Sunday, May 22, 2022

Initial reflections on the election

Well that was a little unusual. And while it is still early in the count, we can make some observations. 

  • First, the election saw a huge repudiation of the Coalition under Scott Morrison in all states but Tasmania, but only a lukewarm embrace for Labor in all states but Western Australia. If labor gets to majority government it will be because of its superlative performance in Western Australia. 
  • Second we saw Labor struggling to convert a respectable two-party preferred vote of around 52.4 per cent into a majority of seats in the House. The Labor primary vote is very low by historical standards, currently at 32.8 per cent. I can remember a time when the conventional wisdom was that Labor could not win with a primary vote below 40 per cent. 
  • Third, the Greens and green-leaning independents did stunningly well in many city based Coalition seats. It is primarily in wealthy urban areas that the Coalition has lost many of its traditional heartland seats. This loss of their heartland could make it very hard for the Coalition to return to majority government for a number of election cycles.

In addition to retaining Warringah (NSW), Indi (Vic), and Clark (Tas), it looks like independents have picked up 7 seats, with a further 1 seat still a possibility. Likely gains include Kooyong (Vic), Flowler (NSW, a Labor loss), Curtin (WA), North Sydney (NSW), Goldstein (Vic), Wentworth (NSW), Mackellar (NSW), The seat where an independent is still a possibility is Cowper (NSW).

In addition to retaining Melbourne (Vic) the Greens look well placed in Ryan (Qld, a former Coalition seat) and Griffith (Qld, a former Labor seat). The Greens are still in the race in Richmond (NSW, Labor), Brisbane (Qld, a former Coalition seat) and possibly Macnamara (Vic).

The one-seat, minor parties in Mayo (SA, Sharkie) and Kennedy (Qld, Katter) will be returned. 

The new parliament could see the cross bench expand from 6 to at least 13 and possibly as high as 18.

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