These are my thoughts about the State Election (all stats are from election evening and will obviously change once the final results are known)
The Biggest Winner: The NSW Labor Party
You have to hand it to the NSW ALP. They managed to win an election and continue ruling for a fourth term. By the time the next election comes around, the Labor Party will have been in power for 16 years. And they have managed to do this despite all the corruption, child abusing and girlfriend abusing politicians and straight out stupid decisions. A party that can win despite these problems will be a happy party indeed.
The Winningest Loser: Peter Debnam
Peter Debnam has no reason to stand down as opposition leader. He has overseen a +2.1% swing towards the Liberal Party (as of this evening) and has fought hard against the ALP political machine. If I were him, I would be proud of his effort, despite losing.
The Losingest Winner: Jodi McKay
Jodi McKay has won the seat of Newcastle for the ALP in a titanic three-way tussle between her, ousted sitting member Bryce Gaudrey and Newcastle Mayor John Tate. Yet she has managed to do this while securing just 31.2% of the primary vote. That means that over two-thirds of Novacastrians, a Labor "heartland", decided not to vote for the primary ALP candidate. All over the Hunter there has been a 10-12% swing against the ALP in ALP seats.
The Spanner in the Works: The Greens
As I predicted, the Greens have managed to secure over 8% of the primary vote. They have only increased their margin by 0.5% over the last four years (which should worry them), but if you look at seats around the state, the Greens have sometimes polled higher than the ALP in Liberal seats, and polled higher than the Liberal Party in ALP seats. The Greens polled very well in Marrickville (32.5%) and Balmain (29.5%) to run second to the ALP. It is obvious that the Greens are causing real problems, particularly in ALP and Liberal seats. They need work in Tamworth though, where the Greens candidate polled just 1% of the vote - the lowest Green result in the state.
The Most Worried Party: The NSW Labor Party
Labor won this election with 39.5% of the Primary vote. They won in 2003 with 43.6% of the Primary vote, in 1999 with 42.2% of the Primary vote and 1995 with 41.3% of the Primary vote. There's no doubt that, despite their victory, Labor party leaders should be shocked that they have lost 4.1% of the NSW voting public. (BTW - In 1988, the ALP took 38.5% of the primary vote, 1% less than they did today... and lost badly!)
The Shrinking Minority: The NSW Liberal Party
Although Peter Debnam should be happy, the Liberal Party's share of the primary vote is a pathetic 26.8%. In other words, three out of every four people in NSW did not vote for the Liberal Party. The Liberal party's problem began when the lost the election in 1995 and gained 32.8% of the Primary vote. In 1999 only 24.8% voted Liberal, and in 2003 it was 25.2%. While the Liberal party has been clawing back its votes, it really dropped down the cliff in 1999. Back in the 1980s, Liberal party votes were consistently around 32-35% of the Primary vote. Since we have a Liberal Prime Minister, and have decades of history of the Liberal Party being a major force in Australian Politics, I really think that this election sounds a major warning to the Liberal party - much more so than the ALP. You can't expect to run the country over the long term when your primary vote drops from one-third to one quarter over a 12 year period.
From the One Salient Overlord Department
© 2007 Neil McKenzie Cameron, http://one-salient-oversight.blogspot.com/
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