Posted by Possum Comitatus on November 24, 2007
The day has finally arrived. After months of campaigning that felt like years, after the 100 odd pieces of polling analysed, the rumours, the research, the tips and the leaks – in 12 hours time Australia will have a new Prime Minister.
The question will be the size of the majority, and we’ll get a good idea of that soon enough. The marginals will count, but the big nasty surprise in store will be what Crosby Textor calls “LNP 5-10%” – Coalition seats held on a 5-10% margin.
These have been problematic for the Coalition all year as we’ve seen with the Oztrack polling, and while the average size of the swing to the ALP in these seats has reduced over the last few months, the swing is still large enough to cut out a significant parliamentary majority.
The marginal seats will deliver most of the numbers needed to form an ALP government, and there will be marginals that buck the swing – but these semi marginals are where the action is and where the size of the majority will be defined.
A rather copious quantity of horsefluff has been written over the last week about The Narrowing, yet far from the marginals tightening for the Coalition, the late swing apparently is to the ALP, particularly in NSW, and particularly in the seats that are on the fringe of the marginal classification. This is why the two leaders didn’t waste their time in the last week of the campaign in those marginal seats – their fate was effectively decided weeks and months ago.
It’s why Rudd was out fox hunting in seats with up to double digit margins, and why Howard was following. Rudd was campaigning not just for this election, but for the next.
The West is still good for the Coalition, in terms of only one or two seats being likely to fall – maybe even zero in net terms, yet this election wont be going down to the wire, we wont be staying up all night waiting for the Sandgropers to decide the nations fate. That will be decided early, and the West will just be a curiosity to the final outcome.
So go and do your part for our democracy – man the booths, assist the booth workers or simply just exercise your franchise. This day is our day, your day, the day where that little piece of paper and its accompanying little pencil make all of us equal.