Four-fifths of the weekend byelections were OK, or at least explainable, for the Liberals. The WA Liberals were vindicated in not wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars on byelections that comfortably returned Labor candidates in Perth and Fremantle. Despite some early talk that Rebekha Sharkie was "in trouble" in Mayo, they had long ago resigned themselves to defeat in that seat -- although they may reflect on the wisdom of running a climate denialist blow-in from Victoria at the next election. And while they failed in Braddon, both Labor and the Liberals went backwards there -- not a bad result given the difficulty of governments winning byelections -- although Eric Abetz acting as independent Craig Garland's personal PR officer didn't help.
But all of that was obliterated by a shocker of a result in Longman, a seat that really should have been winnable given Labor only fluked it in 2016 off the back of One Nation and Katter Party preferences. This time, One Nation were preferencing the LNP. Instead, the LNP vote fell into the twenties, while Labor lifted into the forties. Despite Malcolm Turnbull's effort to declare "nothing to see here" yesterday -- you can always tell how bad an election result is by the time it takes Turnbull to appear afterward -- it's a nightmare result.