The final results in Australia are trickling in, and it is looking worse and worse for Labor.
The lower House has 150 seats. Last election there were 82 seats with the Coalition, 65 with Labor and 3 with Independents.
So far the AEC has declared 145 seats, with 85 for the Coalition, 57 for Labor and 3 Independents.
The seats not declared are Bonner (QLD), Richmond (NSW), Hindmarsh (SA), Swan (WA), and Kingston (SA). It looks like the Coalition may win in Bonner, Richmond, and Swan which would leave Labor on 59 seats, seven down from 2001. To win in 2007, they would need to win 17 seats which is near impossible. So they may be in opposition until at least 2010.
The Senate of 76 seats is just as bad for Labor. The Coalition had only 35 out of 76 seats in the old Seante (which continues in office until July 2005 for some reason). In the new Senate it looks like they will have 39 seats in their own right and centre right Family First three seats to give a voting bloc of 42. Labor stays the same at 28 seats, Democrats drop from 7 to 4 (losing all seats up for election this time) and Greens increase fron two to only three.
A good Senate analysis is at Crikey.
What people need to realise is that next Senate half election, the Libs and Family First will not have any of their new seats at risk. It will be very hard for them to lose control of the Senate until 2010 also.
So the election which was billed a cliff hanger, has really turned out to be such a romp for Howard that the Coalition looks likely to have six years of dominance in both the House and Senate.