For its last program of the year, the ABC’s Statelineled
on Friday with a preview of next November’s Victorian election. Reporter
Josephine Cafagna informed us that embattled Victorian opposition leader Robert
Doyle “is aiming to win 20 seats at the next election.”

Since Doyle’s Liberals currently hold 17 seats (in a lower house of
88), that seems an eminently realistic target. A swing of two per cent
would deliver the extra three seats required, and polls are already in
that neighbourhood (the last Newspoll said 2.8%).

But further reflection led to the conclusion that, rather than
suffering from an attack of modesty, Doyle was actually referring to a
*gain* of 20 seats. That would require a uniform swing of 7.7%, a
target of a very different order of magnitude. And, as Cafagna pointed
out, “this still wouldn’t give him Government without support from the
National Party or the Independents.”

Still, it’s good to aim high – although whether Doyle will be the one
doing the aiming when the election comes is still anyone’s guess.