May 18 has come and gone and Australia has a Government after five weeks of campaigning. A Liberal National Government. For the next three years Prime Minister Scott Morrison will lead a Liberal National Coalition government. An unprecedented upset considering the bookmakers put Labor at $1.10 to win and the Coalition as high as $8 at some points
At the time of writing this article the LNP have confirmed 76 seats while Labor has 69. There are still 3 seats in question; Bass (TAS), Macquarie (NSW) and Chisolm (VIC). Bass will likely be become a Liberal seat and Macquarie and Chisolm on the Two party preferred vote show Labor ahead. However as it currently stands Australia has an LNP Government and will have one for the next three years.
Since the last election the Liberals have retained their position, possibly gained an extra seat, on the floor of the House with a slim majority. Notable exceptions to the Floor include; Tony Abbott, who lost his seat of Warringah to the high profile Independent Zali Steggall in an unprecedent swing against him. Kerryn Phelps, losing the seat of Wentworth which she won in the Super Sunday Byelection from former PM Malcolm Turnbull. Labor lost many seats in Queensland and this is where their failure to form Government can most likely be attributed.
In terms of how Labor failed to form Government, the harsh country that is Queensland inflicted its toll on Labor. With the revival of Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party, FKA Palmer United Party, and One Nation the Coalition was able to gain the second preferences that swung the vote towards the right. While Labor was expecting to pick seats up across Queensland the two minor parties harvested votes away from Labor towards the LNP and tip the scales of the knife edge marginal electorates. The Uninformed Reader will have more in depth analysis of the Queensland electorates in coming editions.
In terms of how the rest of the nation voted, neither Labor nor the Coalition gained as much ground as Queensland. The booths were fairly consistent from the previous elections. Labor was able to pick up some Victorian seats however not as many as expected nor enough to offset the Queensland losses. While NSW, SA and WA all had consistent votes from previous elections with the metropolitan areas favouring Labor while the rural electorates favoured Liberal National candidates. Tasmania did have a swing against Labor, in particular the seats of Bass and Braddon. In the territories, Labor held the seats of the Northern Territory and in the ACT all three electorates went to Labor with the new seat of Canberra being won by Alicia Payne.
Bill Shorten has resigned as Leader of the Labor party in the aftermath of the loss. More to come on the new leader.