The Australian Election

Thoughts?  Predictions?

Prior to the leaks, I was predicting a bland victory for Labor and nominal legitimacy for Gillard as PM.  The leaks really do seem to have hurt her, though, and it now seems like a nail biter.

Betting markets are putting the probability of a Labor victory at 62% and falling fast.

Polls are (just) giving it to the Coalition.

I was really surprised by the leaks.  The content didn’t concern me, but the fact that they were leaked at all floored me.  An MP from the Labor party — and not just any MP, a cabinet member — deliberately leaked details that were damaging to Gillard in the middle of a campaign!  They either (a) thought that a Labor victory was assured and wanted to rough Gillard up a bit so she’d be rattled and less likely to lord it over the cabinet after the election; or (b) wanted so badly to hurt Gillard that they didn’t care if it lost Labor the election.

The first possibility sickens me a little (although my inner cynic asks why I was so surprised) and the second horrifies me a little (because it’s safe to assume that no other party is any better, which suggests that Australia is being led by a collective equivalent of Emperor Nero crossed with Machiavelli crossed with a two year-old child).  Should Labor still win, surely Gillard will to be tempted to find the person responsible and stomp hard on their political neck.  If she can’t find who it is, I can imagine the modern political equivalent of “nobody gets to play until the person who broke the window owns up” happening and Gillard firing two-thirds of the cabinet.

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