Sunday, 22 August 2010

Stand up to keep moving forward

These seems to be the decision of the Australian electorate who like the British electorate seemed torn about which direction to go and have ended up with a hung parliament.  Independents will come into play.  The Liberals are predicted to take 73 seats squeaking Labor on 72 but both shy of the 76 seats they need to form a majority government. 

There are five potential votes from four independents and a Green MP.  Three of the independents have conservative leanings and one has green leanings.  The three conservative leaning independents represent more rural areas so a package for such areas seems the likely price.  So on paper Abbott's job looks easier than Gillard's but when one of the independents goes by the self-description of the force from the North and by his opponents as Mad Bob anything is possible.

The BBC line that it was a backlash against Gillard because she knifed Rudd is a bit curious (but based on the Queensland result, Rudd's home turf).  Under Rudd the polls predicted an electoral hammering.  If anyone deserves blame of the two its probably Rudd, his poor record gave the sitting government little to run on and he remains the primary suspect for a series of leaks that made Labor look divided. That said from what I saw Gillard did not come across as a good campaigner (very wooden) and forced a relaunch of her image during the campaign.

PS It is also worth noting that Australia operates the AV system and at 11am this morning just under a quarter of votes still hadn't been counted.  It is a slower system that FPTP and in our cost conscious times possible worth noting it therefore costs a bit more to run such elections (never mind the £80-100m it's going to cost us to hold a referendum on it).

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