The Victorian election is over. We’ve cast our votes, been thoroughly drenched, and now it’s all down to the counting. Right now I can confidently predict many, many absentee days in the coming week due to colds and hangovers.
A Sky News exit poll delivered a staggering 54-46 win to the Coalition.
Sky is happily calling the election for the Coalition. ABCNews24 is more circumspect – but they just lost their internet feed, so right now they’re flannelling wildly. The Twitterverse is making helpful suggestions, like ‘Give Antony Green an iPad and wireless – STAT!’
Even though it’s still early days, there looks to be a big swing on to the Coalition.
Maxine Morand, ALP candidate for Mount Waverley, has all but conceded.
Independent Craig Ingram in East Gippsland has thrown in the towel, delivering his seat to the Liberals.
The ABC is showing 10 seats tipping to the Coalition.
It appears that the Greens, who were tipped to pick up Brunswick and Northcote, may well have been scuttled by the Liberals’ preferencing the ALP. Melbourne is still in play, but it’s very very early days yet.
I … am drinking.
With the loss of Craig Ingram, the only Independent in the Victorian Lower House has gone, replaced by a National MP.
The ABC have all but called the election for the Coalition. With nearly 30% of the votes being cast in pre-polls, some close seats may swing, but the overall result appears to be a resounding dictionary.
Labor has conceded South Barwon.
Weirdly, Sky has dropped back to a somewhat more cagey stance, handing the Coalition 37 out of the required 45 seats.
Approximately 50% of the vote has been counted. At most, 70% can be counted tonight.
Possibly the single most sickening part of this election count is the Twitter feed. It’s one thing to express joy, or even relief, when your preferred party gets up. It’s another to indulge in rabid insults and schadenfreude. Why laugh at the Greens or Family First because there’s been a swing against them? Why gleefully announce that Labor voters would be committing suicide? It’s not a laughing matter.
And yes, I’d say the same thing if Labor voters were indulging in the same behaviour.
Things you can kiss goodbye for the next four years:
Any hope of Victoria following the lead of South Australia in officially supporting same-sex marriage.
Home detention and suspended sentences.
Double jeopardy. The Coalition have promised to institute new legislation so that someone acquitted in a court of law can be re-tried for the same crime.
Any hope of a conscience vote on euthanasia.
Qualified psychological counsellors in schools – principals will have the discretion to put in their own welfare officers, who do not need to have formal counselling or social work training.
Things you can look forward to for the next four years:
Increased stop-and-search powers for police.
Unprecedented powers for school principals to search, confiscate, suspend and expel students.
Police surveillance for anyone who has served a sentence for arson-related offences.
The ABC says 48 seats for the Coalition.
Sky says ALP 43, Coalition 42, with 3 in doubt.
Things are definitely weird when the Murdoch vehicle won’t call it for the Coalition. And Peter Reith, former minister in the Howard government (infamously associated with the waterfront lockout), commented that he thought the ABC was ‘premature’ to call it so early.
Sky … ALP 43, Coalition 44. 1 in doubt.
If the ALP picks up that seat, we would have a hung Parliament.
Rob Hulls, currently Attorney-General, just took the stage at Labor HQ in Broadmeadows. He’s saying it’s too close to call, and will depend on pre-poll votes. ‘Our government has been sent a clear message from Victorians … we understand that we need to do better … Labor has heard the message.’ His prediction? Hung Parliament.
The big question is: where is John Brumby??
During Hulls’ speech, Sky dropped its numbers to ALP 40, Coalition 43, with 5 in doubt.
Commentators are backing off with astonishing rapidity from their original calls. Whether Hulls’ speech convinced them, or they are having to take into account new numbers, is an open question – but now the phrase ‘hung Parliament’ features in their conversations.
Interestingly, the idea of a hung Parliament seems to automatically carry with it the accusation that voters are ‘indecisive’. There’s little room for the possibility that people may have started to shake off the idea that a two-party result is the only viable result for workable government. Minority government is very, very common around the world, and hardly unheard of here in Australia. Is it fear of abandoning the known for the new?
Sky keeps putting seats back in doubt as margins narrow. If this election has taught us anything, perhaps it’s that premature announcements are good for only one thing – keeping the graphics department in television stations busy.
And here is where I prove I’m psychic: if we do end up with a hung Parliament, the first words out of the Coalition’s mouths will be, ‘The Victorian people have given us a mandate, because we won more seats’.
Not five minutes after my prediction, Kelly O’Dwyer uttered the ‘mandate’ mantra.
A very quick-and-dirty crunch of the numbers shows that the Australian Sex Party have a chance of picking up Legislative Council seats in both the Northern and Western Metropolitan regions. This, of course, does not include pre-polling.
Brumby has just taken the stage at Labor HQ. He’s running with the ‘too close to call, likely hung Parliament’ strategy.
Of course, a hung Parliament in this case will most likely mean we go back to the polls around Christmas time. Brumby knows this – that’s why he and Hulls are taking the time to go through their policy agenda, laying the groundwork.
Baillieu has taken to the stage. ‘The election result may be uncertain,’ he says, mugging furiously for the cameras as raucous laughter erupts in the room. Actually, I’d have to agree with the tweeter who remarked that the mood was ‘feral’. Unlike Brumby and Hull, Baillieu is full of nothing but self-congratulation. To hear him talk, you’d think that the Liberals have already won in a landslide. Now, the swing against Labor is substantial, and definitely reflects badly on the government – but there is no result yet, and Baillieu is coming off as unbelievably arrogant. He’s completely unable to speak about any other party with anything but contempt.
Labor only held onto many of its seats because of Greens preferences, according toa sneering Baillieu, and the room erupts again with boos and angry shouts. There’s a definite Tea Party vibe in Liberal HQ tonight. Curiously, Baillieu forgets to mention that Labor has held some inner-city seats because of Liberal preferences.
No result. Counting continues into the night, but it’s time to close out this blog post.
Waking up will be interesting tomorrow.