It was a great weekend for so many reasons: the Socceroos (and by the way, can we change the name, please?) won the Asian Cup in a thriller against South Korea, the Cricket team thrashed the poms, and of course, Queensland handed a message to the ruling LNP that was unambiguous., to say the least. Whether or not Labor forms government, the anger towards the Tories could – and should – be felt around Australia, but especially in the hearts of Liberal backbenchers.
But before we claim that Australia is going to run back to the shelter of Labor, let’s look a little more closely at what the Queensland election told us. Firstly, it was a strange situation before the election. Very rarely has the Labor party been so comprehensively wiped out as they were in the previous election. So you can imagine that what we were seeing was a correction of the previous unbalancing – perhaps.
The numbers of first past the votes tell us a story, as well. Crucially, if that was all that was counted, the Libs would have retained a comfortable majority. It was the preferential voting system that appears to have swung many of those tight seats across to the Labor party. That speaks to how powerful the put the LNP last campaign was – and how concerted it was from a number of groups, including Labor and Get Up. Also hard at work – much to the disgust of the Libs – were a number of unions – including the CFMEU who waged a successful campaign to get rid of the police minister. I find it hard to believe that there are people out there arguing against the unions having a right to act in this way – as if they should be banned from campaigning.
And let’s not ignore how personally repulsive so many people seemed to find Campbell Newman himself: something that, unfortunately, is not going to work in NSW. In fact, there are few things that can be taken from QLD and applied to NSW – certainly, the Baird govt, for whatever reason, doesn’t seem to as on the nose os Newman was. I don’t know why – there are 11 members of that government who are in hot water with ICAC, but I get the feeling that NSW is yet to forgive NSW Labor.
Still, it might be interesting.