Look, I said I wasn’t going to speak after the election until it was done and dusted, but here I am and I want to make bold prediction: Labor will bolt it in.
I’m not one for sweeping pronouncements like that. I lot of that is superstition: if you say it, you risk it. Here I am being the outrider though. Most pundits are predicting a close contest but a Shorten victory. The polls are still tight, though it’s years since the Coalition have been in front. Me, I think Labor have had it won for a while and will end up with a good majority.
Part of my confidence is the sheer vibe. I talk to people and just about all of them are dismissive of a government they’ve become cynical of. Just about all of them consider it sloppy and incompetent. I have acquaintances who have voted Liberal most of their life now firmly intending to vote for Labor. My only caveat is that I probably move in a circle while not atypical, is probably more discerning.
Reading the paper yesterday I see that 2.2 million people have already voted – including me – and I reckon a good portion of those will be for Labor. Much of the damage has already been done. The LNP good have a stellar last week – which seems unlikely – and it would likely be insufficient.
Regarding the polls I think there’s a factor no commentators have accounted for. Thousands of young voters registered to vote for the SSM plebiscite. They’re still on the books and we know the great majority of them favour the left side of politics. I don’t know that they’ve been factored into the polling. A lot of them are still living at home and so their voice is not being counted. I think they’ll be a big part of the count on Saturday.
Given there are so many tight seats, and the government has such a slim margin, it’ll take basically fuck all for them to lose. I’ll be interested to see what happens in Queensland, and NSW will be particularly fascinating watching if the Nationals vote holds up, but Victoria is the big state in this election. That’s my state and I reckon it’ll go hard against the government. This is where they’ll lose it.
One of the really interesting developments in this campaign is the rise of the independents. Once upon a time they could be largely defined as fringe to kooky. These days the independent candidates – many of them disaffected Liberals – are almost all candidates of great quality. They’ve been given a high profile and I expect them to pick up a bunch of seats, mostly at the expense of the Libs.
Once upon a time I had a jaded view of independents as I thought they got in the way of good government. I have the opposite view these days. The cross-bench are an able bunch and are a good check on incumbents. Good policies should get through, or are modified on the way through. Bad policies don’t get that far. That’s a generalisation, but these days I see much more good in the cross-bench than bad. Now it’s set to expand I see them as a sensible bloc who represent no-one but the Australian people. They’re a fact of life now, here to stay.