We are in an unprecedented position in terms of our federal government, with the first hung parliament in modern times.
So who do punters think have the best chance to deliver a stable government or is that impossible given the likely 'lay of the land' of 72/73 seats for Libs/Labour, 4 independents and one green?
1. Surely the Libs have the mandate given the massive swing to them in the primary vote?
2. The practical issue for them is they need Hasluck to fall to them to have any chance of forming a minority party as Adam Bandt would rather vote for the Queen in a referendum on the monarchy then get into bed with 'Stop the Boats' Tony.
3. If they have 73, they are in the ball game as the three Independents are all ex-Nats with a rural/conservative constituency. However the animosity to the National Party is there for all to see, especially when you have the ill disciplined maverick Barnaby Joyce out there calling these guys names live on air? Get BJ a muzzle should be included in the monotonous 'stop the debt, stop the boats, stop the ...' drudgery that Abbot has been seving up.
4. After all this, is there any point as the Greens will hold the balance of power in the senate?
1. The 'faceless men' will need to be removed as factionalism is now up there with 'boat people' and 'terrorism' in the mind mind of the voting public. The so called 'right-wing factional heavyweights' (NSW senator Mark Arbib, Victorians Bill Shorten and senator Dave Feeney, South Australian Don Farrell and union leader Paul Howes) will be chewing their fingernails to the quick.
2. I don't think the Labor party will be able to stop itself imploding given the inevitable blood-letting which this party does in such dramatic style. Hate for your factional opposition often seems to take precedent over taking on your opponents in the Labour party.
3. Then there is the spectre of Kevin'07, who seemed to be dancing on Julia's grave in his post victory flush in a display of petulance rarely seen before on the political landscape.
4. All three the conservative independents (even Bob Katter during his ramblings about recreational fishing righst - WTF Bob?) have said they want a 'stable government' so this volcano brewing in the Labour party machine must be a worry.
5. However, there is the Greens (and possibly the bloke from Denison) who would be very unlikely to hop into bed with Tony Abbot despite Bob Brown's assertions to the contrary.
Wow, politics is alive and well again in Australia despite the negative drudgery of the last campaign. 'stop the boats' vs 'workchoices' was cynical focus-polling policy dumb-downed rubbish beyond what I could bear and this result will see a much wider array of policies make it into the mainstream consciousness than before. The risk is the 'agrarian socialist' paradigm which Katter and co will require but longer-term this could reinvigorate the Australian bread bowl.
It is hard to pick, but if you take the recent precedent in the UK, my money is on Abbott if the Libs can take Hasluck and get to 73. He has the momentum and the Labour party appears a tinder box ready to explode after a quite spectacular fall from grace.
If it is 73 for Labour (plus the two southern Greenies), then they will be able to buy off one of the 'my electorate's fishing rights or my life' independents and form a tenous government at best. Under this scenario, I am predicting we will be back at the polls as Labour party blood-letting will be a messy affair with the factions willing to rat err fornicate (to borrow from the vernacular from the poisonous ex 'dear leader') the nation to ensure the power base of the NSW Right is kept above less inconsequential matters such as the Australian nation and sovereign risks.
My 2c only; the thoughts of others?