumental terms reinforced perceptions of a party with a hard ideological edge. It would also have had many questioning their competence, and there was no figure in the state party of Bob Brown’s authority to help negate the idea.
• The election provided a further blow to new paradigm talk by producing the state or federal election result since 1993 in which no independent or minor party candidates won election to the lower house. The defeat of the Assembly’s sole independent, Craig Ingram in Gippsland East, would be troubling news for Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott, with Ingram citing locals’ desire to avoid a repeat of the federal election aftermath as a reason for the fatal 14.1 per cent drop in his primary vote.
• Here’s a colour-coded map giving an idea of the swings recorded across Victoria. Labor-versus-Coalition figures in Mildura, Gippsland East and the four inner-city seats have been obtained by using preference flows from the last election. Apart from Labor’s relatively strong performance in the north and north-west of the state, nothing particularly stands out. Sophomore surges are evident in Ferntree Gully, Kilsyth, Hastings, Evelyn and especially Morwell, which Labor were surprised to lose in 2006 and are now locked out by an impressive 15 per cent margin for Nationals member Russell Northe. This is part of an ongoing story of Labor decay in the Latrobe Valley which has been evident at state and federal level over the past five years in particular. Retiring member effects explain the slight swing to Labor in Murray Valley, and perhaps also the heavy swing against them in Essendon. I wouldn’t read too much into the swing to Labor in Mildura, where comparisons are complicated by the fact that there was a sitting independent last time, which may have corrupted my preference calculation.
1,039 comments on “After the blast”
green locusts that ate Victoria 😀
deblonay (993 at 10.00pm, 4/12),
The issue is education. Labor handled that area so well that it was hardly mentioned as a negative for the government by the Coalition in its campaign and is hardly being mentioned after the election by the commentators. There are some letters to the editor that mention it as a negative, but they can’t be taken seriously, given the general ignorance that they show. Labro really did rebuild the education system –in primary school staffing, school buildings, curriculum, re-systemisation, etc. It did not do all that it should have, but what it did was so successful and obvious that a negative campaign could not work, especially one coming from the party that did the damage in the first place.
There are lessons to be learned from this.
Zoomster (996 at 9.03am, 5/12),
I’m not following you. I was not replying to your comments re public transport or planning. I almost also agree that Ted Baillieu will be unable to deliver on either. He certainly will be unable to fix all the problems, so if delivers 100 per cent on one, he will fail on another. His problem is the one that the more astute commentators have pointed out – a public that demands lower taxes, better services and lower government borrowing. It is not possible to meet all three demands. The particular problem that the Coalition has is that the members of the low-tax, anti-borrowing brigade from the IPA have more influence on it than they do on Labor. The developers are also influential and will be exerting pressure to stop local communities having any say in the shape of their suburbs. If he succumbs to the IPA agenda, services will actually get worse. I don’t think he will succumb, but the task he has set himself is impossible.
However, it would be a grave mistake to think we are going to see a government in the style of the 1990s one. We are not. We are going to see a moderate step-by-step government led by a decent man whom the public will give a fair go to. It will win some successes and it will suffer some failures. Its inability ultimately to deliver will be just that – ultimate!
Anyone who reads the Herald Sun will know the support that it will get. Ted Baillieu issued a statement supporting the observance of Christmas by schools and was greeted with 205 posts, almost enthusiastically supporting this turning away from PC, and a headline, “The man who saved Christmas” (no link). The statement was equivalent to saying that schools would be free to have drinking taps, but it got a great run nonetheless.
Sorry, Chris, you made it all mysterious at the end and obviously I wasn’t the only one not sure which issue you were referring to!!
Upper House results are turning into a absolutely cracker. The libs have 20 members it seems but it all depends on North Metro which is only 44 per cent of vote counted and at this stage it is Stephen Mayne who will get the final spot.
But who knows on Friday it was The Greens, earlier today the Sex Party and now Stephen Mayne.
Photo finishes this is a cliff hanger
Victorian Labor considering putting the Greens last at future elections
VICTORIAN Labor will consider putting the Greens last on its how-to-vote cards at future elections, as payback for the minor party’s role in the Brumby government’s shock defeat.
Senior ALP figures, furious at the Greens’ assault on the ALP’s inner-city heartland, want Labor’s election review panel to look at ways to destroy the minor party’s prospects of winning seats in the lower house.
Veteran Labor minister Bronwyn Pike, who survived a bitter fight against the Greens for her seat of Melbourne, has told The Age it is time for the ALP to look at following the Liberals’ lead and put the Greens last.
”That will have to be a discussion, because they (the Greens) are no friends of ours,” she said.
Mumble on the late swing that occured in the Vic campaign
What happened in Victoria on 27 November was that an eleven year old government expired of old age. It happens to the best and worst of them.
John Howard’s Coalition government was voted out in 2007 after eleven and a half years – by a much larger margin.
During the Howard years state/Territory Labor premiers/chief ministers racked up massive majorities. In each state you could find stories about how only this fantastic premier could have done it – and also how truly hopeless the opposition was. But there were larger forces at work.
I don’t believe many voters consciously choose to balance state and federal governments, but there is a relationship. The Howard government boosted those state Labor parties and they (to a lesser extent) returned the favour.
Now there’s a correction of sorts.
The ‘lateness’ in opinion polling is perhaps more interesting. You could describe it as undecideds opting for change or softly committed voters changing their minds. Either way there was an inevitability about most of it that was independent of the campaign.
Re Bronwyn Pyke’s comment.
Oh, so the shoooters are, the nats are, the libs are. Just a point here, not one Green candidate won a seat on ALP preferences, whereas how many ALp members won on Greens preferences.
Oh and how many ALP won on anyone else’s preferences.
The Majors are now parroting Murdochs’ get the Greens’ at all costs line.
Re election result,.
I have been widely ridiculed here for promoting the, “Whoever wins nationally get tossed out at the State level” Thanks you can all apologies Now.
The logical extension of this is to ask why, 1) Voters don’t trust either party, Yes. 2) the major parties are so close they toss them our with impunity, Yes. 3) State governments are treated like a joke. Yes. 4) the Media re so committed to destroying any political credibility there is a growing problem of complete political cynisism, .Yes.
Barking @ 1007 is right on the money.
No worries, Zoomster (1003 at 6.06pm, 5/12),
I thought a bit of mystery would provoke discussion.
Today’s news has teachers demanding a 30 per cent pay increase because Ted Baillieu promised to make Victorian teachers the best paid in the nation. Teachers demand a 30 per cent pay increase in every EBA and then settle for 3 per cent a year with a sweetener thrown in. Of course, the Liberals will keep their promise, but the price they demand will be huge. Teachers may pay it: they agreed to a worsening of conditions in their 2004 EBA and have not bothered to implement the improvement available under their 2008 EBA, so why not make it three in a row?
I have been severe in my criticisms of the AEU in the past, but then I’m a casual teacher: they use us to illustrate why conditions must be improved and to generate media discussion and then totally ignore us when the details are worked out.
Mary Blewett did a big song and dance about how difficult schools in Wodonga found it to get casuals because of the pay difference between NSW and Vic during the last EBA negotiations — and nothing’s changed.
Oh thanks, all you Greens who put Labor below the Libs!!!
I note they’re talking about putting cattle into areas they weren’t in prior to the repeal.
I expect nothing to change under the Coalition, which is, after all, in favour of “flexibility” and brought in the reliance on short-term contract employees. I did not see any deterioration in the conditions of casual employees in my school when Labor returned to government, but I was the daily organiser in 2000 and 2001, so I refused to use employment agencies and would not give CRTs six-on plus home group plus duty, practices continued after my removal from office. The union as a whole no longer has the militancy of the past. There is no way teachers will do better under the Coalition than they did under Labor. I am very pessimistic about education over the next eight years. What Labor did not get around to fixing will remain unfixed and some of what it did fix will now be destroyed, though not with the dramatic flourishes that accompanied the Coalition’s last period of benighted rule.
[Oh thanks, all you Greens who put Labor below the Libs!!!
I note they’re talking about putting cattle into areas they weren’t in prior to the repeal.]
Perhaps you might want to reflect instead on the 80% plus of Greens voters who gave their prefs to Labor, Zoomster, and very nearly got Labor over the line, despite the major decline in the Labor first pref vote. Anyone have any idea whether Labor voters by and large reciprocated by giving 80% of their prefs to The Greens?
[Oh thanks, all you Greens who put Labor below the Libs!!! ]
There will be an awful lot more of them if Labor puts the Greens last. 😉
It wasn’t the Greens that killed Labor it was a just a few of the failed policies in transport such as Myki, a complete waste of money, and the pipeline that killed them and arrogance in regards to not listening to people.
Most of everything else they did was great for the State- nurses, hospital funding, police, teachers and on regional rail but failed to adequately explain the positives in the campaign.
[ Anyone have any idea whether Labor voters by and large reciprocated by giving 80% of their prefs to The Greens? ]
Nobody will know, because (a) the VEC ain’t all that exhaustive at counting, and (b) in the three seats where Labor missed the top two (Mildura, Shepparton and Gippsland East), they were still ahead of the Greens. It’s possible that someday Prahran and Albert Park will become Lib/Green marginals, but no others. That’s 2 out of 88 seats that Labor would vengefully give to the Liberals rather than the Greens if it goes that badly for them they come third, compared with the loss of probably a fair few preferences from the Greens that would ensure it actually does go that badly everywhere. It’s a particularly knuckleheaded strategy.
I can’t even believe anybody thinks the Greens are going to win Hawthorn or Kew anytime soon. If there’s a left-right margin in a seat, if one of the left-wing (or right-wing) parties swaps for another in second place, it won’t change the result. The Greens will not “ride ALP preferences to victory” in Hawthorn any more than Labor rode Green preferences to victory there this time around. A similar (only reverse) result is in Bendigo West, where the Libs have given way for the Nats – the margin is only altered by a few %. There’s two seats in NSW from the 2007 election (North Shore and Vaucluse) with a Lib/Green margin, due to Labor coming third. As Antony Green pithily puts it:
[ At the 2011 election, there is a high probability that the Greens will be flogged into a distant second place in Vaucluse instead of Labor. ]
If the Liberals decided to put Labor ahead of the Nationals in country seats where they come third, wouldn’t you be laughing? It’s the same thing in this case… just once again, in reverse.
Labors shadow cabinet
SENIOR Brumby government ministers Justin Madden and John Lenders are the biggest losers in Labor leader Daniel Andrews’s shadow cabinet.
The opposition’s new frontbench line-up will strip Mr Madden of his planning portfolio, which will go to up-and-comer Brian Tee, and Mr Lenders has lost treasury to the ambitious Tim Holding.
The big winners in the Andrews shadow cabinet are newcomer Fiona Richardson, who has been given public transport, and veteran minister Gavin Jennings, who moves from the environment portfolio to health.
Advertisement: Story continues below In a pitch to the suburban voters who cost former premier John Brumby power, Mr Andrews has announced three new shadow ministries: the suburbs and the cost of living (both going to Lily D’Ambrosio), and sustainable growth (Mr Tee).
David Davis spinning like a top. So much for Baillieu’s promise of “accountability and transparency”
Health Minister David Davis was the first minister to face the media after the lengthy cabinet meeting.
Within seven minutes, he got tripped up by a recent promise of Mr Baillieu’s. Here’s how it went down.
Question: ”Are you happy to release the Treasury costings of your health policies?”
Davis: ”We’ll live with the same arrangements John Brumby lived with and his predecessors in 1999, 2002 and 2006.”
Question: ”But Ted Baillieu promised transparency?”
Davis: ”We will live in the same arrangements that John Brumby put in place.”
Question: ”Do you think repeating the same line over and over again to different questions is spin?”
Davis: ”What I’d say is that I’m very determined to deliver for Victorians in the services area, in health.”
All that less than a week after Mr Baillieu promised that ”accountability and transparency” would be the principles that underpinned his government.
Anyone still keeping an eye on the upper house count?
Looking increasingly as if the Coalition will have control of the upper house I’m afraid, unless The Greens can pick up substantially in the late count and put Labor in front of the Libs in Northern Metropolitan.
I spoke to Labor scrutineers last night and they were quietly confident that we would win the last spot. Appears about 42% counted and the next big tranche was for Broadmeadows and Thomastown.
Antony Green says there have been a few twists since the last link too.
Certainly sounds like a real bugger to call at present.
That didn’t take long, did it?
“TED Baillieu has been accused of reneging on a key election promise after appearing to back away from a commitment to make Victorian teachers the best paid in Australia”.
Broken promises and backtracking on their plegde for accountability and transparency. How long have the Libs been in office? This must be some kind of record
Thanks for your stuff on education. I believe Ted and co will get a good run (as most changeover govts get) – and I think that it is highly likely that the Coalition will win with an increased majority in 2014. Though I will then ask close relative who has now voted for winning side in Vic elections – 82, 85, 88, 92, 96, 99, 02, 06, 10 = 9 straight!
Health and Education are “eternal” problems for all state govts, so I see the issues on which the Coalition will try and make headway as being Transport and Urban Planning. It will be interesting to see their priorities on these, and how public opinion on these issues plays out.
Liberals set to control the Upper House. No cigar for Stephen Mayne
THE Baillieu government appears set to control both houses of Parliament, after a late surge in voting for the Greens knocked maverick independent Stephen Mayne out of the race in the Northern Metro region.
With almost all votes counted, the Liberals appear set to squeeze home in all three of the close races for the new Legislative Council. This would give the Coalition a bare majority of 21 seats in the 40-member chamber – a gain of four seats from the 17 it held in the old Council.
Labor looks set to end up with just 16 seats, down from 19 in the old chamber.
The Greens have retained their three seats in the Council but lost the balance of power. And the Democratic Labor Party (DLP) has lost its one seat, that of its leader, Peter Kavanagh
Late counting has favoured Greens – is that the bushwalking vote?
Cant find the, but great piece by Tim Colebatch in the age showing:
-20 of ALPs 43 seats came home on GRN prefs
– GRN vote expanding to next rig of seats out from inner city (ALbert Pk, Williamstown, Footscray, Essendon)
– Once again, GRN HTVs mean almost nothing: ALP got 75% wher GRN ran prefs to them, 76% in the few open tickets
– 33% of LNP voters ignored LNP HTVs and voted GRN, which now gives the GRNs some guidance on where they need to be on primaries.
ALSO! Looks like Colleen Hartland is going to get up in West Metro, restoring GRNs to 3 in Leg Council. And the final swing to GRN was modest, but twice that earlier reported: +1.2%.
Posted Saturday, December 4, 2010 at 6:30 am | Permalink
‘Balleau’s decsive decision saying Greens is last and so correctly reinforsed thpose voter perseptions casting Greens with a hard ideological edge ‘
“This sort of stuff is simply silly,”
‘reinforsed thpose voter perseptions casting Greens with a hard ideological edge ‘
is not just my opinion when Balleau put greens last but also William’s seeing they is his words , so you is one silly
furthermore it was so decisive that senior Labor people incl bill Shorten said so and said that pushed up th Libs vote , so again you is silly
(trying to pretend your Greens Party has an obvous toxic vote effect on swing voters)
I agree that Ted Baillieu and the Coalition are well placed to gain seats in 2014, but in the long run they face the same impossible balancing act – demands for lower taxes, better services and low government debt, with the added problem that the Coalition is more susceptible to the IPA philosophy on the low tax side and thus less likely to be able to meet the demand for services.
In addition, the Coalition will reap the benefit of Labor’s good work in education as students educated after Labor rebuilt the primary system enter secondary school and gain improved PISA results in 2012.
Infuriated by the dumb commentary on education, I have submitted a few, as usual unpublished, letters to the editor on the topic of Australia’s and Victoria’s performance in PISA, which I post here for the information of the world:
I have posted more on Maralyn Parker’s education blog – at The nation’s report card is G, for Going backwards.
The system renumbered my points in the second letter and turned the number eight into a smiling face. More cyberspace imperialism!
Yes, I have had endless arguments with “the market rules” IPA-types over the years, somewhat along these lines:
IPA type – “We need to pay the heads of companies massive amounts because it’s a free market and their skills are in demand. And look at the fantastic job they have done with their company for the shareholders.”
**second part of argument goes a bit quiet in GFC and other market downturns!
RR – “So what about teachers and nurses”
IPA type – “Yes, we need more teachers and nurses, we need to train more, and we especially need more male teachers, in particular primary teachers because many boys go through primary school never seeing a male teacher!”
RR – “We already have enough people trained in nursing, but they don’t all want to work with the current conditions available. And as for teachers, it’s a free market the same way as for company bosses, maybe we just need to pay teachers a lot more, so that we can attract people to teaching, and thus increase the number of male primary teachers”
IPA-type – “No, we need to encourage people into teaching and nursing indirectly through federal HECS relief and such. And if necessary import more from the UK and USA. The state budget cannot afford to pay nurses and teachers much more, or else they won’t be able to employ so many and patient/nurse and student/teacher ratios will inevitably rise! We also need to encourage professionals, especially men, seeking a change of life to consider a second career in teaching.
RR – “So how many defeated Liberal MP’s from 2007 took your advice?”
IPA-type – “To go from politics into teaching, you’re kidding aren’t you!”
It’s hard convincing IPA types, though not that hard to present a logical argument against them. One of my regular tasks is submitting letters to the editor (usually of The Australian) disputing the latest IPA nonsense.
I did an analysis of one IPA “There’s too much tax and there are too many public sector employees and we’ll all be ruined” papers and provided a few relevant comments here, which you may find useful.
Thanks for those – they are “locked and loaded” for the future!
With some background in maths and statistics I am always amused by distortion of data in supposedly “serious” pieces. And yes, chooisng your starting point is one of the classics – “These shares increased by a zillion per cent between November 1987 and November 2007” and the like.
And using “absolute” numbers when it suits, percentages when it suits, leaving population growth/GDP in or out depending on whether it helps or hinders your argumentetc.
Journalists should study statistics.
Here is another of my unpublished – perhaps because I inserted an “r” in the author’s name – letters to the editor of The Australian disputing yet another of its ideoillogical articles on education:
Good to see you got a letter published today in The Age. I used to send lots of letters and get published occasionally – the funny part was once looking at the letters page and missing one of mine which was highlighted “front and centre”.
Now I tend to email the journalists directly about their articles and usually get reasonable replies.
Regarding the States – I think we went through the “agnostic man” Labor Premiers in the 80s (someone coined that term for Cain and Bannon and Goss I think) – then various Labor governments got tripped up in financial disasters, and we got the “slash and burn” Governments of Kennett etc. They all lasted about two terms and we were then back to “agnostic men” Bracks/Brumby – Rann etc who were a bit wiser after the events of their predecessors. Now I think the next wave of conservative governments will be a bit wiser from their side after the “slash and burn” lessons.
Regarding “public servants” (of which I have been one effectively at some stages) – it’s funny how conservatives love to use the phrase perjoratively, like they are referring to lots of “fat cats” living the high life on the public purse. Then when they are asked how many teachers, nurses and police they are going to sack it all goes quiet!
With regard to the various State Bank and WA inc disasters, an English person once told me this simplistic (but funny) version of UK scandals
[Conservative politicians always get done in by sex scandals – they’ve always had money so that’s not any big attraction, but illicit sex of some sort is what they’ve missed out on.
Labour politicians on the other hand have sex up to here, but what gets them undone is money – from generally less well-off backgrounds, the lure of the pounds does them in]
Which makes me wonder – what will get the Lib-Dems – presumably better off financially than Labour pollies, and from a more “free-love” background than the Tories! 🙂
The whole pollyshit is extremely tiring.
Not however as tiring as being driven to one’s death. Or if one happened to survive.
Maybe watching your child, wife, brother, sister die. Then perhaps yourself, surviving as perhaps a father, mother, widow, orphan.
Or the next scenario. Detained in the wire. Grieving, lost, all is lost.
On the very cusp of a new chance, how shocking, how hopeless!
I’ve written three times to Justine Ferrari about the inaccurate information that she repeats in The Australian, specifically re her claims:
That “The two subjects [history and geography] have been taught as part of an integrated social studies course in all states except NSW since the 1970s” (“Visual curriculum omits drawing”, 8/10/2010).
that “For years, the arts have been taught as an optional extra in schools…”, “Lessons in aesthetic appreciation proposed for all schoolchildren”, 19/10/2010).
That “NSW is the only state that has taught geography as a stand-alone subject in high school over the past 20 or 30 years” (“Geography syllabus is under heavy fire”, 16/11/2010).
In all cases, I supplied copies of timetables, handbooks, curriculum documents, etc. have never had a reply.
It seems the Lib Dems are being done in by broken promises.
There have been a few more articles in The Australian either discussing the Victorian election result or pointing to the route The Australian wants the new government to follow. I have submitted letters to the editor and comments for blogs. Below are those unpublished:
The following blog post was not published, even though I submitted it twice:
The following blog comment was not published either, but as of my last check, none had been.
I did have a letter published in The Age along the same lines as the one I sent to The Australian on Labor’s constitutional reform, the second under the heading, Vote threshold makes more sense. John Cain had the first letter, which was arguing that we should make the Legislative Council voting system more undemocratic. However, he also said:
‘The remedy is a requirement that a candidate or group must poll a minimum of the primary vote (say 5 or 6 per cent) to remain in the count. While the new government does not have the statutory majority in either house to pass such constitutional change, it could reasonably expect opposition support.”
I would be appalled if the Opposition supported such an attack on the rights of voters. However, that is not why I raise the point. I wonder if anyone can enlighten me regarding the “statutory majority” aspect as the details of the voting system are not part of the Constitution and my understanding is that no statutory majority is required to amend the Electoral Act. The Constitution entrenches the eight five-member regions for the Legislative Council, but I have found no reference to the voting system in it, much less entrenchment thereof, though I was told years ago that PR had been entrenched. It seems to follow logically that multi-member regions must lead to PR, but what follows logically may not follow partisan advantage.