Monday, March 21, 2005

Werri What-the? #3

(If you're interested, here's previous postings on this subject.)

Bugger it, I thought I'd get in before all the RWDBs do to point out the bleeding obvious reason for Labor's victory in the Werriwa byelection. The Herald reckons the McMansion voters "have given Labor more ammunition to attack the Federal Government over interest rates" and that, because "Mr Hayes won 55.53 per cent of the primary vote, 2.89 per cent more than Mr Latham's vote in October", the "ALP (is) taking heart from the McMansion votes".

Umm....Psst...Here's one out of the bag: The Libs didn't run a freaking candidate!! Who did we expect McMansion voters to vote for - Greens*?! Of course the Labor vote is going to be up when their only serious competition (in Werriwa anyway) doesn't bother running.

Laurie Oaks in The Bulletin argued that the Libs didn't bother because voters were generally sympathetic to Latham's ill-health and retirement and therefore not so likely to punish Labor in a byelection the way they did in Cunningham. Still, I'm fairly sure that if a genuine Lib candidate had run, things would not have been so rosy here for the ALP.

What I find more newsworthy - not to mention concerning - is the 10% informal vote that actually finished second in this byelection. I get that byelections are a pain in the arse and a lot of people in Werriwa didn't actually realise one was coming up, but 10%? That's 9000 people who honestly wouldn't have given a shit if they were now represented by Australians Against Further Immigration, Fred Nile's mob, One Nation, Family First or any other extreme-right party that ran in this election.


* - Not Green bashing - I'm heartened by the fact that they managed to beat all the aforementioned hate groups to come in a fairly respectable 4th position out of 17 starters.


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