Podcast #75: A remarkable election


Ben is joined by Kevin Bonham to discuss the results of yesterday’s federal election.

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  1. The Mcgcowan state government with the handling of the safety of its people made 100 percent difference to the end result together with over thirty years of neglect with fossil fuels and climate change MADE all the difference yesterday.

  2. if you look at the seat of hawke for the 1st pref labor lost 15% and greens gained 1.2 % but the libs also lost 4% and the indi has gained 2 % since last fed election but looks like the IND might topple libs with pref and then inturn take most of the lib votes to beat lab in a 10.2% lab safe seat

  3. Ben,
    I listened to your podcast wit interest.
    These are my comments(I will declare my interest,I am a conservative who,in the House of Representatives preferenced, in Bradfield,Labor before Liberal):-
    1.Nothing should disguise the fact that this is the worst Federal election result for the Liberals since the party was founded.
    2.The reasons for this will be debated.My view is that the Liberals strayed too far to the left.Why elect the Liberals when they are no different to Labor?Generally the record of the Government was unimpressive.
    3.Notwithstanding the success of the teal independents,the fact that there is no hung parliament means that they have very little influence in the new parliament.Labor can ignore them because,unlike the Greens,they do not threaten Labor seats.
    4.The result of the next election is likely to depend on Labor’s economic performance.There are ominous signs,not of Labor’s making,that they are likely to encounter severe headwinds.Discipline will be required.History suggests that they are not possessed of such discipline.
    5.The problem for the teal independents is that,inevitably,they will be tied to the success or otherwise of Labor’s performance,and if Labor fails they will be in peril(the usual rule for independents entrenching themselves,will,I think,not apply).

  4. I guess the concern for Labor is how do they win back seats that they traditionally win when they are in government (Petrie, Longman, Page, Lindsay, Bass, Braddon) etc, because it is doubtful that they will be able to hold Tangney and if they do (big if) they manage to win Menzies, Moore or Sturt. Because these seats should return to Liberal hands next time, So Labor would have to pick up seats to win a majority or hold a majority at the next election and they would have to look at the seats I mentioned.

    Losing Lyons is also a possibility. I am still confused as to why Labor failed to win traditional working class seats as I have mentioned. Does Scott Morrison or the coalition have some sort of appeal in these seats? Or is Labor still genuinely disliked in these seats?

    I don’t buy ”demographics” considering Greenway is similar to Lindsay and the margin there blew out. and Parramatta failed to swing to the Liberals. You can talk about incumbency but that didn’t stop other liberal members losing their seats.

    If anyone has any analysis as to why Labor failed and (and even went backwards) in some of the seats I mentioned, I’d be keen to heat your opinion and what the party can do to win these back.

    Labor would be favoured to win a 2nd term in 2025 as the last first term government go be defeated was in 1931 (however Whitlam won 2 elections, His government only lasted 3 years) But Labor must pick up seats from the coalition they didn’t win this time to win next time, And they simply cannot rely on Peter Dutton being unpopular with voters or the teals to win re-election because Dutton may not be as right-wing as people suggest because he will want to win the election so he will change anything to win. (Albo is left-faction Labor yet he has pretty much run as a centrist)

    3 years is a long time in politics and we had a prime minister Tony Abbott. and a reduced crossbench is almost certain at the next election (Liberals managed to take back crossbench seats in 1998) and allot of these are in inner-cities so it will be incredibly hard to defend all of them considering the coalition will be focused on winning them back, If they can take back the teals seats, gain back Tangney and the few others seats that they normally hold (Higgins) then they would be able to form a minority government at the next election if they can hold all there current seats.

    Labor probably needs a swing to to gain ground in the marginal seats to win the next election (Much like 2013)

  5. I think it is a simplification to say Lindsay and Greenaway are similar demographics. Lindsay may have aspirational younger families but probably ones whose parents were also from this area and were Bblue collar. They are probably trades and small business owners, school teachers and nurses. Traditional Labor leaning voters that are becoming Liberal leaning.

    Greenway is different. The new housing estates are basically filled with the children of voters from Mitchell and Berowra. Their parents are the traditional mainstream Liberal voters (with a bit more Christian right in them then the Teal seats).

    Guess what? Their kids are not so religious and even when they are church going they are still more likely to lean to the left after their schooling.

    ka they are ok with same sex marriage and believe climate change is an issue. Exactly the voters the Libs lost this election. They are university educated and in alot of office type jobs aka finance, law, and tech companies.

    The kids of Mitchell and Berowra also live in the Hawkesbury area of Macquarie (plus some up on the Central Coast) so I expect similar swings there.

  6. Ben

    I am not a seat by seat expert, but more just an overall observer. I thought one of the interesting observation was what appeared to be move away from the Liberals by Chinese heritage people. It happened in a big way in my seat (Moreton) in what was seen as a positive for the LNP candidate (Chinese BCC Councillor) in a strong Chinese community (8.7% swing away). It appeared to be a big factor in the Melbourne metro seats that the Liberals lost. I just wonder if this was a trend in other seats with a similar demographic. It appears to me that Dutton’s big mouth was a big negative for this particular demographic.

  7. That’s a trend that’s basically can be applied not only for Moreton but also some of the Melbourne seats lost like Chisholm and Menzies (Liberals may just edge out here but this was one of the safest Liberal seats in Melbourne) and Sydney seats like Reid and Bennelong as well as Tangney in Perth.

  8. Yes it was a fascinating election. To say the least!

    The old winners and loser analysis….

    Labor – winners

    If you win an election from opposition and form Government you have won regardless of the actual result.

    Liberals – losers

    Lost their urban heartland to the teals and greens and labor managed to snare a few seats as well.

    Teals – winners and losers

    Yes they won seats but if they have the agenda to influence the liberals with greener progressive policies they have managed, by their success, to remove two gay members, an member with an Asian background, and the second most senior member of the Government who is Jewish…… Consequently, any chance of the liberals having a moderate as leader is gone. The teals will now most likely have to deal with opposition leader – Peter Dutton.

    Nationals – winners

    Didn’t lose a seat, gained a senator and a (very) slight chance of picking up Lingari.

    Greens – winners

    Picked up two or three seats. And positioned to win more in seats such as Macnamara, Richmond, Newcastle, Cunningham in the next few elections (and Brisbane if they don’t win this time). Potentially Higgins at the next election. And Clarke, Grayndler, Sydney when the incumbents retire.
    Very interesting comments by Ben regarding the QLD greens having to win TPP contests as there is no proportional representation in QLD other than the Senate.
    Talking about the Senate – 12 green Senators.

    Moderate Liberals – Big Losers

    Refer above comments on teals.
    It will be a very small meeting room when the remaining moderates meet at the Parliament house. By my estimate there are now only 6 liberal moderates in the lower house…….

    Pocock – Winner

    Potentially holds balance of power in the Senate.

    Uluru Statement – Loser

    The chance of bipartisanship on this matter has disappeared with the right inheriting the liberal party. Very hard to get constitutional change without bipartisanship and distinct possibility that it will not be passed.

    Parachutes – loser

    When the parachuting from Scotland Island and the parachute doesn’t open the result can be messy (at least KK didn’t sell her place on Scotland Island).

    And if Parachuting into Paramatta from Wentworth – at least get the new address in on time…..

    Fowler Candidates with the Le surname – winner and future winner

    Dei – winner. Big swing and looks like the grass roots campaign paid off.
    Te – labor won’t be parachuting anyone in at the next election…… probably want a well qualified local with appropriate heritage – know anyone?

    Sukkar – Potential Loser

    If Sukkar loses his seat he only has himself to blame. No campaign of any note and thought he had it in the bag….. If he survives he will be treating Deakin as a very marginal seat. (for what it is worth -and not much I know – I think he will get back on postal).

    Archer – winner

    Survived the Bass ejector seat.

    Abetz – loser

    26 years in the senate before being dumped to unwinnable third spot. Last of the A’s to go (Abbott and Andrews being the others). None of whom retired gracefully.

    Andrew Constance – winner

    Potentially the only candidate to win a seat (Gilmore) from labor for the liberals. And even if he loses the fact that he made it close makes him a winner.

    Warren Snowden – winner

    Retired as the last person to have sat in the old parliament house.

    Major parties – losers

    Primary vote share of two major parties have fallen to record lows. Labor wins because they were less least preferred than the coalition. Lowest labor vote since WW1 (I haven’t checked to confirm but 32.8% means less than 1 in 3 voters actually voted for labor and more than 2 in 3 wanted someone else). And lowest liberal / nat vote since the 1940s? (again haven’t checked but sound right). How do the major parties recover their primary vote.

    Clive Palmer – loser

    Spent a lot of money for no seats (outside chance in Vic Senate) and labor / greens won government which may impact his future coal interests.

    Newspaper and TV Companies – winners

    Thanks Clive!

    Urban Liberals – losers

    The list of urban liberal seats now looks about as long as the list of labor seats in Queensland – very very short.

    Renewable Energy – winner

    No doubt a key policy objective of labor / greens / teals so a lot of resources will be directed into renewables.

    Australian Coal – winner?

    Based on some “back of the envelope” number both Qld and NSW budgets will be boosted by about $10b each from coal royalties due to the soaring prices for both thermal and metallurgic coal. China and India’s coal demand continues to grow. Supply is restricted due to Russia not being able to export. Will Labor not approve new Australian coal mines when other countries will supply lower quality (ie more Co2, sulphur etc for same energy) = worse global environment outcome; put pressure on budgets (both state and commonwealth); and increase inflationary pressures (higher electricity and steel costs).

    Perhaps Albos first excrement sandwich?

    Australian Democracy – Big Winner

    Despite all the differences in views about who should govern, nobody has been killed in the Australian democracy process (or even stabbed with a cork screw as per warringah 2019 – although there might have been a few cases of unreported food poisoning from a “democracy sausage”). There are no allegations of voter fraud and power passed peacefully over a cup of tea at Yarralumla this morning. Something that all Australians should be immensely proud of. I hope Albo points this out to the Quad leaders.

  9. Pollster I don’t understand how you can see a massive breakthrough like the teals had as anything other than an unequivocal win. Whether or not Labor end up needing their votes in this parliament, the ‘moderate’ cause within the Liberal party, such as it is, had absolutely no meaningful policy wins since Turnbull’s ouster and never will again. The tree tories are far better off organised on their own, using actual leverage over both major parties rather than begging for scraps. And should Labor not deliver enough for them in this parliament then they can always expand their campaign into Labor seats in 2025.

  10. Given in Canada equivalent for the LNP will most likely have Pierre Poilievre as their opposition leader who holds Right-Wing anti-vax populist evident for his support of the trucker’s protest and his visit to anti-vax business, could this happen to the LNP with Peter Dutton?
    If both Dutton and Poilievre became opposition leaders, could this make implication on the view of centre right parties and potentially further kill moderate votes.
    To be fair, Dutton is more hardline on security, unlike Poilievre who is libertarian. Poilievre is more like Matthew Guy with Tony Abbott’s Rhetoric. Furthermore, Australia’s conservative leaders tend to tone down their stances once they have the job probably due to the need to adhere broad church, unlike Canada where its leaders direct the policiies based on their own views.

  11. @FL – I am waiting to see what happens with the Teals. Hence my winners and losers. Labor may leave them hanging or if the teals don’t caucus pick one or two off for each bit of legislation and make them look like disorganized rabble. Also the treat of the Teals running in labor seats is hollow. Ignoring Perth (because I don’t know the seats very well), the only seat with the demographics that labor holds which the teals could win is Higgins. And if the teals had run they would have had a good chance to win Higgins. Although Katie Allen was pretty much the teal candidate – female, doctor, progressive socially etc. Which is probably why the Teals didn’t run in Higgins.

    There is no reason why labor would spend a cent in any of the teal seats and increasing (or even maintaining) subsidies for “elite private schools” probably isn’t high on Albo’s agenda. It will be an interesting discussion when the new labor member in Higgins is approached by Hailibury, St Kevins, Loretto with a request to assist with the new gym / pool / library / rowing shed / general funding etc. As a good local member she should be doing this. How the education minister take this request will be even more interesting……

    Conversely, Albo might take a view that labor will lose seats at the next election and he will need cross bench support. Therefore he might be more benevolent.

    The reality for the teals is that yes they have won seats but have they actually got any leverage? Or are they the dog that chases the bus and catches it and then is not sure what it does next.

    Liberals can’t form government without either winning the seats back from the teals or forming a coalition with them. Did the teals (and their voters) really want a one party state?

  12. Pollster,the Liberals can’t form a coalition with the teals when they have no economic or other policies.
    If they ever were to do so they would suffer the same fate as Labor did when they had a coalition with the Greens in Tasmania.

  13. @sabena – I am not sure if you are referring to the teals or the libs as having no policies but the only thing that matters in politics is the numbers….

    Having spent a lot of time in Tassie I would say that anyone who enters into a coalition with the greens does not live happily ever after…..

    Also another big loser – captain’s picks


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