In my lifetime I have only been surprised by two results this one and the one that turfed out ( eventually) the Government in Queensland led by Wayne Goss arguably the best seen in that State in our lifetime but more on that later.
for punditry see:
- John Quiggin
- Ken Parish
- Greg Jericho here looks quite prescient as this was written BEFORE the election.
So how did this happen?
My guess it was a combination of things BUT the electorate swung late , very late to the ALP.
- No-one bought the oh the cupboard is bare and I have to break all my promises line. Newman knew what was in store. If he was upfront in the beginning it would have been much better.
- He and the Ministers were arrogant. If you have tough policies to sell then you must sell them and convince the public. You do not say this is coming ready or not!
- Conservatives can always put off people on trendy issues that attract the 'Left's' support but when scions of the Establishment have a go at you for the appointment of the Chief Justice ( Newman appointed the Chief Magistrate into the job. It is bit like replacing Arsene Wenger with some-one for the 3rd division!) and the Crime Commission things start to smell a bit.
- Newman had a very poor campaign whether it be alleging bikies were funding the ALP or saying the long term leases were not asset sales. Indeed No-one seem to care when the Opposition Leader made a huge gaffe on the GST!
- The Federal Government's woes must have had an impact in that last week. Tony Abbott could take a trick
- The Borbidge effect. The electorate didn't really want to toss the government out. They thought they would give it a kick in the shins. After all the polls had them winning ! No-one but no-one said the electorate was out with Baseball bats waiting for January 31
- Cynicism Why was the election being held on January 31 when most of the campaign would be in the 'holiday' period
I should put on the record I thought the best result was a narrow LNP win and Newman losing his seat. I think it is a travesty the ALP can win Government after being in too long previously!
Are there any implications for Tony?
I think he has almost done his dash. What has hurt him and Hockey is that the punters bought their theme that the ALP were large spenders and were spending like drunken sailors. Hence the answer cut spending.
When people found out this was not the case they felt like they had been wood-ducked. An unfair budget based on broken promises allegedly because of a bare cupboard was not bought either.
Although the average punter might not understand the intricacies of the charter of budget honesty they do understand the Coalition knew exactly what they were in for hence disbelief at their attempt to break their promises.
This also makes people look back and think the ALP Government wasn't all that bad.
2015 will prove to be an interesting year!