It’s decision time. Well actually, decision time came several years ago. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly which shameful ministerial scandal or indefensible bungle marked the point at which NSW voters decided that there was absolutely no way they were giving Labor another shot – after all, there have been so many.
But now the votes are in, and we are only waiting for the results to become clear. Presumably in record time. As the count goes on, I’ll be dancing on Labor’s grave here. Because it’ll be fun. For me, at least.
Note – it’s in reverse chronological order, so start on P2 and work your way back…
10:11pm: That’s it, then. If anything, the result was even more emphatic for the Coalition than anticipated. Labor are left licking their wounds without even much in the way of a tongue to do it with. Goodnight!
10:08: O’Farrell’s words are strong and quite inspiring, but his manner is so avuncular that it doesn’t quite ring true. You just want him to buy you a beer and tell you a few yarns about his life.
10:07: “We will deliver”, promises Barry. Honestly, we’d settle for a slight improvement in services and only three or four personal scandals among your ministers.
10:05: He will govern for “all people”. Every election victor promises that in their speech, before relentlessly shafting those not in their voter base.
10:03: For many people, this will be the first time they’ve ever heard Barry O’Farrell. Or even seen him on TV. Lucky he’s reasonably competent – if ever there was a drovers’ dog election, it was this one. Even a Drover’s Debnam might have had a chance.
10:01: O’Farrell is extremely moderate, by all appearances. Even his speech is extremely laid back. I really can’t imagine he’ll slash and burn terribly much. Plus he resembles a koala, which will no doubt help him deliver his promise to double tourism.
9:59pm: I gather he’s going to make NSW number 1 again. When were we number 1, other than at Federation?
9:57pm: I’d like to think I was first to congratulate Barry at 6. Inappropriately.
9:56pm: Waiting for Barry. So I can, like, EAT.
9:43pm: The bad news is Pauline Hanson has 12,000 votes. The good news is that “Blank” has 30,000. Actually, though, 12,00 votes is 0.4 of a quota in her own right – so her chances of getting up are still disturbingly good.
9:25pm: If the NSW Coalition is any guide, we’re about to hear very little from NSW Labor for about three years.
9:21pm: A lot of sense being made by Luke Foley on the ABC panel. The way they conducted themselves was indeed repulsive to traditional ALP supporters, and they need to change dramatically. What are the odds, though, seriously?
9:12pm: No-one can say that Kristina Keneally didn’t give her all. Or that it wasn’t anywhere near enough. Hard to imagine the last 15 months will be the last time she’ll hold a senior role in politics though. Surely a move to Canberra? She’s owed.
9:09pm: Keneally takes responsibility and won’t contest leadership. But “I will never walk away from the Labor Party”. Well, at least that’s one.
9:07pm: This is a good speech – she’s a fine communicator, as always. But then again, she’s had plenty of time to write it.
9:02pm: Kristina Keneally looks quite disappointed. What, did she not see this coming? “The voters did not leave us, we left them”– good insight.
9:00pm: Until today, living in the seat of Sydney, I had a female Governor-General, Governor, Prime Minister, Premier, Deputy Premier, State MP and Federal MP. Pretty amazing thing. Oh, and a female Queen atop it all, of course.
8:56pm: Goodness, Carmel Tebbutt’s supporters are far too enthusiastic given what’s happened tonight. In other news, Jamie Falk IS LEADING THE PRIMARY VOTE IN BALMAIN. Man, the Inner West is a strange place this election. It’ll be a while until we know about Balmain, and I’d be surprised if there wasn’t a recount, the way things are going. Judging by that cross, Falk seems a pretty impressive candidate, incidentally.
8:54pm: I’m only going to keep this blog going until we hear the speeches, incidentally. Kristina Keneally is moments away, I’m told.
8:51pm: Funny tweet from @_leo_s:
Not many people will notice earth hour in NSW, they’ll just assume its another power outage as a final up yours from NSW Labor.
8:49pm: Good point – Morris Iemma should be leading Labor to this election, but for the electricity privatisation madness. Would he have done worse than the very personable Keneally, though?
8:46pm: Nathan Rees says Toongabbie too close to call. I call the boneheading going on behind him absolutely outstanding. ABC computer says Libs are ahead. What an extraordinary election where Toongabbie is a marginal seat!
8:40pm: Ah, Earth Hour – such a wonderful opportunity for making an ostentatious environmental statement, but never more so than when it falls on Election Night. By the way, if you want to read a thorough dissection of Earth Hour, check out Grogs Gamut‘s blog.
8:23pm: Balmain remains fascinating – the ABC website just updated to “GRN ahead”. It’ll probably vary booth by booth. Also, who knew that 30% of Balmain residents voted Liberal?
8:21pm: Seems Carmel Tebbutt will hold on in Marrickville. The Greens’ Fiona Byrne says it’s hard to knock off a Deputy Premier. But honestly – the Deputy Premier of this government?!
8:17pm: I’ve just realised that Barry O’Farrell is the Shadow Minister for Western Sydney, despite being from the Upper North Shore. Now they’ll have some MPs who actually come from Western Sydney…
8:12pm: It’s actually the Liberals’ fault that this result is such a landslide, in a way, because of their awful performance in 2007. Had they chosen Barry O’Farrell instead of Peter Debnam, they might well have defeated Morris Iemma. 16 years is too long for any Government, really.
8:10pm: @JulieBishop’s looking at the bigger picture:
3 years ago wall to wall Labor federal state territory. WA took first brick out of wall, then Victoria, NSW removes another. Keep it going.
But really, this is not a national trend, this is a government that redefines the term “past its use-by date”.
8:05pm: I’m starting to get bored. Must… keep… watching… but… NSW politicians… are so boring………
8:00pm: The ABC website points out that the Libs are claiming this is an endorsement, not just a protest vote. I find that a little hard to swallow, given how low-profile they’ve been. What this is is a massive protest vote.
7:56pm: A sound, if pedantic point from the redoubtable @nh0jj0hn –
@domknight Kerry just called the election a “decimation” of Labour. That is only 1 in 10 destroyed … this is much worse than that.
Closer to 1 in 10 surviving, in fact.
7:52pm: Dempster asks the Minister for Roads David Borger if he thinks having that position is a positive. He says he’s not sure if it’s a positive or a negative. An excellent point! He argues that the scandals have taken a huge toll – hard to disagree. But surely the parlous state of practically every service and the multiple instances of wasted funds (CBD Metro!) are the most convincing explanations.
7:48pm: In honour of Earth Hour, I am running both my laptop and the iPhone that’s connecting it to the internet off their batteries. It’s the least I can do for Mother Nature.
7:45pm: There aren’t many interestingly close contests tonight, but Keira is one – that’s the seat that was held by poor old David Campbell, of the gay spa incident. Green says ALP likely to retain for the new candidate Ryan Park.
7:36pm: My colleague Chas Liccardello tweets “Forget going without power for an hour – NSW Labor’s opting for an ‘Earth Decade'”
7:32pm: Now, I know Comrades is a wonderful book, but I feel like some people might be taking the sweep time question a little too seriously. I’m looking at you, @nh0jj0hn.
7:31pm: By the way, I’m actually at the ABC, so unable to showcase the hi-jinkson Seven and Sky. Great atmosphere down here – I’m not sure they’ve ever made so much use of the Ultimo foyer.
7:26pm: ABC total is 56-8 now. Nathan Rees looking like he’s ahead in Toongabbie, says Gladys Berejiklian. That’s nice – as inept a leader as he was, they did him over pretty badly.
7:22pm: Cross to Jamie Parker in Marrickville. He’s not claiming victory yet. Looks like a pretty dull function, to be honest. I presume they’ll be breaking out the Horny Goat Weed once he gets over the line, though.
7:19pm: Antony Green has a new computer system, folks, and he’s having a few problems with it. Maybe Labor’s won after all?