Saturday, September 7, 2013

Outcomes Election 2013

So with the election all voted out and a new PM...despite the fact that it is Tony Abbott I still feel optimistic.
The pre-election polls predicted something of a bloodbath, which didn't happen;  and it is clear that the LNP alliance didn't so much win as Labor lost. The swing of around 4.5% does not show unequivocal support for our new government.
Tony Abbott had sworn to wipe out the Greens. Liberal preferences put Labor ahead of this most hated minor party. Yet Adam Bandt not only achieved the 4% increase in his primary vote required to save his seat; he increased it by 8%! The Greens may still also hold the balance of power in the Senate. And even if they don't win that extra seat, the grab-bag of other minor party and independent senators will not make the passing of dubious bills an easy thing.
Sure, there's still plenty of opportunity for damage. And no doubt the strategists of the LNP alliance will work to make a better position for the government; but it is not plain sailing.
I rather believe that the major parties also both over-estimate the concern and fear Australians have for refugees. They have tried to make "Stopping the boats" a primary election issue, hoping to use that the linchpin of the election. Apparently, they thought that kicking foreigners when they're down was a positive thing. I don't think that the majority of Australians agree.
Modern day polling techniques have also shown themselves to be woeful. The lazy method of having computers dial land lines missed large swathes of the population. After all, not everyone has land lines these days. So getting accurate information on voting intentions is currently out of the question.
This government is on notice even as it starts. As was the last. Something that this election has demonstrated to me is that Australia isn't that decided. The future isn't that clear cut.