Here, winter on Queenslands sunny Gold Coast, the demos line up to vote.
16:30: An hour and a half before the polls close, Sky News call it for the LNP – 53% to the ALP at 47%. The LNP up 25 seats at 98, and the ALP down 21, at 51 seats. The Greens lose their only seat in the House. Independents 2, down 2.
20:30: 48% of the national vote counted. ALP – 47%, LNP – 53% on a two party basis – this is complicated by the AV voting system used in Oz. Not quite the ALP wipeout anticipated, but The LNP will probably still be at least 20 seats up. Make it a 40 seat majority in a 150 seat Parliament.
Kevin Rudd keeps his seat, The greens retain their one seat.
Primary vote – before preferences are distributed:
On primary votes, before preferences are distributed, at 34.7%, this is the worst result the ALP has seen since 1906. Greens have lost about a third of their vote.
21:15: The LNP hit 76 seats. That’s it. Tony Abbott is Prime Minister elect.
21:55: Kevin Rudd concedes. Refuses to acknowledge any mistakes. Announces he will not recontest the leadership of the ALP. Yeah, right. Not for at least six months.
It is a landslide defeat, but the ALP did not experience the total wipe out some were predicting. Rudd is grinning and the supporters are clapping and cheering, acting as if they have won. Extraordinary. Cognitive dissonance reigns. A media commentator, at the ALP party, described the happy mood as bizarre. Someone else just described it as delusional.
22:20: Tony Abbott announced: “The government of Australia has changed.”
22:30: Bob Hawke, ex ALP Prime Minister, has expressed bewilderment at the jubilation of some members of the ALP at this result.
Rule of law, not of men.
A powerful young polling booth officer from the Australian Electoral Commission caused havoc this afternoon when he ordered the media to get out of the polling booth at St Paul’s Anglican Church in Brisbane’s east, where Kevin Rudd was to cast his vote.
“You don’t have the relevant permission,” the polling place liaison officer said, blocking the cameras and standing in front of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.
He was perhaps unaware his demands were being live-streamed to a national audience.
In how many countries would the Prime Minister allow himself to be ordered about by a low ranking civil servant, just because it is the law?
Every election the media film the party leaders casting their vote. Every election the parties arrange permission for the media to be allowed in to the polling place to do that. That The Prime Minister (for the next couple of hours), or his people, neglected to get permission for this is emblematic of the whole dysfunctional campaign Mr Rudd has been running.