Election commentary: the day after the mega-wipeout

I find elections immensely stressful: the outcome seems high stakes (likely to impact dramatically on me in all sorts of ways), and yet both impenetrable and unalterable. Erg. And I’m also wary of armchair campaigning on the Internet. Everyone speaks so confidently! Everyone gets stuff wrong so much!

Also NSW State politics, so discouraging. At least at the Federal level there’s been one major party who I would only mildly dislike in government, in elections to date. For the last two NSW elections that hasn’t been so.

However, I found a few comments interesting in the followup to the NSW State election yesterday, in which the conservative Liberal/National coalition nearly wiped the unions-and-left-or-centrists-depending-on-where-you-stand ALP off the map. Note again when I say “interesting” I have no idea if they are actually correct.

First Liam at Hoyden About Town:

The bad bad news of the morning is the high Christian Democrat vote in the [Legislative Council]; that’s potentially very frightening indeed.


Fran Barlow at Larvatus Prodeo on the under-performance of the Greens (who received very little of the disaffected ALP vote after much expectation):

Just up the road from us was a Liberal sign which read “Make NSW Number 1″ but which, partially obscured by a shrub, read “Make NSW Numb”. That’s certainly how those voters who weren’t viscerally angry seemed. Standing on a polling booth yesterday, lots of voters didn’t even bother taking [how to vote cards]. They’d made up their minds as to for whom they weren’t voting and couldn’t give a proverbial over what else people were saying.

If we Greens were seen as a credible chance of forming, or even supporting, a new government, our issues would have been moderately useful. In any election where there are no issues beyond the integrity of the existing government itself, our brand and our issues are of almost no marginal use at all. Accordingly, much of our mediocre performance was a consequence of this election being in practice more like a plebiscite.

Kim at Larvatus Prodeo, also on the Greens:

It may be that the concentration of resources and energy on winning lower house seats comes at the expense of a state wide strategy designed to increase the vote incrementally everywhere, and have a better shot at winning more upper house seats. And it may be that The Greens’ lower house vote has reached a plateau in inner city suburbs. Now that the Liberals have eschewed preferencing Greens, lower house representation in single member electoral systems may be a bridge too far. (Adam Bandt will have a mighty fight on his hands in Melbourne, Tanya Plibersek and Anthony Albanese can sleep more soundly.)

Liberals drink lattes too. In Sydney, as in Brisbane, demographic change and changes to land use have made the Tories competitive in the inner city.

I have no idea if these are more right than anyone else (well, aside from Liam, I’m willing to go with that) but so far they’re what I’ve found interesting.