Coalition wins unwinable, Labour loses unlosable

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has won the election that pundits and pollsters said was unwinnable.

The Labor Party lost the one that was supposed to be unlosable and its leader Bill Shorten has resigned.

Scott Morrison has earnt a permanent place as a Liberal Party legend — returning the Government in what was meant to be an unwinnable election for the Coalition.

Mr Morrison smashed the doctrine that disunity will lead to electoral death.

Despite three prime ministers in two terms of government, the Queensland swing to back the Coalition and swings in Tasmania and WA showed that ultimately jobs and fear of change are too dominant.

Labor conceded but it’s not yet clear whether the Liberal Coalition has enough seats to govern as a majority government or whether it will be a minority one with the support of independent MPs.

The Prime Minister made the campaign all about economic management and himself — out-campaigning Labor by running a brutal and stunning campaign demolishing Labor’s big-target policy agenda.

Mr Morrison made the campaign a referendum on him and Bill Shorten, and downplayed the Liberal brand — cultivating a new Scott Morrison image and promising to be a steady pair of hands on the economy.

He told a packed crowd of Liberal supporters in Sydney he had always believed in miracles.

“And tonight we’ve been delivered another one,” he said. . . 

Labor took a big risk campaigning on big changes to tax loop holes including franking credits and negative gearing, allowing Mr Morrison to spend every day of the campaign casting doubt on the way Labor would remake the country.

His message was sharp, piercing and he never deviated from the one central claim — that Labor was a high-taxing risk to the economy and Mr Shorten would take money “from your pocket”. . . 

By contrast, Labor drifted from message to message — it started on health, moved to wages and staggered into climate change. . . 

The party prosecuted a message about the future premised on climate action and fairness while the Coalition stuck to a disciplined campaign with almost no new policy announced apart from the tax cuts unveiled in the Budget and a last-minute pitch for aspiring young home owners.

Are there lessons for New Zealand?

Economic management matters and high taxes don’t win elections.

It also raises questions about how much buy-in there is from the public to climate change policies which come at a high economic and social cost with questionable environmental benefit.

One Response to Coalition wins unwinable, Labour loses unlosable

  1. A surprise result for sure. Another issue to mention is the leadership of Bill Shorten who although the Labor Party has been more popular than the Liberals, Mr Shorten has consistently been behind Scott Morrison in the preferred Prime Minister Polls. I wrote an article on my blog about the election if you would like to read it that would be great.

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