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Aston(ishing) Result…

Ok, a few weeks ago I wrote about how the idea that Labor was a strong chance to win the Aston by-election was ignoring history…

Of course, I was also aware of Black Swan events. These are the events that we think are impossible until they happen and then we re-write history as though they were inevitable and it’s quite remarkable that some people didn’t see them before they happened. For example, the ubiquitous nature of the internet or the GFC.

My point here is that I thought it extremely difficult for Labor to win but I wanted to point that out because – at the time – people were talking as though it was a 50/50 thing.

Let’s be clear here: This is not unprecedented, but the only people who can remember the last time the government won a seat off the opposition in a by-election probably can’t, because they’d be over 103… And that’s assuming that they can remember something that happened a few weeks after their birth…

So why did Labor win?… assuming that they do win because at the time of writing Antony Green is only suggesting that it’s a 99.99999% probability.

I think there are a few factors:

  • Dutton keeps trying to make a big thing about broken election promises. People expect politicians to break promises; they only care about the ones that affect them personally. As I’ve said many times, there aren’t a lot of Labor voters with $3 million in super.
  • Dutton tells the public things that are demonstrably untrue. This is different from broken election promises because it’s treating you like an even bigger fool. It’s one thing to break your promise because you can always argue that you meant to keep it but things have changed since you made it, but it’s another thing to say that the sky is purple and you need to pay me for the unicorn you just bought. When Dutts tries to tell us that Mary Doyle, who campaigned for the seat just ten months ago, isn’t a local but Roshena Campbell is. because she’s managed to rent a property that she plans to move into if she wins, not only do people think it sounds dodgy, but a number of people trying to find a rental property in the area probably think that if she loses, that gives them another possible home.
  • John Howard wrote a letter that was sent to the voters in Aston. There are two things wrong with this. 1) A large number of voters are too young to remember Howard and 2) the Liberals seem to forget that he lost the last election he fought and that even some of those who remember him think of him as a man whose time had come.
  • Anthony Albanese isn’t Scotty Morrison. He’s not perfect and there are quite a few things where Labor needs to improve but this is going to be a big tick for him until people start saying, “Scott Who?”
  • Anthony Albanese isn’t Peter Dutton either.

There are probably more factors but if I try to list them all, there’s a real possibility that the bit of Antony Green’s probability which gives the Liberals the win will have reared its head and I’ll feel silly for trusting him.

Whatever, I’m looking forward to Peter Dutton’s appearance on “Insiders” tomorrow… unless his cold gets worse/he has a meeting that he forgot about/he’s staging a protest against the bias of the ABC and he, unfortunately, has had to cancel.

Sussan is counting the numbers and the numbers tell her that the extra “s” in her name has led her to this moment and if she can just an extra zero to those who support her then she’ll be leader before the week is out.


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  1. Phil Pryor

    Peter Duckwit-Futton is not personally to blame for his appearance, but, his demeanour is tragically deficient and the inside of the skullpot is brown, smelly, sticky, inefficient, non-communicative. (But Why?) Conservative policies of greed, envy, posing, strutting, coercion, larceny, evasions, lies, distortions, favouritisms, incrowd onanisms, personal iniquities, indifferences and general socially backward perversions do not assist is gaining further trust and support. Never trust them at all. Australia has huge coming problems, not ever to be fixed by ignorance and superstition and greed, leading conservative policy attitudes.

  2. Andrew Smith

    Point about Howard is important, and not just being from Sydney but he was part of the machinations and ‘architecture of influence’ started in the ’80s.

    Weaponisation of the ‘free market’ PR outfit masquerading as a think tank IPA (Koch Atlas Network & received US donations in the ’80s, according to DeSmog), hollowing out or decline of Liberal Party branches preferring Evangelical &/or Mormon memberships, white nativism & anti-immigrant greenwashing agitprop of ‘Tanton Network’ (admirer of white Oz policy, visited and hosted by an NGO; now deceased and described by SPLC as the ‘racist founder of the modern anti-immigration movement’, see US, UK, Canada & Hungary) and cartelisation of media by diluting regulation to create what is now an oligopoly with Murdoch central, used to promote the LNP and policies….

  3. Terence Mills

    The voters are not mugs ! Why would they send another Liberal to Canberra just to vote NO on every policy introduced by the government.

    I didn’t realize that John Howard had written a letter to the voters in Aston – Howard was thrown out of office in 2007, that’s sixteen years ago, many of those folk voting in Aston would be saying John who ?

    They need to take his crayons away !

  4. RomeoCharlie29

    I wonder how much, if anything, the Lib/Nats conspicuous absence from the chamber during the voice vote, a view not incidentally shown on ABC News, had to do with the Aston vote. I might be wrong but I would have thought the people in that electorate might actually be supporting the voice because it’s an issue of justice the time of which has come. Sorry, clumsy wording but you get the idea.

    Or perhaps it was just the odious spud.

  5. Paul Smith

    “Sussan is counting the numbers and the numbers tell her that the extra “s” in her name has led her to this moment and if she can just an extra zero to those who support her then she’ll be leader before the week is out.”
    Very early in the morning of 22 May 2022, I sent a Facebook message to every Liberal Retain (there being at that stage, not a single Liberal Gain) that Bridget Archer should be chosen as the new leader. Not that I think of myself as an influencer – hell, I don’t even vote Liberal. But if many people felt as I did, that it would be nice to have sanity and competence on the opposition benches as well as in government, the said-many might make their hope known to those who would decide the cut of the opposition. Of course, the smart choice was never going to get up, but that was no reason to refrain from stating the obvious: the Liberals needed to change direction and Archer was the person who could give that lead. I’m here to do it again – to state the obvious again: Sussan Ley cannot lead a Liberal revival. Yet if Dutton goes she will come. The perversity of the Liberal Condition is a blight on us all. We need leadership from adults, not just in government but in all of the instrumentalities of scrutiny and opposition. FFS! Do we have to infiltrate the LNP to get the leadership we need and deserve?

  6. New England Cocky

    @ Andrew Smith: Perhaps Little Johnnie Howard’s greatest criminal act was declaring war on Iraq so that he would receive a US Medal of Honour after he ”retired”/ got booted out of Bennelong and simultaneously the COALition was booted out of the government benches.
    How much did Australian involvement in the US imperialist oil campaign cost Australian taxpayers on top of the military lives lost?
    @ Paul Smith: $us$san Leyzee may be able to count on her fingers, but the LIARBRAL$ know a good little puppet easily manipulated by corporate Australia when they have one. As the party believes $us$san is leadership material, one can only think that she will require considerable training to keep her private real estate matters out of the Parliamentary Allowances Scheme.

    Ante eulogy for a political pornographer

  7. GL

    Aston: All together now…1…2…3…aaawww…

    The big problem is Dutty Wutty. He should cover his head up, cut a big hole in his trousers and tattoo eyes on his cheeks and then talk through his arse. We all know it makes sense because it’s smarter than than the rest of him.

  8. Clakka

    This morning on ABC Insiders, Dutton exemplified the stupidity that is the policy vacuum of LNP. On the Voice, he stammered, blushed and verbaled the Solicitor General, despite Spears severely debunking his statement. It’s clear to see Dutton and the LNP are a complete mess and an anachronism.

    Since Morriscum and NSW Inc. people are clearly awake up to their BS, elitist bent and abject corruption.

    And of course, in VIC, the Liberals are a continuing self-consumed train wreck. No one trusts them at all, only the crusty old weld-ons and unprincipled quasi-elites vote Liberal because they are afraid of Dan, and loosing their inequitous tax and other benefits.

    It seems the ABC is struggling to maintain it’s obvious ‘sneaky’ neocon bias. Soon time to clear out all the LNP plants on the board, and the hire-ins from NewsCorps.

  9. Ian Hughes

    I wondered if Dan’s trip to China was deliberately timed. Aston has a large Chinese population & his trip sent MSM into a predictable frenzy with their anti-Dan, anti-China nonsense. Have they been played or is it just a remarkable coincidence? Hmmmm!

  10. pierre wilkinson

    asking the little rodent to endorse anyone is a death knell to their aspirations, whether he still has name recognition or not…
    apart from which the entire cabal is totally devoid of inspiration of any kind

  11. Andy55

    Pierre is right. They are bankrupt of ideas. I put this down to the fact that only the rump is left. It has no idea how to change. Dutton is a steady hand alright, just another leming.
    I would have thought a thorough review of their policies would be a good place to start.
    ” its not us, its the delivery” has past its useby date. They need to do the hard work.

  12. Bert

    I reckon the voters of Aston realised the mistake they made sending the grot sludge to Canberra in the first place and took the chance to rectify the error.

  13. Terence Mills

    Dutton, when asked about his policy vacuum , on Insiders told Speers that you don’t announce policy at a by-election, you save it for a federal election.

    To Spud it’s all a game : that’s why he will never be a leader and can never become an Australian prime minister.

    I feel sorry for his candidate, she was just wasting her time and energy.

  14. Terence Mills

    Alan Tudge, whilst battling several controversies including Robodebt and a sex scandal, was still pre-selected by the Liberal party to represent Aston at the 2022 federal election. There was a negative swing in Aston of 7% on a two-candidate preferred basis, reducing Tudges margin in the seat to a slender 2.8%.

    Within a few months of being re-elected Tudge announced that he would be resigning from politics thus bringing about the by-election that we have seen trounce the Liberal party over the weekend.

    Nobody in the Liberal party evidently saw this coming.

    Had the Liberals not pre-selected Tudge in 2022 which was the logical approach with the baggage he was carrying, in all probability they would have retained the seat with their new candidate who, by all accounts was an excellent choice.

    Go figure !

  15. Gangey1959

    Re “Insiders”. Define ‘unfortunately”.

  16. leefe

    “There was a negative swing in Aston of 7% on a two-candidate preferred basis, reducing Tudges margin in the seat to a slender 2.8%.”

    Which makes for a roughly 14% swing since 2019. Not quite a landslide, but certaiinly a minor earthquake at the least.

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