Following the Bass election, there has been a great deal of discussion around the place about the results achieved by the various candidates. Some of these folk have expounded their views in the Bass Coast Post and Sentinel-Times.
The general feeling seems to be that the tactics applied by some expert campaigners has resulted in the Liberals in Bass having taken a pounding and furthermore they should look out in the future because the electorate is now ‘marginal’. Well, is this Liberal seat all that marginal?
Let’s look at an analogy, reference a VEC comment on their website, not the writer’s thinking.
Well known psephologist Malcolm Mackerras is quoted as predicting that the Greens would win a Higgins by-election which occurred because of Peter Costello’s retirement.
While the Greens’ Dr Hamilton ran a great campaign, he didn’t come within cooee of winning and this could only be attributed to the seat being a Liberal stronghold.
It is worthy of mention that Dr Hamilton, who interestingly ran his campaign on Climate Change, certainly made a statement with his extraordinary performance, at least pushing the Liberal candidate Kelly O’Dwyer. The point is, even the best political commentators can get it very wrong and this to some degree seems to be the case with our budding local psephologists.
Articles about the Bass election seem to ignore the fact that across the state the Liberals were on the nose.
Surely the pundits don’t think that this didn’t apply to Bass?
In the previous election, Ken Smith’s Two Party Preferred result of 62 per cent was quite extraordinary but then Labor took a pounding dropping about 7 per cent.
Should Smith’s result then be used as a yardstick for future calculations? Applying past history, logic and a bit of simple arithmetic, one would think not.
The Independent, Clare Le Serve had an excellent policy to go to the polls with, in the Preserve Westernport catchphrase.
With Le Serve managing only 10 per cent of the vote, it just seems that the days of an Independent getting up in Bass are now in the past.
Who did the Independent really take votes from.
For a start, the Greens, who maintained their position statewide, slipped 2 per cent in this Bass election.
It is plain to see who the Greens lost this to and so one has to conclude that going by the Labor people in the Le Serve campaign camp, there were also a large slice of Labor votes lost to Le Serve.
Of course, the Coalition was affected by an Independent being in the line-up but because of the many contributing factors we won’t ever know the true extent.
Obviously there needs to be a lot more soul searching and lobbying on the part of Labor, the Greens and an Independent before the Liberals will succumb in this electorate.
There is no point in going on about the campaign the Liberals ran.
They have always been very professional with their campaigns and this is unlikely to change.
These sentiments of the writer don’t necessarily apply to the candidates they’ve stood!
It would seem that Labor, who certainly improved on this occasion, still has a long way to go if they are to seriously challenge for the seat.
The Two Party Preferred result was roughly 45 per cent Labor to 55 per cent Liberal and remember the Liberals went into this state election as the unpopular underdogs.
To those who think there is a deadlock and don’t like it, get cracking because nothing is going to change much until Bass becomes truly marginal.
Ray Astbury, Cowes.
Self-appointed election pundits