Election outcomes, like economic predictions are very difficult to get right. Currently the Liberal National (LNP) government is on a precariously low majority of one. After eight years of mismanagement on climate, endless porkies from the PM, and dissension within LNP ranks, it is hard to see them being returned. But we are barely into the official election campaign and there appears to be a strong media bias in their favour. Labor seems to be copying the Howard 1996 campaign of making themselves as small a target as possible, but in contrast the media then were all for Howard. To this can be added the effect of Palmer’s millions, if any. A Liberal victory is something I don’t even want to think about.
At the moment there are two most likely outcomes. The first and most likely is a hung parliament with Independents and Greens in the middle. The other – if the opinion polls hold – is an ALP majority with the LNP smashed. If the latter occurs and the Libs were to lose three or more seats to Independents it may well bring about a split in the Liberal Party that I have been predicting for some years.
With the situation in Gippsland a strong swing against both sitting members is possible with a small chance of change in Monash. Hopefully Dr Helen Haines MP, who has campaigned tirelessly for renewable energy in Indi will get a bigger majority. A landslide to the ALP would see Monash change hands, as would a very strong Independent vote.
The Climate 200 backed independents are getting a lot of attention – especially Monique Ryan in Kooyong and Zoe Daniel in Goldstein. Their Voices groups have been active for some years, and in the case of Kooyong had a strong ‘Climate Independent’ in 2019. The result can clearly be seen in the large crowds they are drawing to their meetings and their enthusiastic volunteers. It is these candidates plus activists in extra parliamentary groups and on the social media that are making this into a real climate election.
Should either of these outcomes materialise there will still be a lot of work for activists post-election, starting with countering the predictable reaction of the fossil fuel lobby and the media – led no doubt by the climate criminals at News Corp.