It's just on 2am on election day, and the polls open in just five hours in Tassie (gotta love daylight saving), six hours on the east coast, and sometime next year in WA. It's been a long, tiring election campaign for both leaders, and it seems that the end of it will bring a sigh of relief for campaigners, but more importantly for voters. A few quick predictions on the outcome:
- Coalition to win with a seven seat majority. This represents a slight improvement for the ALP, but not enough to win government. Australian voters are naturally very risk-averse, and will not rush headlong into a change of government. For them to opt for change, they need to believe there is something deeply wrong with the incumbant AND have faith in the challenger. Neither of these is the case this time around.
- The Nationals to lose three seats. Not to the Labor Party, but to the Liberals who are increasingly their conservative dominance outside the capital cities. Watch for speculation of a merger between the two in the next term in government.
- The Greens to not gain a single House of Reps seat. The Greens have been talking up their prospects in Melbourne, Sydney and Grayndler, but none of those three will leave the safe possession of the ALP. The reasoning comes down to some simple electoral mathematics - for a minor party to win a lower house seat, they need to make sure they are one of the top two parties, and secondly that the strongest polling major party falls short of the 50% required to be elected. In the seats mentioned, the ALP primary vote will hover around 52%, and the Liberals will outpoll the Greens by 3-5%. And Cunningham to fall back to Labor.
- The Liberals to hold most of the marginals in Victoria. Deakin, Aston, La Trobe, McEwen will all stay with the Liberals, and McMillan will probably fall as well. Melbourne Ports will stick with Danby, albeit with a reduced majority.
- In Tasmania, Bass (but not Bradden, as predicted two days ago) will fall to the Liberals.
- In the Senate, this will be the fall of the numbers:
VICTORIA: 3 Coalition, 2 Labor (bye bye Jacinta), 1 Green
NSW: 3 Coalition, 2 Labor, 1 Green (adios, Aden)
QUEENSLAND: 3 Coalition, 2 Labor, 1 Green
SOUTH AUSTRALIA: 3 Coalition, 3 Labor (no more Meg!)
WESTERN AUSTRALIA: 3 Coalition, 2 Labor, 1 Green
TASMANIA: 3 Coalition, 2 Labor, 1 Green
ACT: 1 Labor, 1 Coalition
NT: 1 Labor, 1 Coalition
This will result in:
With the coalition in government, this is a scary prospect. What are the chances Andrew Murray, as the most likely of the 11 cross-benchers to support the government, if offered something incredible for his vote. Or alternative, that any of the 4 Democrats are offered the Speakers (yes, President in the Senate, okay) position in order to give the government the numbers??