The Federal election: a foregone conclusion
It is hard to think there can be many in the community who won’t be happy to see the back of the Federal Election campaign.
While the official campaign has only been underway for a number of weeks, the decision by former Prime Minister Julia Gillard to set the election date at the start of the year effectively meant the phoney campaign started months ago.
Unfortunately for Labor, it is difficult to see how they can win, with the polls showing an initial bounce with the return of Kevin Rudd, but that shine has now worn off.
While the last few days of the election could turn things around, it is hard to see how, with polling for the last couple of years consistently showing the Liberals were likely to win on a two party preferred basis.
The reality of all election campaigns is while they are important in swinging people to a particular party or view, what they actually do is ask the community to reflect back on the previous term of Government and come to a view about whether they want more of the same, or change.
For Labor this has meant that regardless of the return of Kevin Rudd, many people have already made up their minds and will be voting Liberal.
While Mr Rudd’s return may have suspended people’s views for a short period of time, unfortunately for the party it is difficult to convince people that the past six years of Government won’t return if they vote Labor.
This has left the Liberals in the box seat and means provided they keep their heads down they should comfortably be elected.
It is interesting to note that recent polling in the western suburbs of Sydney shows Labor is in serious trouble and really serves to highlight that Tony Abbott has managed to win back the Howard battlers.
Closer to home, if the polls are to be believed then Dick Adams in Lyons, Sid Sidebottom in Braddon and Geoff Lyons in Bass face the fights of their lives to retain their seats.
While Sid Sidebottom has faced similar challenges before and Bass is renowned for swinging, if the numbers are true then look no further to determine the result of the Federal Election than the seat of Lyons. If Dick Adams is in trouble it is difficult see Labor having any chance.
Unlike the other seats, Lyons has traditionally been more attached to its local member than any party affiliation and Dick Adams has built a strong reputation over many years.
The other area of interest on election night will be to see where the vote goes in the Senate and in particular the Green vote, given this is the first election without Bob Brown as leader and also comes on the back of the Labor-Green Government in Tasmania.
All in all, for those who love politics, no doubt election night will be of great interest, but for most of us we’ll just be happy it is over.