As Mark Bahnisch observes, lots of members of the commentariat have egg on their faces after tonight’s state elections, particularly in SA where, at least by the ABC estimates, Labor’s parliamentary majority has barely been dented, despite a big swing. If it weren’t for the pre-election spin, these results would be pretty good for the Libs. But, as it was, Rudd’s decision to stick with the standard “we’re the underdogs” line, looks a lot smarter than the actions of those Liberal apparatchiks who were confidently predicting the end of Labor dominance at the state level.
The Tasmanian Libs, having received marginally more votes than Labor, will presumably get a chance to form a government. But that’s something of a Greek gift. The Greens are sure to demand a high price (starting presumably, with a swift heave overboard for Gunns’ current management and what’s left of their plans for a pulp mill). And in the two-party preferred terms relevant for a Federal election, the result looks awful, with Labor and the Greens getting a combined vote of nearly 60 per cent.
Given the extent to which Abbott’s bogus “authenticity” campaign relies on momentum, this could be a big problem for him. Or maybe not. Despite the Libs pre-election spin, tonights votes had very little to do with Federal politics, and rightly so