Mar 19, 2018

Victory declared in war on third parties

Pundits have declared victory in the war on third parties. But if they go home, they'll find the same challenge returning again to haunt politics.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

There's plenty of backslapping  in the governing class today following the weekend's election results: the minor parties have been sent packing, with the Greens failing again to take a seat they had strongly targeted, and Nick Xenophon and his new party failing in South Australia. All, apparently, is well, with political pundits declaring that the insurgent minor parties have been turned back.

As Antony Green noted, this doesn't make a lot of sense. Both major parties in South Australia suffered swings against them. SA-Best, which didn't exist six months ago, managed 13.7% of the counted vote. Nick Xenophon's failure was two-fold -- he personally failed to win a seat, so he's now out of politics, and his party failed to come anywhere near the levels of support suggested by polling. But if you can manage 14% of the vote from a standing start and basically no policies, you're still tapping into a significant disaffection within the electorate, regardless of how you match expectations.

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5 thoughts on “Victory declared in war on third parties

  1. klewso

    What a “victory”? Nearly one in seven (on the rebound) SA voters now have to lie back and think of their fumbling second choice screwing them and ignoring their needs?
    ….. “Why on earth should we have more Hare-Clark electoral systems?”?

  2. AR

    I want simple proportional representation, everywhere but the compulsory preference does eventually trickle back to T1 & T2.
    Unfortunately, optional preferential voting requires an intelligent, involved electorate so is a non-starter.

  3. Peter Schulz

    Bernard sloppily repeats the throw-away line so frequently spun by the local Murdoch media, that Xenophon had ‘no policies’. He had very clear policies to bring some transparency to government. True, this is not enough, but it’s a refreshing start to reforming the corporatism we currently have, where the two major parties represent not the little voters they are supposed to represent in a representative democracy, but the interests of their big corporate donors, to keep the donations rolling in and to provide them with a nice sinecure after their retirement from politics.

  4. Jim Egan

    There is a big difference between third parties and ‘personality’ parties. Mr X’s party has turned from a single issue (pokies) party to an X marks the right spot for all people.

    X is a likeable guy but without a serious political platform and organization he will go the way of Hansen, Lambie, Palmer, Katter Snr etc…punters have realized that their protest will get them nowhere if the party cannot gain power and use it effectively to execute the platform.

  5. Lord Muck

    Not sure what the conservatives have achieved by not running a candidate in Batman. This is a declaration they have no beliefs.

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