If you saw my article in the Daily Telegraph on Thursday, or studied my other articles, you’ll know I’ve believed for a very long time the Coalition would win and hence Tony Abbott would be the next PM, but win by how much? How close will this election be?
Last Sunday night, I did an hour live on the Paul Murray programme on Sky and there was some talk of a close election. Indeed, PM Kevin Rudd was stating this election will be,” a lot closer than people think”.
Phooey to that Kevin, but I understand why you need to tell that lie. In fact the Coalition have said something similar and of course from their position, it’s all about being cautious.
When you’re winning (Abbott Coalition) one doesn’t want voters thinking it’s signed sealed and delivered even though it’s not yet polling day. The Coalition want everyone to be sure their vote is needed for a win – no swaying because there is the thought it’s already over.
When you’re losing (Rudd Labor) there is the need to make out it’s much closer than it really is so your own side, polling day workers and voters, don’t just give up on a clearly lost cause.
Labor have always been in trouble leading into this election because it has been hard to find anywhere they could win seats. With Julia Gillard as PM, they were screwed all over – no prospects of a single success – a looming disaster!
Kevin Rudd convinced enough of his colleagues that a change to him would win over support right across Australia, but especially so in what were identified as winnable seats in Queensland and seats that could be held in NSW, but only with him as leader.
It didn’t work out that way for all the reasons I’ve written about in previous posts, so Labor were very quickly back where they started – hard to find any seat they could win. Even celebrity status in Kevin Rudd’s home state failed.
Labor could now lose seats in every state, with the bulk of losses coming in NSW and Queensland. In NSW alone there are 12 seats that could change hands and one could expect at least eight certainly will.
Those seats include Windsor’s (New England) and Oakeshott’s (Lyne) which were always coming back to the Coalition anyway. New England also provides Barnaby Joyce with a seat in the Lower House, so expect at some stage to see him as Nationals’ Leader and Deputy Prime Minister – a job he’ll do well!
In Queensland, it’s also going all the Coalition’s way, with celebrity candidate Peter Beattie possibly going to suffer a bigger swing against him in Forde than will be seen in most places.
There will be other seats such as Lindsay, based on Penrith in NSW that will likely have higher than average swings – it was here that Liberal ‘Sex Appeal’ candidate, Fiona Scott benefitted from huge media coverage after Tony noted being ‘Sexy’ as one of her qualities.
There is some suggestion Treasurer (for less than another 24hrs) Chris Bowen is in trouble, but while not impossible, it’s a big ask. That said, the Liberal Party will win seats in this election that just a few years ago would have seemed impossible.
There is a chance the Liberals may lose just one seat, that of Indi, in Victoria, but even if it goes, it will end up Independent, so no joy there for Labor. With the trend as it is, this last 24hrs could turn their defeat into almost a landslide.
In fact, on the matter of landslides, it’s worth noting that the main difference numbers wise between this election and the 1996 landslide, is that Labor don’t currently hold enough seats to be able to lose that many. Their starting point in terms of their number of seats is so much worse than it was in 1996.
There’s been a lot said about record lows for Labor’s primary vote, but that is kind of a furphy. It doesn’t take into account the greens – their impact, indeed existence, is relatively recent, so historically, the Labor vote has been much worse. These days the true Labor vote must be seen as close to the sum of Labor and the greens, as most green votes are preferences for Labor.
How close will this election be? Not close at all in either percentage of votes or numbers of seats. Tony Abbott and the Coalition will win at least 12 seats and it could spread to double that. So much for Tony Abbott being ‘unelectable’ – he’s always comfortably won his own seat and now he’ll be elected as PM, also very comfortably.