How close will this election be?

pageheadpic_landslidesIf 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.


  1. Lena Hammond · · Reply

    On my way to vote for the coalition! Can’t wait z,

    1. Lena, there’ll be lots doing the same and voting the same as well!

  2. House of Reps I agree with you, but the Senate is harder to pick. The Libs only need 41.11% of the primary vote above the line (or below the line with column Y preferred) to see Arthur Sinodinos comfortably elected and, on that same result, the ALP will lose Senator Ursula Stephens’ position – probably to the Greens according to Antony Green’s very clever calculator:

    1. Thanks Phillip. If Tony ever has the numbers in the Senate he should change the Senate Ballot to optional preferential above the line as in NSW LC election. Such would properly give a result in line with all voters’ intentions and rub out all the grubby under the line deals that voters never see.

  3. John Brogan · · Reply

    I don’t think too many Libs will shed a tear if Sophie Mirabella loses Indi. She’s been a bit of a liability in opposition and could be even worse with the power of a ministry. Off to vote now, although with Tanya Plibersek as my local MP it’s a bit of a waste of time.

    1. Thanks John. Shame we can’t rid ourselves of that parasite plibersek and her ex con husband. At least your vote in the Senate will be important. I’ve had a bit to do with Sophie – I hope she hangs on – they’ll have a lot more to worry about with some of the new members than they will with Sophie.

  4. Edward Infield · · Reply

    In politics disunity is death. That is the political explanation for the imminent smashing of this Labor Government. Both Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd on occasions we know about [ no doubt many more hidden from public view] have demonstrated lack of integrity . Voters lose trust in Leaders who are not honest with them and are suspicious of those who keep adopting different policy directions thereby betraying their lack of firm principles. Generally speaking decent people respect those who have the courage of their convictions and do not vacillate like a weather vane in response to opinion polls or focus groups. Standing for principles is not always popular but it shows integrity.

    1. Thank you for your considered view Edward.

      1. Thanks Sandy. Get-up have a lot for which to answer.

  5. We voted at 9 am in our electorate, only two labor volunteers. Good luck to Russ Matheson our liberal candidate. Get Up out in force. Grubs!!

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