The election result was close, but fortunately avoided the disaster of a minority government. The election was supposed to be about enabling a joint sitting to pass some necessary union governance and industrial laws, which never got a mention in the campaign. Judging by column inches the election appeared to be about whether laws permitting homosexual marriage should be put to a plebiscite or not.
A challenge to Turnbull is keeping his party members in line. Robert Menzies achieved that post the 1961 elections; indeed he is alleged to have said that it was easier with a slim majority to control the party room. It is alleged that the refusal by Turnbull to support Rudd’s bid to become UN Secretary General is to placate right wing dissidents, If so, a bad omen. If Turnbull backs down from the superannuation changes due to pressure from a noisy minority, then he deserves to be dumped at the earliest opportunity. Those changes are alleged to have lost votes, but those would be concentrated in Liberal strongholds. In the absence of changes the ALP would have had a field day, highlighting the inequities to the bulk of supernatants in marginal seats.
There has been much discussion about the low primary votes for the major political parties in Australia. There has been remarkable support for outsiders. Similarly overseas; Trump and Sanders in the USA and Corbyn in the UK. Turnbull, Shorten and Clinton represent the old style anodyne politicians.
The yearning for something different in Australia arises from the fact that the standard of living for the voter on average has not improved since 2009. The table comes comes from HILDA - Household. Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey https://www.melbourneinstitute.com/downloads/hilda/Stat_Report/statreport_2015.pdf, also known as the Living in Australia study. The same families (but including a few more as replacements are needed) are interviewed each year.
Table 3.1: Household annual disposable incomes (December 2012 prices)
2001 63,448 54700
2002 63,231 54863
2003 62,963 54737
2004 65,210 56743
2005 68,277 59650
2006 72,335 62095
2007 75,853 65378
2008 78,524 67471
2009 80,995 71901
2010 81,214 69530
2011 81,550 69048
2012 82,445 71232
The data only goes up to 2012, but since then GDP per capita is stable and household disposal income is declining.
Governments cry - we have steady, albeit small, increases in GDP each year, so Government is in the very best of hands*. They are keeping GDP up with a massive immigration program, so we have a con job, which only a few commentators seem to realise, http://www.news.com.au/finance/economy/australian-economy/the-population-booms-hidden-secret/news-story/d2a892dcea0ab8e9967455880502f4c1.
During the campaign media outlets kept immigration as low a profile as possible and denied space to anti-immigration views, such as the moderate environmental party Sustainable Australia, which got zero mention in Victoria. One Nation, which gets free publicity because of the media’s demonisation of Pauline Hanson as a witch, captured an ant-immigration vote, but many people in favour of a lower immigration rate would not vote for One Nation.
Voters don’t see much difference between the major party policies to help them achieve their desire for standard of living improvement. The waffle from Turnbull about living in exciting times does not connect. The slogan ‘jobs and growth’ sounds more like an article of faith than something based on reality. Ever since he was made leader of the Liberals Turnbull’s personal rating has declined and TIA predicts it will fall to new low levels.
*There are contemporary versions on the original catchy tune. e.g.http://lyricsplayground.com/alpha/songs/t/thecountrysintheverybestofhandslilabnerthemusical.shtml
Comments welcome: firstname.lastname@example.org