The Key Statistic from Australia’s “Super Saturday” Elections

The Key Statistic from Australia’s “Super Saturday” Elections, by Mark Latham.

In 2013 under Tony Abbott, the Liberals had a primary vote of 44.8% in [the Queenland seat of] Longman and 53.8% in [the South Australian seat of] Mayo. Yesterday under Malcolm Turnbull, these figures were 28.6% and 36.3% respectively — in both cases, a drop of 16-17%.

Longman and Mayo are outer suburban/hinterland seats, the kind of electorates that usually determine general election results. Turnbull, with his aloof manner and policy timidity, is poison for the Liberals in these seats. … Abbott was far more effective as Liberal leader in the outer suburbs and hinterland areas. …

Australian politics has ended a weird Twilight Zone. The major parties have failed on energy policy, immigration, education, health, economic management, deficit reduction, tax policy, wages growth and in refusing to stand up against political correctness and identity politics.

As a result of these failures, Labor and Liberal run surreal campaigns against each other in key seats — with intense negativity against the other side, and a series of empty slogans pretending they still have policy solutions. Shorten, for instance, talks a lot about improving hospitals, schools and wages growth but hasn’t got a clue as to how this might be achieved (other than by throwing good money after bad).

The system has become a joke. Labor and Liberal campaign by squabbling over the scraps of their own failures. As the ALP strategist Bruce Hawker has admitted, up to 47% of the electorate is now either supporting a minor party or thinking about it.

hat-tip Joanne