ALP Wins McEwen By 7 Votes

The final count of votes in the Victorian electorate of McEwen has given the seat to the ALP candidate, Rob Mitchell, by 7 votes, in what is likely to be a federal record.

Despite holding a lead during most of the past two weeks of counting, the former Howard government minister, Fran Bailey, fell behind today as the final batch of postal and absentee votes was counted.

After the distribution of preferences, Bailey has 48,409 votes to Mitchell’s 48,416. This is a swing to the ALP of 6.42% from the 2004 election.

The AEC says there have already been two counts in the seat but that the candidates are entitled to a recount.

On present trends, if the ALP holds McEwen, it will have 84 of the 150 seats in the new House of Representatives.


2007 Election: Update On Doubtful Seats

Labor Government Lead Dwindling; 16-Seat Majority Likely; 8 Seats Still Undecided

Dec 07 – 6.15pm – Nearly two weeks after polling day, counting continues for all electorates in the House of Representatives, with absentee, postal and declaration votes trickling in. The Australian Electoral Commission now has the ALP on 80 seats, the Liberals 50, The Nationals 10, and independents 2. There are 8 seats still in doubt. La Trobe is no longer regarded as doubtful, retained by the Liberal member, Jason Wood, by 889 votes. [Read more…]


Oppositions Do Win Elections: Gartrell Analyses ALP Election Victory

The ALP has disproved the notion that oppositions don’t win elections, governments lose them, according to Tim Gartrell, National Secretary of the ALP.

GartrellAddressing the National Press Club in Canberra, Gartrell argued that Labor won the election campaign outright and that the election of Kevin Rudd as leader of the ALP exactly one year ago was when the momentum began.

Gartrell argued that “the momentum Labor built through 2007 was not confined to the return of one single group. It goes comprehensively deeper and wider than that. It was a wave that swept up Australians in almost every demographic – at either end of the spectrum and in the middle. The under 30s and the over 60s. Manual trades workers and the university educated. Mums at home and families with both parents working.”

Gartrell claimed a wide-ranging swing for the ALP: “This was self-evidently not a swing confined to narrow, sectional groups. This was a swing that on election day would deliver seats to Labor in Far North Queensland, on the Central Coast of New South Wales, in western Sydney and the suburbs of Brisbane and in John Howard’s own backyard – Bennelong.” [Read more…]


Rudd Announces New Labor Government Ministry

The Prime Minister-elect, Kevin Rudd, has announced his new ministry at a press conference in Canberra.

One of the most significant changes is that Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard will be both Education Minister and Employment & Workplace Relations Minister.

The highly-regarded Senator John Faulkner has been appointed Special Minister of State and Cabinet Secretary. [Read more…]


Prime Minister-Elect Rudd Holds Press Conference

2.20pm – The Prime Minister-elect, Kevin Rudd, has held a press conference in Brisbane, announcing that he has spoken to a number of world leaders, including US President Bush and UK Prime Minister Brown.

Rudd said there would be a caucus meeting on Thursday, with the ministry to be sworn shortly thereafter.

He reiterated that he would be choosing his ministry and defended Peter Garrett’s performance as Environment spokesman.

  • Listen to Kevin Rudd’s Press Conference (13m)

Costello To Quit Politics; Won’t Seek Leadership

Nov 25 – 12.45pm – The outgoing Treasurer, Peter Costello, has announced that he will not seek the leadership of the Liberal Party following its defeat at yesterday’s election.

Costello said he would serve out his three-year term as the member for Higgins and would leave politics at the next election.

Adapting the words of former United States President Lyndon Johnson, Costello said: “I will not seek and I will not accept the leadership of the Liberal Party.”

Can Turnbull Snatch The Prize?

Nov 25 – 1.00pm – Political attention will now focus on whether the member for Wentworth, Malcolm Turnbull, can secure the leadership of the Federal Liberal Party.

Turnbull won a second term in the House of Representatives at yesterday’s election, withstanding a concerted attempt to unseat him. He nearly won the seat on primary votes.

Other likely contenders for the leadership are Brendan Nelson and Joe Hockey. Alexander Downer will also be called on to make his intentions clear. Julie Bishop could be a contender but is more likely to seek the deputy’s position.

Nightmare For Liberal Party Worsens, Or Does It?

Nov 25 – 1.15pm – Whilst some will see Peter Costello’s departure as a worsening nightmare for the Liberal Party, following its defeat in yesterday’s election, the decision also represents an opportunity to move to a new generation of leadership untainted by the Howard-Costello years.

Conversely, the decision by Costello robs his party of a strong parliamentary performer with experience in government.

For Kevin Rudd, the development represents a stunning defeat of his two major opponents in the coalition government.


2007 Federal Election Night Reports

Updates appear in reverse chronological order.

Ignominious End For John Howard

10.05pm – John Howard has become only the second prime minister in Australian history to lose an election and his seat. Whilst final results are not in, and there are many absentee, pre-poll and postal votes still to come, it now appears very unlikely that Howard can retain Bennelong. There has been a 5.24% swing against the Prime Minister and Maxine McKew currently leads on 51.11% of the two-party vote.

The only other prime minister to lose his seat was Stanley Melbourne Bruce in 1929. Bruce’s government was defeated over industrial relations changes and Bruce lost the Melbourne electorate of Flinders. He regained the seat at the next election. By contrast, Howard’s political career is now over. [Read more…]