Philosophical Conversations Public Opinion Junk for code
parliament house.gif
Think Tanks
Oz Blogs
Economic Blogs
Foreign Policy Blogs
International Blogs
Media Blogs
South Australian Weblogs
Economic Resources
Environment Links
Political Resources
South Australian Links
"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

and so it goes « Previous | |Next »
November 24, 2007

So it is either an ALP landslide, or too close to call, or the Liberals sneak home by 1 or 2 seats. Does anyone actually know? Both Michael Kroger and John Howard are relying on an injected confidence for their precious but elusive 11th-hour momentum--the narrowing! Kroger can even feel the narrowing sweeping across the country! Talk about glimmers of hope. It's just a public face.

The people I asked at the Adelaide Central Market around 7.30 am this morning all said they found the election campaign to be long, uninspiring and boring. Nobody I spoke to had bet their house on Labor. The Liberals must know that they have gone. Nothing they have done during the last year has shifted the polls towards them:

Bill Leak

I voted ALP in the House of Representatives and Nick Xenophon in the Senate. It was an easygoing and relaxed mood outside the booth in the Adelaide electorate, which will be easily retained by the ALP There was little conversation though. Minds had been made up. People were happy

And how many bloggers are there blogging live from the Talley room tonight? None? Some? It looks to be the structured the same as every other election night, with the commentary dominated by the politicians on the phones do their party political spiel as the results dribble in for or against them. When it is going to be broadened out?

The polls, we should remember, were consistently against the the Liberal Party all year. They did not change.That is what is significant. It will depend on the swing in NSW and Queensland.

Howard's last stand.jpg
Geoff Pyror

I'm going to blog live from the wireless apartment in Adelaide whilst watching the ABC. Suzanne is going to a Stoppard play---The Real Thing-- put on by the State Theatre Company and I will be on my own. The election is the real thing.

Update: 7.30 pm
There's a swing on but it is small at this stage and so line ball. The ALP is on track. The swing is around 5.1% --5.5.4%. The seats gained are around 12-14 and the Coalition is behind in other seats. 5 terms is too much. Time for a change.

Two seats in Tasmania--- Bass and Braddon ---are gone, as expected.So what will happen to the Green vote in the Senate? Will Tasmanians decide to go for two Green senators and so male up for the possible loss in NSW?

There is small swing in Victoria:--5.1% ---two seats will be won by the ALP: Deakin and Corangamite. But La Trobe and McEwan are lagging. Mcmillanstays with Liberals. So there will be minimal change in Victoria as expected.

Geoff Pryor

Will Howard hang on. Was Kroger just spinning the line? Hoping for the great escape? Three seats have gone in SA--Kingston and Makin and Wakefield. Sturt is looking sticky, though not Boothby So SA sticks with seats to the ALP as expected.

It is unclear in NSW. There is movement. Eden Monaro is going ALP, as is Lindsay It looks as if Bennelong is looking sticky and may depend on postals Wentworth looks to be held by Turnbull. However, Parramatta, and Page and Robertson are going to the ALP. It's the northern coastal seats that are shifting to the ALP.

It all depends on Queensland. That state looks as if it is going to decide the outcome. Bonner and Dobell It looks as if Dawson has really gone.

The seats are shifting. Moreton is turning to ALP, as is Longman and Page and Leichardt and Blair. Even Petrie The list goes on. Some of the swings look to be huge--around 14%. What is going on? Seachange? Gillard is now upbeat and she is a political pessimist. What does the ALP stand for? Reform? Consensus?

Update: 8.30pm
So it is looking good for the ALP. It's twelve seats gained going to Queensland. It's a 53 % to 48% swing and growing. Anthony Green's prediction is a majority of 22 for the ALP. So Queensland is delivering in spades. Around 10-12 seats at this stage. The gains are needed to hold off the expected losses for the ALP in Swan, Stirling and Cowan but may have gained Hasluck. There is a swing to the Liberals in WA but it wont have much impact given the swing in NSW and Queensland.

The losses are happening in WA. The ALP can win without WA, and win easily. This is a big victory.

The Greens aren't doing all that well apart from Victoria despite Bob Brown's upbeat account of the ALP being elected on Green preferences. Yet the Rudd ALP is opposed to the stopping the pulp mil or conserving the old growth native forests. The Green spin is shard to take.

It's at least 10 seats, possibly 16 seats the ALP has gained in Queensland. But the ABC tally room is a bloody disaster. It should be dumped. What purpose does all the cheering serve? Where are the bloggers? Where is the analysis about which parts of the electorate have shifted?

Update: 10 pm
So the ALP has won. And won well. The Liberals are really done for. Burnt toast. It's a 22 plus seats majority. Champagne time! Howard is about to concede. Nick Minchin is talking about the heritage of Howard and he has finally conceded that it was Workchoices that did them over.

Geoff Pyror

Minchin says that we ought to pay tribute to Howard and his political career. I concur. He deserves our respect, even though I've deeply disagreed with his policies both foreign and domestic. What do the Liberals stand for now? They have no sense of the future>

So what's happened to the Senate? Minor changes? Liberals retain control until June 2008? They will block for sure. Will there be a swing to the Liberals in the Senate?

Howard is about to concede at the Wentworth Hotel. The scene there must be akin to a political wake. Jeanette is not happy. Howard has been repudiated, big time. But she must have known the Liberals would lose. How long before Howard resigns from the leadership of the Liberal Party? Will Costello take the poisoned chalice? Howard 's speech is a signing off on his political career. It's a bitter sweet moment -he's accepted that he has probably lost his seat in Bennelong (there's a 5.2% swing to Maxine McKew) along with losing Government.

Alan Moir

The Liberals--Nick Minchin-- are talking about being responsible in opposition. Oh yeah? They won't like this defeat. They will be bitter at being an oppositional rump. Do they have a vision of the future? Is Costello the main to break with the past and deliver a view of Australia in the 21st century?

Update: 11 pm
It's all over. The Liberals are history. The Nationals have lost 3 seats. It's one of the great Labor victories. Suzanne has returned from the play. The champagne is opened and it sure tastes great. A long black cloud has moved away. The conservative ascendancy has gone. It's a new political order that has come into being. I wonder what that means for Adelaide's future in the warmed up world of climate change?

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 12:46 PM | | Comments (37)


There are enough live bloggers to keep the fans happy.

I hope Nan's holding up ok.

I haven't seen any blogging from the tally room posts around.

Whats everybody having for dinner tonight? Election Cuisine!
I've gone a bit Aussie and made a pie to have with some fresh peas and homemade chips with a good dollop of dead horse (sauce). It will be washed done with a few VB's and a good red later.

Have a good night everybody :)

Abt 5.30 Saturday. smh exit poll suggest labor scoring 5-6% swing and Bennelong ripe for Maxine McKew.

Mal Brough is gone. That's real good news. It's a change of government. Brough has conceded on both accounts--his seat and the government. Then he defended his reforms.

Yeaah! The change we all longed and hoped for has happened. It's around 24 seats majority--even more. A lot of Liberal Ministers aren't going to hang around in opposition.

now something will be done on climate change. At long last! Howard had to go. He blocked decisive action on climate change. We need it.

"For Lease" Coming to a store near you.

pity about the ACT Senate result. No Greens. They will not hold the balance of power in the Senate

"He deserves our respect, even though I've deeply disagree with his policies."

I wonder what there is to respect in Howards political career? His leading role in the great Murdochracy perhaps?

how about gun control? Howard took on his own conservative constituency to deliver on that issue. The Murray-Darling Basin Initiative was a big step forward. And the East Timor intervention under the UN?

We do need to assess Howard's legacy---just as we did with Hawke and Keating. How did he change Australia under his conservative ascendancy apart from the economic growth?

The Liberals have been decimated. John Howard led them to a humiliating defeat.The only exception to the anti-Coalition swing appears to be in the electorate of Wentworth, held by Malcolm Turnbull. He is one of the few Liberal incumbents to weather the Labor landslide unscathed.

The Liberals are going to be a rump with little money or staff for the next six years. No one will want to know them. Where does the rebuilding begin? In NSW?

When will the blame game start? Who will be the next opposition leader? Will it be Peter Costello? He has so much historical baggage. Team Smirk?

it looks as if the Greens did not do well re the Senate. So much for Brown's gret result. They will not be the balance of power. That's what they aimed for, and they fell short. NSW did not deliver.

The Coalition does not have an absolute majority---but they can block legislation if they form an alliance with Family First's Steve Fielding. I'm sure they will.

I am not surprised about the senate.
I am not really sure of Turnbulls popularity outside of his own seat. Though in one poll on the TV Friday night showed him much more popular than Garrett.

I have always thought that Costello would make a formidable opposition leader in the house and perhaps out of it.

Is it too soon to blame the government for no fish this morning and my head ache?

The most undesirable position in politics is the Opposition leadership. It's the poison that accompanies the position that guarantees the bitterness and treacherey. Why would Costello take it? What's in it for him? The Liberal Party has spurned him again and again.

The ALP is saying that they've gained a net 23 seats. It could more. Robertson in NSW, Bowman, Dickson and Herbert in Queensland, Swan in Western Australia and Solomon in the Northern Territory are still undecided.

there will be no Team Smirk.Peter Costello has announced his intention to refuse the leadership or the deputy leadership of the party following the Howard Government's election defeat.

He says the time has come to open a new chapter in his life.So he goes to the back bench as begins to build a career post politics in the commercial world.

Where does that leave the Liberals? Who wants the poisoned chalice of becoming the public face of a rag tag Opposition Liberal Party about to undergo some ALP payback done slowly.

if its not Costello, who has had enough, then who should lead the Liberal Party? Turnbull? Bishop? Nelson?

Having mentioned Brough elsewhere, now keen to move on.
Must say Dee-Ann Kelly overthrow about a match for anything, even Brough. The other Kelly, of Lindsay notoriety looking on dishevelled, frumpish and perplexed, while Hockey fumed, before being dealt with quietly by efficient Plibersek.
Dee-Anne. The slothful and complacent last of Howard's bevvy air-head political "wives" of '96, consigned back to whatever dumpster they had been perversely commandeered from and fully deserve being returned to.
Rudd's speech ok, but boy, he was as tight as a drum. Is actually a retiring sort; hence compensatory "control-freak" aspect described by adeliade uni academic Carol Johnson. The next few years will require a lot of character for him, as he is facing up to himself as much as to anything or anyone else. But if he succeeds he could last as long as Howard and acheive even more.
I hope he heeds people like Gillard, Maxine McKew, Snowdon and Bob Brown as much as his own (narrow) coterie of party and organisational faction hacks.

I think I would prefer Downer over those 3.

I suppose if it isn't Turnbull there will always be speculation that he will challenge at some stage.

So perhaps it will be him leader with Downer as his deputy and shadow treasurer. No reason to change Vaile

I forgot about Abbott. I am sure he wants it and will put his name up for one of the jobs.
Perhaps he would do well to put his name forward to lead Pakistan too. Yeah! Wack on a turbin. There ya go!

Peter S
The ALP's defeat of Howard at the 2007 election and the electorate's repudiation of WorkChoices and the free market ideology it was based on, is also a defeat of Costello. The latter does not have the stomach to face two or three terms in opposition and so he leaves public life. But he should bear some responsibility for the current Liberal mess. It can't all be pinned on Howard.

Abbott may have the ambition but he doesn't have the support. Would he be able to clean up Howard's mess?

the trouble with Abbott is that the Liberal Party in opposition cannot look like an ex-government in exile. It needs to establish clean air from the past,generational change,so as to rebuild from the ground up and to devise new sets of policies.

Lyn, the bloggers have been doing a better job on election matters than the Canberra Press Gallery--eg., look at the opening of Glenn Milne's column on Sunday for

Peter Costello will take over a defeated Coalition unopposed, in the knowledge he would have been able to mount a stronger fight against Kevin Rudd.
Mr Costello, who is the same age as Mr Rudd, has long held the view that if Mr Howard had stood aside earlier this term and allowed him to establish his future vision for Australia, the Coalition might well have won last night's election.

Now Mr Costello will get that chance, but from opposition. He faces the daunting task of all opposition leaders taking over immediately after an election defeat and it is this _ by definition, winning prime ministers already occupy the middle ground of politics essential to victory.

That's a way off in terms of prediction and very misinformed, in the light of Costello's decision to pull the plug on the Liberal Party and go for a highly successful career in the commercial world.

there are shock waves moving through the Coalition. Deputy Prime Minister Mark Vaile is quitting as leader of the National Party, but remaining as the member of Lyne. The Nationals did poorly---they lost around 3 seats.

The 2007 election really is a major political rupture: definitely an end of an era.

The Democrats stepped into political oblivion.

I don't think now it really makes much difference who slots in at this point.
From the ground up is good but then it doesn't really cater for the huge elderly following that Howard had. If it was my choice I would go for one of the women and make someone like Steven Ciobo deputy. He has the right look. The front bench will be stacked with familiar faces.
I am not totally convinced that Costello can't be temped to change his mind once the dust settles.

journalists are primarily a conduit to sell a message to voters for politicians. On the other hand, consider Murdoch. After running a blatant campaign in favour of the Coalition that failed to shift public opinion, Murdoch editorialised in favour of Rudd Labor on the eve of the election in three of his most influential publications, to ensure he ended up backing the winner.

So how much will Rudd take on of the Murdoch agenda and favour the commercial advantage for News Ltd?

It does matter. They need to make a radical break with the past. Otherwise they will stand in shadows of a past that has been rejected by the electorate. They need to begin anew in policy terms rather than hang onto the old policies---Workchoices, saying no to Climate Change etc--that have been clearly rejected. That means shifting to the centre and not to the Right.

Lets not forget that 6 million (or thereabouts) went off and voted for the Coalition last Saturday.
Sure 7 million voted Labor/greens.

Starting from scratch is throwing out the baby with the water I suggest.

The deciding group moved away from Howard/Workchoices not necessarily the state of the Coalition.

The electorate is now waiting and has very little patience nowadays to see the benefits of change. The Coalition can just sit back now and watch the media swoop on Rudd like a pack of feral dogs. They will tear him to pieces and the 6 million will watch with glee only leaving their televisions to replenish supplies of beer and peanuts.

that's a variant of the media line of Chrristopher Pyne selling himself for the Deputy Leadership. The Libs have the talent and resources to take it to the Rudd Government, make them accountable and bring them to their knees in three years. The ALP will fall becauise they don't have the talent for good governance.

The Pyne spin ignores that the fundamental problem confronting the Liberals is that the party needs to rebuild itself from the ground up.

The only state with the resources to help that can help them is WA. It's their electoral stronghold.

Moreover, the Nationals have had to bear the brunt of policy decisions that have not sat well with their grassroots membership or their traditional constituency over the last decade. The party needs to move away from Liberal Party thinking and into a new era of Nationals political discourse.

The Liberal Party is stuck in a weird timewarp. All the ffunctions and think tank events that I saw on tv showed a sea of the faces of white Anglo Saxon men aged in their late 50s and early sixties.

Hardly, your average modern Australian.

I don't think the Coalition needs to panic. The balls in the Labor's court now. They are the government.They are the ones who will get the blame for everything now. I think there is the general perception out there even with those that changed to Labor last Saturday that the Libs and co were reasonable managers and left the economy in a good state.
The coalition only needs to go and choose a leadership team and toddle off to Xmas.

Nan yes the front bench was stacked like that. I suggest that over the Xmas break many will be going light on the Xmas pudding and many miles will be ridden on exercise bikes.
I suggest that trendy rectangle shaped glasses will be in good attendance across both houses as everybody tries to look their most intelligent and youthful.

that' s all very upbeat considering this scenario described by Christian Kerr in today's Crikey:

The Liberals are out of power everywhere. Their best and brightest strategists will get two weeks' pay and then be out of work. The party does not look after its own. It has no institutions to park them in – unions, Hawker Brittons or whatever. The donations will evaporate. Their staff will scatter.

The really hard yards lie ahead and the forces of ultra-conservatism threaten the long term electoral viability of the Coalition.

Which is the next state to hold an election?
There will of course be a rise in the Liberal vote in the states as now Labor rules Federally.

Thats where to start.

Labor's ascension to power federally makes it only a matter of time before state Labor governments start falling. That will be no bad thing in terms of checks and balances on political power. Maybe NSW will be one of the first?

To me it seems that the Coalition is in a win win situation from here and Labor is in a lose lose given the potential for a down turn in the economy.

There is a lot of mileage to be gained from the opposition for the fact that Rudd and his Wife are worth lots of millions. When things start to turn and we start seeing people losing their houses and cars it would be better strategically for Turnbull not to be the Leader.
People will say..Yeah sure Kevin it alright for you your rich.
I don't have a problem with him having money but many will in bad times.

I much prefer to go with Michael Kroger's honesty:

Let's not mince words here: we are in the worst position we have ever been in since R.G. Menzies founded the Liberal Party (in 1944). We're in Opposition in every state and federally. Robert Menzies would turn in his grave if he saw the position his beloved party is in today, and it needs some quick, decisive, firm action in a whole lot of areas. The organisational wings around the country need to be reformed immediately, particularly in relation to the branch structure and preselections....

There need to be branch amalgamations. You need to base the party around state or federal electorates. You need to broaden the base of people voting at preselections. You need to have, perhaps, a senior committee of senior party people who have the final say over preselection to rubber-stamp the selections. You've got to stop the petty branch stacking. We should amalgamate with the (Nationals). We should give the federal party some more power, a little bit like the ALP does. We should make it a federalist party, not just individual states.We need to totally revamp the fundraising within the organisation and we need to give the federal executive some power.

Not easy. Abbott's not cut out for it. He's yesterday's man.

Yes I suppose they always have a go at talking themselves out of trouble while the quick dry cement shoes set.

As for Abbott,

Talk back radio is calling. He should listen.

Turnbull and Bishop looks the best option at present. They look the best option from a marketing point of view. They represent a good brand. What they say and do will come later. For now just the right look is all that is needed.
They are a tasty breakfast cereal thats good for you too.
Liberelloes! Yum!