The Lucky Country can count itself, well, lucky …

For six weeks Murray told his audience the polls were inaccurate and the Coalition could still win. He had cozy chats with Scott Morrison, who chose to appear on his program rather than the ABC during the election campaign.

“I’m proud of my mate”, an emotional Murray said on Saturday night when it was clear Morrison had lost.

On Sunday night he was gearing up for a new fight, saying: “Welcome to the first meeting of the new resistance”. …

Herald Sun columnist and Outsiders host, Rita Panahi, was quick to accuse Albanese of causing division because the first thing he said in his victory speech was that Labor will commit “in full” to the Uluru Statement from the Heart. …

But it was Andrew Bolt, the Herald Sun’s star columnist and Sky News host, who reacted with visceral anger.

“Scott Morrison’s pathetic Liberals got smashed by telling the world they were the Guilty Party,” Bolt wrote. “Guilty on the ‘climate emergency’. Guilty of being mean to women. Guilty on ‘reconciliation’.

“Who’d vote for such a mewling pack of self-haters with so little self-respect that they won’t even sack a party traitor like Malcolm Turnbull? Thank God this election wipe-out has taken out many of their worst grovellers.

“Please, Peter Dutton, take over, and make the Liberals stop apologising for not being more like Labor. Let the Liberals be Liberals again. But still I see some of the more clueless Liberal survivors crawl from the wreckage and whimper that they’ve got to swing even more to the Left.”

The teal independents in Australia were running against Liberal incumbents, most of whom would normally get a first-preference vote of 50% or more. However if they could take a substantial part of that and get the incumbent’s primary vote down to 40% or less, and if they ran second, they would probably win with the benefit of Labor and Green preferences. And this is more or less what happened.

So a big tent political party was captured by the political right and on several issues, especially climate, and dragged to a position that did not reflect the values of many of its lifetime voters. But the flexibility of preferential voting meant that an independent could come through the middle, offering voters policies and personalities that they wanted.

People power trumped Murdoch. Perhaps it can do so in the US.

By the end of the night, the Liberals, the party of government more often than not in the decades since World War II, had lost seven additional seats to independents — six of them to “teals”, the grassroots community efforts following some version of the “Voices of” model developed in the Victorian border electorate of Indi a decade ago.

The model that elected and re-elected Cathy McGowan, who then passed the mantle to Helen Haines, was translated by residents of Warringah for the election of Zali Steggall in 2019.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store