Crikey correspondent-at-large Guy Rundle takes aim at recent media coverage of the Batman byelection that delivered Labor’s Ged Kearney to power.

Was there ever an election that the Greens should have had a better chance of winning than the Batman byelection?


— Laura Tingle, 18.3.18, AFR, p.4

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Why yes’m — about 15-20 more compact and distinct state seats around the country, several of which the Greens have won. Urban federal seats are four times the size of a state seat. Batman takes in very solid Labor areas, with booths recording a 75% vote.


We have already seen Pauline Hanson slide in Queensland, Jacqui Lambie fail to make an impression in Tasmania, now Xenophon and the Greens.


– Tingle, ibid.

Lambie got single digits, Hanson 13%, Xenophon, 14% half what he polled three months ago. The Greens won 39% of the vote and 47% of the two-party preferred in a Labor anchor seat, a dip of 3%, after Labor replaced a curse with a nurse.


The Liberals are expected to lock in at least a 24-seat majority in South Australia’s 47-seat lower house …


— Rob Manwaring, AFR, p.48

What? They won 35.5 seats, to everyone’s else’s 11.5 seats? Don’t get excited Rob. It’s a one-three seat majority.


Voters are turning on the minor parties after the Greens lost their push to claim the Federal Seat of Batman.


— Joe Kelly, The Australian, 19.3.18, p.6

Green gains, federal and state:

  • two state seats, Victoria 2014;
  • two lower house state seats, NSW 2015;
  • one Queensland seat 2017;
  • two upper house seats, West Australia 2017; and
  • one state seat byelection, Victoria 2018.

Losses, federal and state:

  • One federal senator 2016; and
  • One Tasmanian seat 2018.

Professor Wanna also said protest parties lacked the ability to give their candidates the kind of political ‘apprenticeships’ …


— Joe Kelly, ibid.

Keep doing that apprenticeship your Dad Paul got you at the Oz, young Joe, and you’ll be able to count eventually.


Steven Marshall – having been cheekily dubbed the ‘worst opposition leader in the state’s history’ by my colleague and ex-Labor numbers man Graham Richardson just two months ago, will become Premier after just eight years in parliament having achieved 53% of the popular vote in his first election.


— Chris Kenny, The Australian, 19.3.18, p.7

SA Liberal vote, 2018: 53%. SA Liberal vote, 2014: 53%.

Labor years in power, 2018: 16. Swing to Labor, 2018: 1.5%.

Liberal majority: one-three, tops.

Chris Kenny’s byline: “an unashamedly rationalist approach to politics”.


Malcolm Turnbull’s’ cynical decision to sit the election out – hoping for a Greens victory – stood in stark contrast to Bill Shorten’ discipline …


— Mark Butler, The Age, 19.3.18, p.19

Candidates in 2009 Higgins byelection, occasioned by retirement of Peter Costello: Liberal, Kelly O’Dwyer; Greens, Clive Hamilton: Labor …

More discipline:

The shadow climate change minister, Mark Butler, has warned the development of the Galilee basin is not in Australia’s national interest, because it would displace mining and jobs in existing coal regions, and would not help the world meet its obligations under the Paris climate agreement … Before Butler’s speech on Monday evening, [Bill] Shorten told reporters in Townsville there was a role for mining in Australia, and ‘there is a role for coal in Australia’, and he echoed CFMEU national president Tony Maher’s description of Adani last week as just “another project”.


 — Guardian, 19.2.18


More discipline:

Factional deals to determine preselections are …. holding the Labor party back, the outgoing party president, Mark Butler, has said…..Butler singled out a proposed factional realignment in Victoria [the AWU-HSU-Somyurek-CFMEU-RTBU deal] which would have given a new bloc control over a new federal lower house seat as an example of “backroom buffoonery [that] does not reflect a healthy party organisation”.


Guardian, 23.1.18