The two big questions I have about the election are: why would you be a National Party MP anymore?

And, isn’t the Coalition, um, a coalition? I thought it was pretty common for Australia to be run by an alliance of parties who couldn’t form government in their own right.

So I decided to find out by trawling Wikipedia. The last time the Libs had a majority of lower house seats was 1996: but only just. 75 out of 148 seats. And that was after Paul Keating’s disastrous Captain Whacky washout.

Year ALP Libs Nats Others Lib %
2007 83 55 10 2 36.7%
2004 60 74 12 4 49.3%
2001 65 68 13 4 45.3%
1998 67 64 16 1 43.2%
1996 49 75 18 6 50.7%
1993 80 49 16 2 33.3%

You might object that the Coalition is a coalition in name only, and that it is de facto a single party with a perfectly coherent platform of “agrarian socialist free-market family-values boats boats boats no great big new taxes defend regional Australia no NBN.”

To which I would respond by repeating my first question.


2 responses to “Hung

  1. A party that represents itself as a noble rabble of hard-talking, straight-shooting mavericks each parochially representing his electorate is going to have a pretty hard time articulating its superiority to an actual straight-shooting maverick.

    So any sufficiently ornery kook in a funny hat can rip a seat from the Nationals, the only question is whether they manage to do anything with it. The hung parliament now apparently proves “Australia has chosen” Bob Katter to restore democracy.

  2. There is a lot of Katter-love on Twitter at the moment, because of the NPC appearance. It’s creepy.

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