Sunday, August 22, 2010

Predicted Hung Parliament

At 1:30 this Sunday morning, with about 78% of votes counted nationally, the predicted state of our national Parliament is:

Labor 70; Coalition 72; Greens 1; Others 4.
76 seats would give any party/coalition a majority, and government.

Of the 5.5% swing against the ALP, only 1.8% went to the Coalition. The Greens picked up 3.7% of the swing against the ALP, which has given it its first seat in the House of Representatives at a general election, and almost certainly a balance of power in the Senate. The strong swing to The Greens probably indicates dissatisfaction with the ALP's social policies: the hard line of refugees (to try to be the same as the Coalition), lack of action and commitment to act on Climate Change. The Greens showed some social vision in their policies, and I suspect this appealed to voters more than the blancmange, & porkbarelling dished up by the major parties.

At this stage is is more likely that the Coalition, led by Tony Abbott, might have a better chance of forming a government. However, he will be frustrated by lack of control in the Senate, and will likely be forced into more socially equitable compromises than he would like. Industrial relations amendment, to bring back elements of WorkChoices such as easier dismissal, individual contracts, shorter annual leave and lower or no national wage increases, will be shelved until the Coalition has both government & control of the Senate. Make no mistake, IR is on the 'wish-list' of legislation when the Coalition has full control of Parliament.

Stay tuned - there is much more to come in this saga, including the possibility of a second general election if neither side can form a viable government.