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Election fallout

August 27, 2010

I’m not sure whether a hung parliament is good or bad for the country, but it’s great for political tragics who get to pontificate about the various twists and turns.

The situation as it stands is 73 for Lib/Nat, 72 for Labor, 1 Green, 1 left-leaning independent (Wilkie), and 3 rural independents (Katter, Oakshott, Windsor). It is reasonable to assume that the Green and Wilkie will side with Labor, which means that the 3 rural independents will decide the outcome. While all come from the conservative side of politics, they do not have a good relationship with the National Party and in many instances their interests seem to align more closely with Labor (they all want more NBN funding and two want a carbon price). In all the confusion about the eventual winner, there has been less consideration about whether winning is a good thing. It may be that the forming government for the next year is a poisoned chalice. Time will tell.

Either way, there remains a good chance of another election within the next year. If Labor wins they will face a hostile Senate (Steve Fielding is threatening to block supply) for the next 9 months and they will need to balance the interests of the Greens with rural conservatives before they can pass any piece of legislation. If the Liberals win they may be able to form effective government for the first 9 months, but will then face a hostile Senate starting July next year, when the Greens take balance of power.

Personally, another very interesting outcome in this election was the performance of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), the party I formed back in 2001. This was the first federal election under the proper name, and the LDP has now established itself as the 6th biggest party in Australia, behind (1) Lib/Nat; (2) Labor; (3) Greens; (4) Family First; and (5) Sex Party. In Qld and NSW the party received about 2% of the vote in the Senate. This is a great performance for a moderate libertarian party.

For the curious, the next biggest parties are (7) Shooters & Fishers; (8) Democratic Labour Party; (9) Christian Democratic Party; and (10) Democrats.

The other outcome of relevance for me was the Liberal National Party (LNP) campaign in Moreton, where I was helping. Malcolm Cole got a swing of 5%, but still fell 1% short of taking the seat. Moreton is now the most marginal Labor seat in Queensland, and if there is another Liberal swing at the next election then Malcolm (if he is again the candidate) should have a good chance of getting into parliament.

  1. Ben
    August 28, 2010 at 1:08 am

    I don’t mind a little bit of anarchy. But given that 56% of voters in Kennedy want the Coalition to form government (only 29% favour Labor), Katter would be unwise to sleep with Gillard.

    Interesting facts on LDP, btw. Too “liberal” for me, but the media should give them far more attention. How about it Old Media?

  2. August 30, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    Yeah, I suspect that it would be a bad thing for the Coalition to try and form government with the various Independants. I think another election in a month or two would be the best outcome, with Labor forming government with the Independants and Greens as the next, least bad. 🙂

    Also it’s good to see the LDP gaining some traction, I’d like to see them take a Senate seat or two (along with the Shooters and Fishers, and either Christian Democrat or Family First [anti-abortion]).

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