The three or four Independents to be elected to the House of Representatives look like finding themselves in a position of considerable power, but they will also have the difficulty of reconciling a public desire for stable government with maintaining the independence which their constituents find so attractive.

It will be no easy task and probably ensures that any guarantees given to the Liberal-Nationals or Labor would be limited to a narrow range of matters, like ensuring the passage of supply bills. To go any further than that would be to become a virtual member of a governing coalition with the risk that that is how they will be treated at the polls the next time.