I’ll write something more substantial in a day or two but some immediate responses are:
- There has been a lot of focus on Labor’s historically low primary vote but the Coalitions Primary Vote also remained below what was normal during the Hawke-Keating era, let alone the Fraser or Menzies era. The fracturing of the major parties into a scattering of minor parties is continuing as their ideological basis for existence continues to decline.
- A year ago most pundits were declaring the death of the The Greens with Adam Bandt in Melbourne, Sarah Hanson-Young in South Australia and Scott Ludlam all expected to lose their seats. The Greens vote did go backwards from the 2010 highwater mark but it also went forwards from the 2007 mark and not only do they appear to have retained all their previously held seats but also appear to have picked up a new senate seat in Victoria.
- Talk of Rudd having saved the furniture and left Labor in a competitive position is a nonsense. If Rudd had won 65 seats then he could make such a claim but at worst Gillard might have lost four seats more than he did.
- Labor’s recovery stalled almost the moment Rudd flipped the switch from governing mode to campaign mode. Like Gillard in 2010, Rudd simply didn’t establish any incumbency to run upon. He would have benefited from going to the G20. I’m also inclined to think Joel Fitzgibbon was on to something when he said that there would be no point changing leaders if it didn’t happen before the May budget.
- Paradoxically, being in the ABC tallyroom on election night leaves you surprisingly ill informed. You don’t have access to some magical data that the rest of the world don’t, you don’t mingle with politicians and journalists to get the inside scoop, whatever information you do get comes from the ABC’s actual broadcasts but because the place is a bit noisy and a bit chaotic you often miss bits and you can’t flick to other networks to see if they’ve gotten breaking news that the ABC don’t. It was a lot of fun but for a political junkie who enjoys being immersed in the data, being at home with a laptop and the telly running in the background is the place to be.
- Julia Gillard tweeting kind words about Rudd and Albanese last night was shown as grace, Rudd tweeting kind words about Gillard on election night three years ago was seen as impertinence. In the eyes of the beholder…
- To all those now going to leave the country as a result of Abbott winning the election, when you go can you please take your tedious cliches with you.
- Tanya Plibersek and Anthony Albanese are emerging as frontline candidates for the Labor leadership. Even under the new rules it’s unlikely the next Labor leader will make it to the next election which suggests they’d be wise to keep the star players on ice for a few years. Wayne Swan seems a very deserving choice for what we might wittily dub the “Unlucky Nelson” but parties don’t operate like that. Albanese could be a nice unifying figure, although he’s almost as polarizing as Gillard with the electorate.
- Rudd is not the type to go quietly. Unless Abbott gives him a plum UN job I expect in twelve to eighteen months time he will once again become a very public figure once more, just as Peter Costello tormented Brendan Nelson and Malcolm Turnbull after the 2007 election. Could he rise a third time? His age might be the biggest problem, if Rudd were to rise again he’d practically be looking to win an election in 2018/19 by which time he’ll be sixty.
- The collapse of the Katter vote in Kennedy has me perplexed.
More to come later.