Election week in Victoria. Very interesting to see the press coverage of likely outcomes and Henry is struck by the fact that, although most outlets seem to be giving the Libs and (relatively) new leader Ted Baillieu a very fair run this time around – apparently determined to factor in the underdog status and make sure Victorians have a viable opposition from November 25 onwards, all are in agreement that Victorians should prepare for another term under the leadership of Citizen Bracks.

Time for Henry to go on record and join the chorus of voices expecting a stronger showing from the Libs, but the ALP to be returned this weekend. Yesterday’s Morgan Poll released exclusively for the Nine Network, found that with just under a week to go the Bracks Government are likely to be re-elected but with a reduced majority. With interviewing conducted over the weekend, the Morgan Poll found that Labor lead the Liberal Party by 10% on a two-party preferred basis (ALP 55%; Liberal-National Party 45%), down from a 15.6% lead at the 2002 election (ALP 57.8%; Liberal-National Party 42.2%).

The attacks on Ted Baillieu’s share portfolio are churlish as are the constant rear-view-mirror approach casting Ted as a Jeff Kennett acolyte (interesting that the Libs have not made more of the fact that Premier Bracks was involved in delivering the financial management prowess of the last Labor government). One other noteworthy aspect has been Premier Bracks’ willingness to bring in workplace relations as an issue, which conventional wisdom dictates is a Federal concern and out of step with the thinking of voters in state elections.

Analysing each party’s policy promises is always a difficult task – made more so in this Victorian Election by the amazing dullness of the candidates. The Victorian Employers Chamber of Commerce and Industry present this handy chart giving an overview of the business-related promises of each of the major parties. Henry always has more fun deciding which policies are “core” promises to be kept, and which promises are to be discarded.

Henry detects a distinct sense of transition in politics at the moment. Ted Baillieu will be hoping this translates to change on Saturday – which we doubt – but hopefully it will at least send a gentle but clear message to our state politicians that we want more than a steady hand that takes a view that the cornerstone of a good policy is that it doesn’t offend anyone. We pay our pollies to lead and Henry would be delighted to see some movement in this regard.

Read more at Henry Thornton.

Peter Fray

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