As expected Kevin Rudd won, and with a very decent majority – it should be enough to keep him in for at least two terms. It will be very interesting to see how Kevin Rudd goes as PM – he has committed to implementing a large amount of Liberal Party policy such as $38 billion of tax cuts.
Howard looks to have lost his seat also, and has endorsed Peter Costello as his successor. My preference would be for Malcolm Turnbull to take over, but if Turnbull is sensible he will let Costello take the party into the 2010 election and then take over.
The final result looks to be 86 seats for Labour which is a massive gain of 26 seats. The Coalition has dropped to 62 and two Independents. 29 seats went to Labour while the Libs picked up three from Labor.
The Senate sees 18 seats go to both the Coalition and Labor, and three to the Greens, giving a new balance of Coalition 37, Labor 32, Greens 5, Family First 1 and Independent 1. Rudd may have some challenges there.The Democrats are finally wiped out and the Greens do well with 9% of the Senate vote.
In hindsight it is a pity that Howard did not retire last year with a legacy of four election wins and 10 years as PM. But sadly very very few politicians ever go out on top. I like the US term limits in that they do mean you go in, do a good job, and then move on without trying to keep the top job forever.