Here we are on Grand Final eve and everyone’s expecting a tight contest. Team Liberal decked out in their traditional blue were looking like a rabble just a few weeks ago but now, under new coach, Scottie “Skull” Morrison, all the commentary is focusing on how well they’ve been doing on the training track. While the reasons for replacing Coach Turnbull have never been clearly articulated, rumour has it that his inability to stop his right wingers deliberately kicking the ball out of bounds was responsible for his sudden departure. In recent days, however, Morrison has shown a great capacity to get everyone working together. Fans and media alike are all telling us what a great job he’s doing and how he’s whipped a disorganised bunch of losers into a crack team. While a number of players have announced their intention not to play on in the coming season and have declared themselves unavailable for selection for the grand final, Morrison is undeterred telling reporters that he doesn’t need them. “I’ve been underestimated in the past, and I intend to win, even if it means playing every position myself!” When asked whether the resignation of a number of high profile female coaching staff was a problem, Morrison said that he’d never thought that their success should be at the expense of those who were having a real fair go and they’d get a go, when they had a go, but not if this meant less positions for the male coaches.
And it seems that his strategy of encouraging everyone to look at photos of the Opposition Coach and growl loudly has envigorated everyone. Not only that, but his recent agreement with Clive Palmer that if Palmer’s team didn’t look like making the final, Clive would come along and help with strategy, in spite of telling everyone that a win for Morrison’s boys would be a disaster.
So whatever you do, tune into our coverage and don’t look away. It’s going to be a close one!
As I frequently remind myself, making predictions is hard because the future is often unpredictable. However, most of life is very, very predictable. That’s why the surprise takes us by surprise. If things were completely unpredictable all the time, we wouldn’t wake up and go, “Hey, the sky is green today. What’s going on?”, we’d just accept that the colour has changed because it changes every day. To illustrate my point, if the sky is grey rather than blue or has streaks of red, we just accept that it’s raining or that it’s a nice sunset.
Similarly, we know that the media will try to convince us that the election is going to be close. And, to be fair, since World War Two, one of the major parties has either won or run second. The political commentary have a vested interest in trying to make us feel that anything could happen and we won’t know the result until deep into the night on election eve. Compare this to the betting markets, who paid out a couple of days before the recent Victorian election.
And to consider my imperfect analogy of a grand final, when was the last time you ever heard a sports commentator tell people not to tune in because the grand final was going to be a walkover and you’d be better off doing the gardening.?
Of course, I don’t know the future and I’m not guaranteeing the result, but I do think people are better off dealing with facts than the sort of guff I’ve read in some of the papers. Take, for example, a piece I read in today’s non-Murdoch paper. (Yes, there is still one!) It was talking about the potential, albeit difficult path to victory for the Liberals. So far, so good. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of speculation. However, it was the table headed: “The path to power” that I found rather dubious. It then had two lists separated by the image of a ballot box on which, “The seats each side needs to win” was written.
The list of seven seats on Labor’s side finished with the seat of Deakin in Victoria, which needs a 6.4% swing!
Now before you all start maxing out your credit card to place a bet on the Coalition, I’d like to point out that Labor is expected to have a chance of winning Deakin. However, the idea that they “need” to win Deakin makes it sound like they’re facing a monumental task and the Liberals who only “need” a swing of 6.1% to hold Solomon are in a better position.
This is NOT a prediction of where things will be at midnight of the election. This is simply what would happen if there were a uniform swing, and uniform swings don’t happen. Some states will be more extreme; some electorates will buck the trend. But for the point of view of accuracy, this is what would happen with the following swings nationwide.
A uniform national swing of 1% = Labor majority government
A uniform national swing of 2% = Labor hold 81 seats
And just for fun, let’s pretend that the 6.4% of Deakin is actually the swing size that Labor needs:
A uniform national swing of 6.4% = Labor almost has 100 seats and the biggest landslide in the history of the House of Representatives.
So, if you’re contemplating moving to New Zealand because you fear a return of the boys in blue, I’d hold off until after the election.
On the other hand, if it’s because you like their leader better than either of our options, then feel free to start packing.
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