Politics

Well, Labor’s Fucked It: The Coalition Is Set To Form Government

penalty rates Scott Morrison, 2019 election

Settle in Australia, it’s going to be a while before we have a final result in the federal election. But at this stage, it’s looking pretty likely that Scott Morrison’s Coalition will be in government for at least another three years, after scoring at least 73 seats in the lower house.

It’s been a disastrous night for Labor, who have led in every single poll for most of the last three years, including every poll during the election campaign, but weren’t able to pull it all together when it actually mattered.

The most problematic states for Labor were Queensland and Tasmania, where the LNP picked up at least four seats — Herbert and Longman in Queensland, and Bass and Braddon in Tasmania. The Coalition looks like picking up Lindsay in Western Sydney from Labor as well.

Also in Queensland, some of the crucial seats that Labor needed to win — like Flynn, Forde and Capricornia — will almost certainly fall into the Liberal column when counting is done. Meanwhile, Peter Dutton has also retained the seat of Dickson.

The news was slightly better for Labor in Victoria, where they appear to have picked up the seats of Corangamite and Chisholm from the Coalition, but that won’t be enough to secure government. Meanwhile, other target seats in Victoria, such as Kooyong, Casey, Deakin and Flinders, have stayed in the Liberals’ column.

In NSW, it looks like the Liberals will pick up Wentworth from Independent Kerryn Phelps, but that victory will be countered by Zali Steggall, who has won the seat of Warringah off Tony Abbott. Labor has claimed Gilmore on the NSW south coast.

In WA, Labor’s Anne Aly appears to have retained her seat of Cowan, while the Liberals will probably hold Hasluck and Pearce.

Meanwhile, around four million Australians — that’s one third of the electorate — voted at pre-polls, meaning their votes will be counted in coming days. Unless those votes break drastically and uncharacteristically for Labor, Scott Morrison’s Liberals will form government, with 76 seats or so.

What Happens Next?

Well, Scott Morrison will probably just keep on keeping on. He’s now a Liberal hero, who just won the unwinnable election, which gives him massive authority to shape the Liberal party in his own image. Without Tony Abbott to drag him to the right, we might see what a newly minted Morrison government will look like in the coming days.

There’s a chance he’ll need to rely on some independents for power. He’ll likely have Bob Katter’s vote, but he definitely won’t get Andrew Wilkie or Adam Bandt. That means it will come down to Rebekah Sharkie (from Mayo in SA) and Zali Steggall (Warringah in NSW), who are notionally centre-right, as well as potentially Helen Haines (Indi in Victoria) and mayyyyyyybe Kerryn Phelps (Wentworth in NSW).

Meanwhile, in the Labor party, hoo boy, what a fucking mess.

One thing’s seems certain, Bill Shorten cannot remain as Labor leader (barring an unforeseen turnaround in the vote). There will probably be a ballot for the Labor leadership, contested by Anthony Albanese and Tanya Plibersek, and maybe Chris Bowen (but he just suffered a 7 percent swing against him).

Plibersek refused to be drawn on the question of leadership tonight, saying she wanted to wait for all of the results to come in, but she’s already sharpening her attacks against a future coalition government.

“You can imagine the kind of chaotic, chaotic collection that will happen in the future. If Clive Palmer’s in the Senate, he will be asking for all sorts of things from his mates in the Coalition, no doubt. But there’s still a lot of votes to count. And I’m very proud of the campaign that we’ve run, the fact that we’ve laid out a positive vision for Australia.