Well, the Australian federal election is over. Kevin Rudd has conceded defeat, and Tony Abbott has triumphed. To kick off this new term and new government, here is a wrap of what has transpired and what is to come:
- Kevin Rudd conceding:
- Tony Abbott's victory speech:
- Michelle Grattan sums up what we knew as of midnight (there is obviously a lot of counting and formalising yet to do):
The government suffered a two-party swing of 3.6% with the Coalition getting a two party vote of 53.5% to Labor’s 46.5%.The ALP primary vote fell by 4.6% to about 34%, an historic low.
Labor has lost at least 15 seats and the Coalition has gained at least 17. Last night with some seats still in doubt the Coalition had about 88, and Labor about 54.
- But while the Coalition has a healthy result in the House, it does not look as good in the Senate. This is especially important, due to the Coalition's pledge to go to a double dissolution if they cannot repeal Carbon Pricing. Here are the Senate results as of 8am:
- The Australian Financial Review's Laura Tingle says the Minor Parties are the real story of this election:
Tony Abbott has won a decisive victory but the utter thumping that Labor deserved, after three years of melodrama and chaos, was ameliorated by voters opting to spray their votes over minor parties rather than simply being prepared to switch to the Coalition.
- Professor Carol Johnson asks what Labor's legacy really is:
Coalition supporters will no doubt remember the Gillard government through the prism of debt and dysfunction. This is despite the Coalition’s own belated acknowledgement in its costings that returning to surplus is no easy task in a time of falling government revenue.
By contrast, the Labor faithful will remember the Rudd and Gillard governments as ones that did attempt to deal with key challenges of the 21st century. They did have a substantial record of reforming legislation and did attempt to sustain growth with fairness in immensely challenging economic times.
- Greg Craven, Vice Chancellor at the Australian Catholic University, has a different, and more personal, account of Tony Abbott:
As a public personality, our new prime minister is an involuntary paradox. On the one hand, Tony Abbott is one of the most discussed people in Australia. On the other, much of the discussion is so ill-informed that it conceals, rather than illuminates.
Obviously, there is much more to come.