Two seats are still in doubt, but they will not change the scale of the slaughter in Queensland. Labor were hoping to retain at least 20 seats, but they look to have gone from 51 seats to seven seats. This means they do not automatically get recognised as an official party in the Queensland Parliament, with access to offices, staff and resources.
The LNP will have 78 out of 89 seats. Bob Katter’s Australia Party got two, and others got two.
In terms of primary vote Labor dropped 15.7% to 26.6% – around what NZ Labour got in our 2011 election. Instant run-off voting is harsher on losing parties, than MMP is.
The LNP got a very high 49.7% primary vote. The Katter Party got 11.6% – more than the Greens on 7.6%.
Too early to know the two party preferred results but it may be over 60% for the LNP. Commentators have said that many of those who defected from Labor to Katter did not rank any candidate beyond their first, so their votes were exhausted, rather than preference back to Labor.
Labor look to be in opposition for at least two, maybe three, elections in Queensland (unless some major scandal). They ran a dirty negative campaign against new Premier Campbell Newman, with former Premier Anna Bligh even declaring he will end up in jail over his business dealings.
Federal Labor also look set next year to run a similar campaign. Their only slogan will be to stop Tony Abbott. When Rudd challenged for the leadership, that was all he could talk about.
I saw concession speeches by Anna Bligh and Kate Jones (who lost her seat to Newman). Both seemed to me to be quite arrogant and defiant, with little of the contrition you would expect for such a massacre. Left politicians always seem to retreat into talk of how proud they are of their values, as if other politicians are not. Jones was thought to be a potential replacement for Bligh, but is now out of Parliament. She is fairly typical of modern politics – elected at age 27 after working as a media advisor to two Ministers, and married to Bligh’s former media advisor. These career politicians tend to be very skilled at politics, but do not always have a lot of experience of the world outside politics.
The next elections in Australia are Northern Territory by August 2012 and ACT in October 2012 but hey are of little importance. The only state election before the federal election is Western Australia in March 2013. The Liberal Party is currently 18% ahead of the Labor opposition there so a change of Govt is unlikely.
The vote in Queensland was primarily on state issues, but the scale of it will have Labor nervous, especially with NSW having had such a strong result also. If this sort of swing happened in the federal election, even Kevin Rudd would lose his safe seat.
Tony Abbott was on TV this morning saying that the Coalition will repeal the carbon tax, no buts and no ifs. When asked about the Senate, he said that he doubts Labor will want to be punished twice over the carbon tax but if they blocked it in the Senate he would do a double dissolution election.