The Morrison government has been rocked today by revelations that a large proportion of the legislation passed in the last five years did so only through administrative errors

“It’s actually quite embarrassing,” said a senior cabinet member who wished to remain anonymous for obvious reasons. “It turns out probably about half of the stuff we’ve voted for, we were actually supposed to vote against.” The minister then requested directions to his office.

The legislation which has been confirmed to have been erroneously passed includes the Abbott government’s bill to scrap the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission, and the Turnbull government’s funding of $95 million for the Gold Coast light rail project.

“The government wishes to reassure the Australian people that it is in fact pro-charity, and anti-Gold Coast,” said a spokeswoman, before wandering off. 

No answer has yet been forthcoming on what the revelations mean for the marriage equality bill which also passed under the Turnbull government. Rumours are circulating that while those government MPs who voted for marriage equality may have done so by mistake, the same was true of those who voted against it, meaning the overall result may have been the same.

Government staffers could not explain how such an extensive series of administrative errors could have occurred, but offered the theory that Raelene had only just realised she was feeding the voting advice sheets into the photocopier the wrong way up. 

“It could happen to anyone really,” said an unidentified and disheveled man in the Parliament House courtyard who claimed to work for Mathias Cormann. 

The news is being seen by many commentators as another blow for Scott Morrison’s electoral appeal, although some pundits are speculating that it could actually be helpful to the government, inasmuch as voters will find it difficult to determine whether or not it is in favour of or opposed to any particular policy.

“General confusion is this government’s best chance,” said press gallery doyenne Michelle Grattan, while Sky News commentator Chris Kenny tweeted that “the LNP has shown its genius again with the strategic deployment of administrative error to set the ratbag left into disarray.”

In other circles, observers were seeing the admission as a welcome explanation for some of the government’s more baffling decisions of recent years, such as the short-lived Travel Expenses Abolition Act, and the now-infamous motion “that the House recognise Peter Dutton as Josh Frydenberg’s biological father”. 

Late in the day, a story emerged from the chief whip’s office suggesting that the entire Turnbull prime ministership was in fact an administrative error. At the time of writing, official confirmation of this had not been received, but several Liberal staffers communicating with Crikey said that the party room had in 2015 been under the impression they were voting to appoint a new fire warden.