Whether you put your trust in the accuracy of opinion polling, or take the view that the only polls that count are the ones on election day, the past few weeks have unambiguously demonstrated that the Coalition's recent era of national electoral ascendancy is now a thing of the past. The latest indication of the conservatives' deteriorating stocks was Labor's stunning upset win in a state byelection in South Australia on Saturday.
The southern Adelaide seat of Fisher, which was vacated in October by the death of veteran Liberal-turned-independent member Bob Such, had previously been won by Labor on only one occasion since its creation in 1970. Prior to the byelection, the seat would've been one Labor might have hoped, at best, to reel in at a particularly big election win at the high point of the electoral cycle. What Labor should not be doing is gaining the seat at a byelection held a few months short of its 13th anniversary in office. Yet barring a miraculous reversal in late counting, that is exactly what appears to have happened.