Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Australian election - the Coalition will win; the interest lies in the detail

The latest opinion polls show the continuing opposition lead in the Australian Federal election. However, the latest poll also apparently shows the strength of the Palmer United Party in Queensland, around 8%, the same as the Greens. The Queensland results also show the Katter Australian Party on 4%. The PUP campaign has been expensive, very visible and somewhat irreverent.  You will get a feel here.

While I''m sure that the overall polls are right, there has been a remarkable diversion of individual voting intentions among people that I know, especially among the Labor voters. Ever heard of the Future Party? I hadn't until a younger family member suggested that I might vote for them since they had a candidate in my electorate!

Many of the Labor voting group still intend to vote Labor number 2, but cannot bring themselves to vote Labor number one. They are disengaged; many among the women were Gillard supporters. I haven't seen this level of disengagement before.

I have no idea how all this will break in the end. The national opinion polls have a very good record at tracking aggregate results in the House of Representatives: they are not so good at individual seat level, worse in the senate. Mr Abbott will win, but its the detail that counts in the longer term.

In WA, I am keeping my fingers crossed for the WA National Party. There the party is not in coalition with the Liberals. In the Northern Territory, will the First Nations Senate candidate get up? If so, it would be the first specifically Aboriginal political party to get a candidate into the national parliament. Now that Tony Windsor has backed independent Rob Taber in New England, will that translate into a stronger independent vote. \

There are all sorts of interesting competitions, if all at the margin. In terms of Government, the only question is the size of the Coalition victory. I am not going anywhere next Saturday night. Yes, I am an election tragic, I accept that!    

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