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.