Jul 20, 2010

MacKerras: winter, winner … a trifecta for Labor’s cold snap election

If Gillard gets the sort of win I am now predicting for her, then there will be a new Mackerras law of electoral history, says Malcolm MacKerras.

Permit me to engage in a soliloquy. Am I entitled to brag about the date of this federal election? On Wednesday,  September 30 last year, the second story in Crikey was headed: “Rudd will go to the polls on August 21, 2010. Here’s why”. The article by me contained these words: “I predict the double dissolution will be effected in July 2010 causing a general election for all members of both houses to take place on August 21, 2010.” So I can brag that I was the first person to predict the election date. On the other hand there are two errors in the prediction. I should have written: “Gillard will go to the polls on August 21, 2010. Here’s why.” My more important error, however, was that the entire scenario I painted was based upon the belief that Kevin Rudd would have the courage to go for a double dissolution.

After the story was published I wrote a letter to Crikey later that same day. It reads: “Wishing, as I do, to keep my Crikey contributions short yesterday’s article (“Rudd will go to the polls on August 21, 2010. Here’s why”) omitted a point I now wish to make. If one looks at the calendars for 1943 and 2010 one notices that they are identical. Consequently the great John Curtin landslide occurred at a House of Representatives plus half-Senate election on August 21, 1943. Almost certainly Kevin Rudd will have a choice not available to Curtin. He could cause a half-Senate election or a general election for the whole Senate following a double dissolution. For a variety of extra reasons I lack the space to elaborate I expect him to double dissolve.”

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2 thoughts on “MacKerras: winter, winner … a trifecta for Labor’s cold snap election

  1. Gavin Moodie

    Congratulations Associate Professor Malcolm Mackerras. Indeed, I still have a copy of your piece predicting 21 August 2010 which was the basis of my entry into Richard Farmer’s competition to pick the election date (quo vadis, incidentally?) despite it being clear by then that Gillard wasn’t going to call a double dissolution.

  2. Malcolm Street

    Sounds like Mackerras is celebrating his only correct election prediction for years 🙂

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