The tide running against Labor?

johnboy 7 September 2008 21

Sensible students of history will recall that when John Howard came to power almost all the States had Liberal Governments. Within just one electoral cycle the now familiar landscape of Labor State Governments was pretty much in place.

Partly I blame the talent syphon of Commonwealth Government which robs the State parties of their best and brightest as long as the serious jobs here in Canberra are going to the mob holding Government. Partly I suspect the cyclical nature of incumbency leading to eventual contempt re-inforces this with the Federal party triumphant just as the public has lost all patience with the State regimes.

With the right of Labor well to the right of moderate Liberals it’s not as if there are major ideological differences to distinguish them.

Anyway this view of Australian politics appears to have a lot going for it at the moment.

The West Australian reports that Alan Carptenter’s WA Labor looks like they’ve lost government despite, until just a few weeks ago, the Liberals being led by a chair sniffer.

This is combined with a big swing against Labor in the NT, and in NSW the ALP hangs on pretty much only thanks to term limits and Peter Debnam’s incompetence at the last election.

Here in the ACT there certainly seems to be a great tiredness with the current Labor government.

The Liberals are setting nothing alight except with their TV advertising and aborted poster campaigns. But oppositions don’t win elections, they just have to be vaguely presentable when the villagers turn against the incumbents.

So… Are we seeing a national malaise for Labor at the State/Territory level? Or are they un-related coincidences which won’t play out here?

Big swings against Labor in State/Territory elections

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21 Responses to The tide running against Labor?
Thumper Thumper 8:10 am 09 Sep 08

“There are a lot of dumb people out there.”

No need to look any further than NSW to see that.

shauno shauno 2:19 am 09 Sep 08

“There are a lot of dumb people out there.”

Very true. Never under estimate the stupidity of your average Australian voter.

Eyeball In A Quart Jar Of Snot Eyeball In A Quart Jar Of Snot 1:07 am 09 Sep 08

Stanhope could shut down every school in town, sodomise all your children, then drown them in Lake Burley and the Canberra Liberals would still come across as a bunch of half-baked idiots not competent enough to run a crab race in Suva.

Personally, I could run this mausoleum with a shotgun and a can of lighter fluid.

jakez jakez 12:33 pm 08 Sep 08

“When will people learn? Democracy doesn’t work!” – Homer Simpson

G-Fresh G-Fresh 12:28 pm 08 Sep 08

Munds vult decipi.
The ‘people’ vote out governments that work on a whim and a prayer that the grass is greener. When it’s not.
For example, voting out Federal Coalition last year under the lame misconception that a bunch of union lackeys could do a better job with employment, resources, health and the economy. But look what’s happened – 100+ committees to decide on what not to do.
Well done Australia for voting out a government just because you wanted a change.
There are a lot of dumb people out there.

jakez jakez 12:02 pm 08 Sep 08

Jakez’s hot prediction.

Ginninderra: 2 Lib, 2 ALP, 1 Mike Parton
Molonglo: 3 Lib, 3 ALP, 1 Green
Brindabella: 2 Lib, 2 ALP, 1 CAP or 3 Lib, 2 ALP

Lib – 7/8
ALP – 7
Green – 1
CAP – 1/0
Ind – 1

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy 10:24 am 08 Sep 08

The party any given knob is affiliated with seems almost irrelevant to me. The reality is Krudd got in pretty much because a good number of people didn’t know any different.

I suspect Stanhope will get the boot next election – after all, he is a dodgy bugger who wants to ride small, irrelevant issues and not get the real stuff done. However for some bizarre reason Canberra is Labor central, so he may just stay in.

Not that I care. I don’t live in the ACT anyway.

hobbyhorse1 hobbyhorse1 8:44 am 08 Sep 08


My view is the same as bd84. The point is that the Libs don’t need the same vote to still win 2 seats in Ginninderra. Bill retiring makes no difference to the outcome, they will take two seats.

I’d think twice before betting too much against Zed.

bd84 bd84 9:53 pm 07 Sep 08

I think Carpenter will have to lend Stanhope his paddle to keep the boat afloat.

Basically the Greens are highly unlikely to win more than one seat in the ACT, and it will be in Molonglo, the only place where the vote is strong.

In Ginninderra with two of the 5 members retiring plus Labor having a low profile unknown backbench member standing I find it difficult to see Labor keeping the third seat, Liberals should regain their second seat, and that would probably see an independent taking the 5th seat.

In Molonglo the status quo will probably remain due to the high profile members, but expect Mulchahy’s seat return back to the Liberals.

In Brindabella the Government are probably in trouble, with one member retiring, another unknown backbencher and a rediculously incompetent minister standing, they may be lucky to keep 2 seats. The two Liberals members will remain and expect Liberal to gain the 5th seat, small chance an idependent may take a seat here too.

Labor 7
Liberal 8
Green 1
Independent 1

If Stanhope miraculously returns to power, I think he would have to do it with cross bench support. I’d think it is more likely to be a Liberal minority Government.. cautious voters wanting change but not a rubber stamp as the current useless government are. Living in Brindabella, Labor won’t getting any favours from me.

tom-tom tom-tom 8:59 pm 07 Sep 08

i think the smart money’s on:
3 labor 1 lib 1 green in ginninderra (8/10 chance otherwise 3 labor 2 lib);

libs retaking mulchay’s seat as the only change in molonglo (6/10 chance, otherwise molonglo remains as is)

and labor and libs both with 2 in brindebella and a bunfight for the 5th seat (5/10 chance it goes to labor, 3/10 lib, 1.5/10 green and the rest to an indy.)

looking at those numbers i’d see a returned stanhope majority govt, only thing causing me to think otherwise is the pecularities of the ACT system make it very hard to get a majority.

Felix the Cat Felix the Cat 8:50 pm 07 Sep 08

I couldn’t see the option to vote “Who gives f…”

shauno shauno 8:17 pm 07 Sep 08

I might stick some money on Zed just for a laugh. Nothing up there yet on centre bet though.

Other wages up are Next Federal Election (Election Scheduled 2010/11)


Might very well be worth putting some money on the libs at 4.5 given how pathetic Rudd has performed so far.

Also we have US election

President – WINNER
OBAMA, Barack 1.47
MCCAIN, John 2.60

Aurelius Aurelius 7:54 pm 07 Sep 08

Hobbyhorse, If you’re willing to take the bet, I’m up for it.
But if you think that Stefaniak quitting, and the Libs will get the same vote (when Vicki Dunne’s as popular as a fart in a space suit) then I’d almost feel guilty taking your money.

Thumper Thumper 7:07 pm 07 Sep 08

Worth a bet but I still see Stanhope retuned in a minority government.

hobbyhorse1 hobbyhorse1 7:03 pm 07 Sep 08


how about 2 Libs in Ginninderra (Bill’s exit does not make any difference to the number of seats) – plus a friendly independent.

3 Libs in Molonglo (the status quo),

3 Libs in Brindabella (a lot of anger over a range of issues and growing support for Libs).

Zed as Chief Minister just might be worth a bet.

Aurelius Aurelius 5:55 pm 07 Sep 08

For the record, when Howard came to power, the premiers were:
Bob Carr (ALP, NSW)
Jeff Kennett (Lib, Vic)
Rob Borbidge (Nat, Qld)
Richard Court (Lib, WA)
Dean Brown (Lib, SA)
Ray Groom (Lib, Tas)
Shane Stone (Country Liberals, NT)
Kate Carnell (Lib, ACT)
Until the Rudd victory last year, there had only been one period when all governments had been of the same flavour – for a brief period of a few weeks in 1972, when Conservative governments reigned. shows a very good graph to outline this.
As others have stated, the NT result was the Conservatives coming of an extremely bad result last time. The WA result is a bit surprising, but at this stage, seems to be undecided. I’m not familiar with the issues in WA, but I do know that last time around, the labor govt was very unpopular just weeks out from the poll, but the Liberal leadership managed to lose the unlosable election.
If anyone can find a bookie taking bets on Zed being the next Chief Minister, please let me know. I’d love to see the odds. Because with the torpedoing in Ginninderra (poaching Bill Stefaniak) they’re sunk there. And Molonglo and Brindabella cannot lift them back up.

Thumper Thumper 5:52 pm 07 Sep 08

I’d suggest that the honeymoon is over for ALP federally and the status quo has been resumed, which in reality is roughly 50/50 two party preferred.

teepee teepee 4:23 pm 07 Sep 08

Even though I think Stanhope’s hopeless, it’s still hard to see Labor losing in the ACT. Canberrans vote Labor by a two-thirds majority at a federal level. That’s fifteen percent about the usual point of equilibrium in other states. At a local level, some Labor voters in the ACT wander to Green lefty alternatives, but basically the leaning is still heavily to the left.

Carnell got in on a protest vote in 1995, then got lucky the next time around by facing off Whitecross and Berry (many self respecting members of the Labor right couldn’t bring themselves to vote that far to the left). Stanhope could cop a protest vote this time, but local Labor voters may be a bit cautious after observing what happened in WA.

Stanhope would go down in a screaming heap in any other state and territory and Zed would run well anywhere, but we must remember Canberra is a very ssspecial place.

tom-tom tom-tom 1:00 pm 07 Sep 08

i don’t think there is a nation wide mailaise by any stretch of the imagination, in my opinion NT was more about the liberals moving back to a more ‘normal’ position from a low base and WA seems to be a bit of a reaction to whats been occuring within WA labor (renewal after brain burke etc)

i dont think either of these factors are at all relevant in the ACT, and the only comparison between the local situation and whats gone on in other states is that due to the length of time one sides been in govt the number of small ‘nimby type’ groups the govt has upset becomes large enough to have an impact electorally.

Whatsup Whatsup 12:56 pm 07 Sep 08

I am a swinging voter and look forward to making my choice on election day. Not sure who it will be right now but I already know who it wont be. Local issues will influence my decision and there has been plenty of them that have caught my attention in the last few years.

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