Turnbull Likely To Win Narrowly As Voters Punish Coalition; ALP Secures Nationwide Swing Of 3.18% But Falls Short

Hung Parliament Still Likely; Many Close Seats; Nationwide Swing Delivers ALP Gains; Xenophon Wins Lower House Seat; Pauline Hanson, Derryn Hinch And Jacqui Lambie Elected To Senate

TurnbullPrime Minister Malcolm Turnbull addressed Liberal supporters in Sydney last night

The Turnbull coalition government is clinging to office, following yesterday’s federal election, and may yet face a hung parliament controlled by crossbenchers not necessarily sympathetic to it. In a post-midnight speech, the Prime Minister insisted the coalition would be able to form a majority government.

A nationwide 3.18% swing towards the ALP sees the coalition leading the two-party-preferred vote with 50.01%. Every state and territory swung to the ALP, the Northern Territory leading the field with 7.37% and delivering Solomon to the ALP. The smallest swing was 0.68% in the Australian Capital Territory, where the ALP already held both seats and polled 61.73% of the two-party vote.

There was a 3.64% swing to the ALP in New South Wales. The ALP has won Banks, Barton, Dobell, Eden-Monaro, Lindsay, Macarthur, Macquarie and Paterson.

In Victoria, the swing was 2.13% but it appears that only one seat has changed hands. The ALP lost Chisholm, the eastern suburban Melbourne electorate held since 1998 by the former Speaker, Anna Burke. The Greens came close to winning Batman and counting may yet throw Melbourne Ports into doubt for the ALP.

In Queensland, a swing of 2.75% delivered Longman to the ALP and ended the two-term career of 26-year-old Wyatt Roy. The LNP electorates of Capricornia, Forde and Petrie are too close to call. Hinkler may also be in play.

In Western Australia, a 3.82% swing has delivered the new electorate of Burt to the ALP, giving it 4 of the 16 seats.

Tasmania swung decisively by 6.33% to the ALP and it picked up 3 seats lost in 2013: Bass, Braddon and Lyons.

In South Australia, a swing of 4.44% saw two seats change hands. The ALP’s Steve Georganas regained Hindmarsh, which he lost in 2013. The Liberal Party lost the seat of Mayo to the Nick Xenophon Team. NXT may yet have a chance of taking the large country electorate of Grey.

A range of commentators last night agreed that the coalition would likely be able to form a government with 76-78 seats. The large number of close results means that it will be up to ten days before the results are clear.

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Triumphant Shorten Says The ALP Is Back; Turnbull Delivers Late-Night Off-Key Speech To Supporters

The closeness of the count delayed the appearance of the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader. Shorten appeared first, after 11pm. He told supporters in Melbourne that the ALP was “back”. He reiterated his campaign themes and said that the ALP would save Medicare “in government or opposition”.

Malcolm Turnbull spoke to Liberal supporters at 12.30am, delivering a speech widely panned as off-key and inappropriate. Turnbull spoke at length about thuggery in the construction industry and defended his decision to call the double dissolution. He insisted that the coalition would be able to form a majority government.

  • Watch Shorten’s speech (11m)
  • Listen to Shorten (11m)
  • Watch Turnbull’s speech (16m)
  • Listen to Turnbull (16m)

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Windsor and Oakeshott Defeated; Existing Crossbenchers Re-Elected

Tony Windsor, the former member for New England, failed to defeat Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce. Windsor polled 29.73% but Joyce won the seat outright with a primary vote of 52.09%. [Read more…]


Cathy McGowan: I Voted With Government 90% Of The Time But Opposed Devastating Cuts

Cathy McGowan, the independent member for Indi, has released a television advertisement in which she “sets the record straight” on her voting record in parliament.

McGowan says she voted with the government 90% of the time but opposed “devastating cuts” to higher education, social services and youth allowance. She describes herself as local, effective and “fiercely independent”.

McGowan

With the election just over a week away, it is intriguing that McGowan feels the need to point out her voting record in parliament. It indicates possible criticism in the electorate, or uneasiness over who she would support in the event of a hung parliament. There could be a sense that she is too close to the ALP and/or Greens. [Read more…]


Government Appoints Sophie Mirabella To Submarine Corporation

The federal government has appointed the defeated member for Indi, Sophie Mirabella, to the board of ASC Pty Ltd, formerly known as the Australian Submarine Corporation.

MirabellaThe Minister for Finance, Senator Mathias Cormann, announced the appointment today. Mirabella is one of three appointments to the government-owned body.

On its website, ASC says it “has evolved into Australia’s largest specialised defence shipbuilding organisation, with naval design and engineering resources unparalleled within Australia’s defence industry”.

ASC says it employs “over 2,400 permanent personnel across our three facilities in South Australia and Western Australia”.

Mirabella, 45, was the Liberal member for Indi from 2001 until 2013. She was defeated at this year’s election by an independent candidate, Cathy McGowan, who waged an insurgent grassroots campaign to win the formerly safe Liberal seat by 439 votes. [Read more…]


Sophie Mirabella Concedes Defeat In Indi; Palmer Falls Behind In Fairfax

Sophie Mirabella, the Liberal member for the Victorian electorate of Indi since 2001, has conceded defeat to the independent candidate, Cathy McGowan.

MirabellaMirabella’s concession came during the swearing-in of the Abbott government in which Mirabella expected to be a Cabinet minister.

The latest counting in Indi shows McGowan leading Mirabella by 395 votes, or 50.22% of the two-party-preferred vote. There are 414 declaration votes still to count.

In a gracious statement, Mirabella said she would not seek a recount. “I unreservedly accept the decision of the democratic process,” she said.

In other counting today, Clive Palmer has lost the lead in Fairfax. He now trails by 18 votes with 1,786 votes still to count. On the trend over the past week, Palmer is most likely to lose.

In the Victorian electorate of McEwen, the sitting ALP member, Rob Mitchell, is now 312 votes ahead, with 4,344 votes left to count. He is now expected to win, given the trend in recent days. [Read more…]


ALP Back In Lead In McEwen; McGowan And Palmer Leads Narrow

The ALP’s sitting member in the Victorian electorate of McEwen, Rob Mitchell, is back in the lead as counting continues in the rural seat north of Melbourne.

Counting over the weekend reversed Mitchell’s position. On Thursday night, the ALP was trailing by 396 votes. This narrowed to 153 on Friday night. Yesterday, the ALP was ahead by 97 votes. The Australian Electoral Commission reports that 9,197 envelopes containing absent, provisional, pre-poll and postal votes remain to be counted. Over half of these are pre-poll votes. Postal votes can still be accepted for the next couple of days.

In the Victorian country electorate of Indi, the independent candidate, Cathy McGowan, remains ahead of the sitting Liberal member, Sophie Mirabella, but the her lead is dwindling. McGowan was ahead by 1,100 votes on Thursday. This declined to 895 on Friday. She is now in front by 515 votes with 3,511 votes on hand that haven’t yet been counted.

In the rural Sunshine Coast electorate of Fairfax, Clive Palmer remains 502 votes ahead of the Liberal National Party candidate, Ted O’Brien. Like McGowan in Indi, Palmer was leading by 1,132 on Thursday. This slipped to 718 on Friday. Palmer continues to win only 37% of postal votes. There are 7,491 votes still uncounted.

Counting will continue over the coming days. The count is slowed because of the need to verify the eligibility of each elector who has cast a provisional, absentee or postal vote.

Attention will turn this week to the composition of the new Abbott government. The Prime Minister-elect is expected to announce his ministry today with a swearing-in to take place on Tuesday or Wednesday. Kevin Rudd remains caretaker prime minister until the new ministry is sworn.



Transition To Abbott Government Begins; Shorten, Albanese Vie For ALP Leadership As Recriminations Start; Mirabella Struggling In Indi; Palmer Takes Fairfax; Micro Parties Descend On Senate

The transition to the Abbott Coalition government has begun, following Saturday’s federal election.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has surrendered his commission to the Governor-General, Quentin Bryce. It is expected that Tony Abbott and his ministry will be sworn in early next week. Abbott arrived in Canberra today to hold meetings with his senior colleagues and to take briefings from the public service.

Abbott

In the Labor Party, moves appear to be afoot to elect a new leader by consensus. The outgoing Treasurer, Chris Bowen, announced he would not be a candidate for the position. It now appears that either Bill Shorten or Anthony Albanese will become leader. [Read more…]


Albanese Confronts ‘No Carbon Tax’ Rally In Grayndler

Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese spoke to a ‘No Carbon Tax’ rally outside his electorate office in Marrickville today.

The rally targeted Albanese for his reference to the recent Convoy of No Confidence as a Convoy of No Consequence.

The video below is one of those rare occasions these days when politicians speak at hostile public meetings. It’s worth watching to see how Albanese deals with the crowd.

Coalition shadow minister Sophie Mirabella spoke to the rally after Albanese.