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In Amazing Shock Eden-Monaro Votes Pretty Much How It Did A Year Ago!

Let me begin by saying that not only has Roger Federer never beaten me at tennis, but Tiger Woods has never won a round of golf against me.

Ok, I suspect the main reason for that is because they’ve never competed against me, but if they did they’d probably win… But they’d only win by the fact that the rules benefit them by allowing them to use their superior skill.

Sort of like the unfair way Labor won on preferences in Eden-Monaro… Or the shifty way that Julia Gillard was allowed to govern in 2010 by forming a coalition with the Independents and Greens. As Tony Abbott suggested at the time, that just wasn’t fair because only the Liberals and Nationals are allowed do that. Why they even call themselves the Coalition so it’s really not fair when someone else does it.

Of course the point I’m making about Federer’s lack of success against me is simple: It’s really not something that tells you anything about a likely result in the future. Sometimes history can help you predict what’s likely to happen; other times history is irrelevant. The fact that no federal government has won a seat from the Opposition in over a hundred years is not a statistic that makes it impossible. Before we conclude that it’s all uphill for a government we need to look at some simple facts about by-elections and why it’s unlikely for a government to win a seat held by the Opposition.

  1. For a start, the seat was previously held by the Opposition. This means that sometimes it would be a blue ribbon seat that wasn’t marginal and therefore unlikely to be lost.
  2. Secondly, governments sometimes don’t bother to field candidates in by-elections because there’s very little upside and it can look bad when there’s a massive swing against them.
  3. By-elections aren’t likely to cause a change of government so people often feel free to vote for the Opposition candidate just to keep the government on its toes. By-elections are even less likely to cause a change of government when you vote for the status quo.
  4. While the government can pork-barrel in general elections, when they do it in by-elections, it’s more likely to be met with cynicism. “If you really think we deserve gold-plated public toilets on every street corner, why didn’t you do it before the local MP resigned?”

So while last week various journalists were telling us that Eden-Monaro would be a tight contest, now the same journalists seem to be suggesting that it was probably a waste of time that the Liberals even bothered to field a candidate when history was taken into account. It’s amazing, apparently, that it was a close contest and that’s thanks to the popularity of Scott Morrison, while Labor winning a marginal seat on preferences is just a reflection of Albanese’s lack of cut-through and surely there needs to be leadership speculation because we need to talk about what Labor are up to because they’ve been in power for six of the previous twenty-four years and they may one day actually be contesting an election which they can’t win because we’ve been telling you for years that their leader is “unpopular”…

I know I’ve said this before, but the question on the opinion polls is never “Do you like Leader X?” It’s not even: “Would you like to share the Big Brother house with Leader X?” And it’s certainly not: “Do you regard Leader X as a potential romantic partner or friend?”

The question is always about whether you approve of the job they’re doing or whether you think that they’re better than other alternatives. In the case of the latter, asking someone whether they’d prefer to eat Brussel sprouts covered with cow dung or being forced to listen to all the speeches of Pauline Hanson non-stop for twelve hours, it does not mean that cow dung Brussel sprouts are actually popular and I wouldn’t suggest using the dish as an audition for Masterchef.

In 2013, I’m sure that many Labor voters wanted Albanese instead of Shorten as leader because of Shorten’s role in the removal of Rudd and then Gillard. And yes, they probably also thought he’d do a better job. However, I suspect that if you asked a bunch of Labor members now whether they found Albo more likeable than Shorten, followed by do you think he’s doing a better job as Opposition Leader, the answers would not be the same for each question.

Morrison’s “popularity” is people saying that they think he’s done a reasonable job with the Covid-19 response. It doesn’t mean that they’ll forgive him the next time he decides to do something like go on holiday during a national emergency. And it’s not the sort of popularity which will necessarily translate into votes.

Why did so many people in Eden-Monaro vote Liberal then? Well, there’s a number who believe that the Labor Party is the work of the devil and it would be better for all concerned if we did away with these silly elections and just declared the Liberals the rightful party of government. Undoubtedly some others may have thought that the Liberals are the government so the best way to get assistance is to elect a government MP. And, of course, a number of the electorate are connected with Defence and may have only voted Labor because Mike Kelly was their sort of guy. When you take all that into consideration, getting less than forty percent of the primary votes isn’t actually great news for them either.

Finally, I’d like to say farewell to Mathias Cormann. Not just him of course, but he’s a least doing the decent thing and deserting the ship. His steady hand on the Finance ministry has helped get Australia where it is today. Yes, I know that we’re about to slide into recession but, according to Nine media, the economy will bounce back. Ok, not in terms of jobs or wages, but that economy thing which I would have thought included jobs and wages but no, in keeping with the austerity theme, it’s only growth these days – jobs is being cut from the slogan.

Apparently the Liberals have a five-year plan to restore things, which given the fact they’ve been in power for seven years does seem a little late. “Yes, we’re into the ninth year of our five year plan!” seems a little bit like the Carlton Football Club which coincidently has had quite a few Liberals as members so perhaps they’ve picked up something.

However, it’s good to have a five-year plan because that means that when they go to the next election, they can say that we’re completely on track because we didn’t expect things to be fixed until after the election when we’ll be BACK IN BLACK and there’ll be two chickens for every pot and nobody need go without toilet paper.

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  1. Kate Ahearne

    Lovely, Rossleigh!

  2. Michael Taylor

    Come on, Kate, don’t encourage him. 😁😜

  3. Bob Parker

    Sad that the ABC had to have David Speers, a card carrying Lieberal crapping all over the ALP with every comment in the hopes of avoiding yet more budget cuts.

  4. Michael Taylor

    It’s beyond a joke, Bob. They may as well have given the job to old Rupert himself. 😡

  5. wam

    hahaha what a great read, rossleigh and imagination makes you good enough to defeat our lack of skill, intelligence and success.
    Lobor should have bben in power and, as indicated by the 10 year intermission of the rabbott vote, in 2023 brandt will clear the air about ‘juliar’ and in 2029 about the caravan.
    Still albo came through in eden monaro and will get his chance in 2022. Without boobby who knows???
    As for the cigar sucking disaster, labor will praie their colleague and show their usual gutless approach. Their ‘spokesman, joel on insiders set the tone what a slime he is.
    Does any labor remember the origin of the 5 year plan?? hint uncle joe???
    ps bob check facebook for the clp lovingly quoting speersie ‘hope WE can hang on in Queanbeyan

  6. Michael Taylor

    Next they’ll be sacking the excellent Paul Barrett from Media Watch and giving the job to Andrew Bolt.

  7. leefe

    “Next they’ll be sacking the excellent Paul Barrett from Media Watch and giving the job to Andrew Bolt.”

    Don’t give them ideas.

  8. Harry Lime

    The most outstanding thing about the EM result is ,despite the Liar’s best efforts,THEY LOST.
    PS, Michael Paul BARRY?

  9. Patricia

    Thanks you Rossleigh. Great article.

  10. wam

    They got gazzumped foxtel beat them for alan.
    Tlob is too into whiskey for the wowsers.
    So it looks like sad sack henderson?

  11. pierre wilkinson

    and yet, the people of Cobargo swung towards the liberals! go figure

  12. calculus witherspoon.

    I had hoped the electorate would have crucified them for their callous neo liberal botches involving the bushfires but,,,

    “short memories”.

  13. calculus witherspoon.

    A new day arrives. As each new day arrives, new depths of inanity are plumbed.

    Not you Kerri. I feel sure you are as wounded as I am, after seeing it yourself, other wise you would not have included it.
    I pray you can feel even a little consoled, in the knowledge that at least one other person on the face of this earth understand the full affront you must have experienced, with that vile absolute assault on your intelligence and sensibilities.

    “Things are crook in Tallarook
    and not much better back o’ Bourke”.

  14. New England Cocky

    “Yes, we’re into the ninth year of our five year plan!” seems a little bit like the Carlton Football Club which coincidently has had quite a few Liberals as members so perhaps they’ve picked up something.”

    Could I recommend a double dose of COVID-19 to spread around the Madhatter Conman retirement celebrations of the COALiiton in the sincere hope that all the backslapping and triumphant choruses will generate many atomised droplets capable of spreading the infection to everybody present?

  15. Jack Cade

    I have lost all regard for the ‘battlers’ of Cobargo. And all my sympathy.
    I just wonder what backhanders have already been done. They are as disgusting as the coalition.

  16. Kronomex

    What’s the bet that Cormannator slips into a very cushy job that will absolutely, positively, cross my heart, never ever ever involve any lobbying at all?

  17. Jack Cade


    Involving arms deals, coal deals, barley deals…
    A cornucopia for a man who is morally incomprehensible in several languages.

  18. Terence Mills


    It has already been noted elsewhere that Cormann wants to go to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD) located in Paris.

    He’s done with the colonies !

  19. Caz

    I noted elsewhere that if Liberals won in EM, I would not donate to any bushfire appeals in the future. After the Cobargo count going to the Libs, I think I might make good on that threat. My support will only be for wildlife charities.
    As for any five year plan, who was the goose ( or was it a Stuart Robert lookalike) that suggested Indigenous people’s equality by 2093? That and the decision that all Greyhound facilities must be upgraded by 2031, tells you a lot about forward planning.
    I despair.

  20. Pagnol

    Paragraph 3, Bingo!

  21. Jack Cade


    I concur. When the fires happened all the supermarkets had collections ‘for the poor farmers’, which pissed me off no end. At Woolies I cited the not-so-old English folk song ‘I’ve never seen a farmer on a bike’. Very apt.
    Apologies to earnest country people, but in my early teens in England I worked on farms in Cheshire , picking potatoes and kale in the summer holidays. I developed a healthy contempt for the man on the land. Mendacious, rapacious arseholes. When it came for me and my pals to be paid, the prick offered us some rabbits He’d just caught in lieu.
    I told my dad, cruiserweight champion on the battle cruiser HMS Mauritius, and he wandered down to the farmhouse and threatened to shove the rabbits where the farmers wife never kissed him. We got paid.
    They are just Cants, as they say in Lahndahn.

  22. Brozza

    “Morrison’s “popularity” is people saying that they think he’s done a reasonable job with the Covid-19 response.” – even though it never actually did ANYTHING.
    I’ve had people at my place of work say EXACTLY the same thing to me, but when I press them to give just one example of what scummo has supposedly done, I either have to point out that their example, if given, is actually a state gummint initiative, or I’m met with silence.

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