It tells us something about the state of the modern Liberal Party when you realise that Saturday’s election gave the Party its best share of the vote in its last nine election appearances. There might be nothing flash about a return of 36.1% but it beats the performance at the eight State and Territory elections which preceded it.

Putting Liberal and National together to give a Coalition figure presents a similar picture. The Coalition’s federal 41.5% is the only election of nine above 40%.

Comparison of the two party preferred vote is not as flattering to last Saturday’s effort. The 46.7% being shown last night on the Australian Electoral Commission website is less than the 47.7% share which the Coalition recorded at the last NSW and West Australian state elections.

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In the closing hours of the Federal campaign, John Howard was musing about why the people of NSW would be contemplating a vote for Labor with the evidence before them of just how bad the State Labor administration of Maurice Iemma was at running things like public hospitals. The response of the voters of NSW was to give the Howard-led Coalition a two party preferred share of the vote of 45.5% compared to the 47.7% gained by the State Liberal/National Coalition back in March.