Labor loses the “unlosable” election in Australia, by David Evans.
The polls were adamant that the left would win, but the right narrowly won.
Turns out there were lots of shy voters, just like in Brexit and Trump 2016. Shy voters are those who lean right but are shy to admit it to a pollster because of the opprobrium.
The political class expected Labor to win, but failed to sufficiently consider two side effects of the recent media dominance of the left and their bullying and silencing of opponents:
(1) Shy voters are afraid to admit their real leanings to a pollster, but once inside the safety of the ballot box can express their real opinions. The number of shy voters is soaring, to judge by the consistent disparities between polls and outcomes around the western world in the last five years. Bullying works in public, but people vote alone.
(2) The left only listens to its own echo chamber, both because it dominates the media landscape and because the modern left tends to not listen or acknowledge any opponents but rather shuts them up and demonizes them. Left leaders then overestimate the popularity of the left, causing them to advance policies that scare too many voters. Professional politicians are always trying to calibrate their policies to appeal to the center, but the left’s leaders have consistently misjudged where the center is for the last few years. In this election, perhaps in a an attempt to get a mandate for several more aggressive Labor policies, Bill Shorten put forward policies to increase taxation on oldies, justified spending an unspecified amount on “climate change” on moral grounds, and used divisive class rhetoric that amounted to barely disguised plans to take stuff from their presumed opponents and give it to their supporters. Scary stuff that they would not have attempted if they weren’t so confident of winning.
Will be replaced soon as Labor leader.
Australia just dodged a Whitlamite bullet. This Labor crew threatened to ramp up the size of government and taxation considerably in pursuit of their ideological goals. Not happening now.
In the UK after Brexit and in the US after Trump’s win, the left refused to accept the legitimacy of their loss. They were expecting to win because the polls said they would win, and they were convinced of their righteousness by the media. In the UK the political class has not implemented Brexit as promised, and in the US the left concocted the absurd conspiracy theory that Trump is a Russian agent to paralyze government (and divert attention from their own shenanigans with the spy agencies).
What will the Australian left now do? The election result will come as a nasty shock to them, and they might treat it as illegitimate. It’s hard to see on what grounds, or that they have a leg to stand on, but no one saw the Russian theory coming either.
Expect the usual excuses for the left, such as blaming the loss on Murdoch because News Corp is the only smirch on otherwise wall-to-wall leftist media in Australia. “Our policies were far superior, but sadly mistakes were made in explaining them to the stupid voters.” “Our leader just happened not to have such an engaging personality.” Etc.
Christians can breathe a sigh of relief. Not going to be effectively outlawed in Australia just yet. Too bad for Cardinal Pell and Israel Folau, but at least there won’t be too many others joining them soon.
One sour note tonight for the right was Tony Abbott losing to GetUp! and Zali Stegall, 60 to 40. Huge loss. GetUp! targeted Abbott’s seat and employed nasty and underhand tactics. Now they will be encouraged to repeat that in the future. However, the loss may have had more to do with the great political realignment, as wealthy areas move “left” and poorer areas move right.
Finally, it was a pleasant surprise to turn on ABC radio in the car for my first news about the election, and hear Fran Kelly speaking in subdued and shocked tones. Her emotions are always so transparent, and she is so left. Thus, within seconds and just from hearing her voice, I knew that a massive upset was unfolding.