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View Diary: Mid July Predictions for the Australian 2013 Federal Election: Hung Parliament II (28 comments)

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    I'm very impressed by the fact that you've managed to form such a comprehensive model for the forthcoming election and your in-depth analysis of the electoral prospects in each of the states and territories is very insightful. You're certainly giving Antony Green a run for his money!

    Rudd's return to the leadership has certainly made this race much more competitive than it once was but it's still an uphill battle for Labor since it needs to win -in addition to retaining seats -to remain in office. It's a difficult ask but it's not impossible and I think Labor's biggest asset could be Abbott. Abbott has never been particularly liked by voters but he's received an enormous fillip over the last few years by the fact that voters seemed to like Gillard even less. Now that Gillard is gone and he has a much more formidable opponent, the focus will be back on him and his negatives will come more into play. It doesn't pay to underestimate Abbott -indeed Labor have done so before at their peril -but he is a polarizing character and this could very well factor in

    Your hung Parliament scenario certainly could make for some fascinating political times. If such an outcome occurs, it will be interesting to see which parties or independents hold the balance of power. If it falls into the hands of one or more of the representatives from Bob Katter's or Clive Palmer's party (I think the former party has much more chance of getting into Parliament than the latter), it could be very interesting to see how it plays out. Palmer will almost certainly give his support to the Coalition but Katter is more of a wildcard and I could actually see him supporting a Rudd Labor government (although he would have to take into account there could well be a divide in his party between the traditionally conservative-leaning types who would otherwise support the LNP and the more protectionist types who might be more inclined toward Labor). If people like Wilkie (if he gets back in) and the Greens (if Bandt gets back in -I don't see them gaining another seat elsewhere) hold the balance of power, Labor will almost certainly return to government but this will create its own problems since Labor's coalition with the Greens was widely considered to have been problematic for the party in the last parliamentary term (with issues like the carbon tax et all) and Wilkie can be unpredictable at times. Of course the election result could bring in parties and/or independents from unexpected places and this will establish another unknown dimension

    Another thing will be interesting to see is whether the political affiliation and/or performance of state governments comes into play in the way that voters cast their ballots. There has been evidence to suggest that it can play a role. At the 1990 federal election, for instance the Hawke Labor government lost a swag of seats in Victoria coinciding with the Cain Labor government's financial and political woes, but these were offset by gains in New South Wales (where there seemed to be a backlash against the Greiner coalition government) and Queensland (where the Goss Labor government -the first Labor government in 32 years in that state -was enjoying an electoral honeymoon). In 1993, the Keating federal Labor government experienced losses in South Australia which were largely attributed to the toxicity of the state Labor government of the time but this was at least partially offset by making significant gains in Victoria due to a backlash against the right wing state coalition government there . One of the factors that was seen as boosting the Howard coalition government's electoral fortunes during the 2004 elections was the fact that Labor held power in all the states (although not in the territories). Against this all this historical precedent, however, is the fact that the first Rudd Labor government won office even though all the state and territory governments were held by the Labor Party and the Coalition retained federal government the 1960s with most of the state and territories also being controlled by the Coalition

    This time around, the coalition holds power in all the states except Tasmania and South Australia and it also. When the Gillard Labor government was in office, it looked like the unpopularity of her government was going to overwhelm state issues as a factor during the federal election campaign. With the change of leadership and the resurgence of Labor's vote (providing it lasts), it could be possible that voters will once again be more inclined to consider state factors when casting their federal ballots.  Even in states where the state governments of one party are popular, people will sometimes be inclined to vote for the opposite party at a federal level to balance this out.

    I've got some additional comments to make about the electoral politics in each of the states but this post is long enough as it is so I'll hopefully get around to making them later in a subsequent post.

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      I agree with everything you have to say.

      Kevin Rudd is a very good politician, which is not to say he is either a good person or necessarily implements good policies. The Coalition don't have anyone, particularly Tony Abbott, who can compete with him on popularity.

      My initial thoughts when Rudd replaced Gillard was that he would keep the election close and lose by 2-3 points and 10 seats or so.

      But his policy announcements have been very strong.

      Abbott is as popular as sepsis and Rudd had robbed the Coalition of their main lines of attack (Gillard, carbon tax, asylum seekers).

      The next couple of week's polling are key but I suspect Labor might move ahead into a winning position.

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