Modia Minotaur

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Sunday, March 19, 2006

Landslides for Labor in Tasmania and South Australia

Mike Rann's Labor government has been returned to power in South Australia with a formidable ten percent swing, after a lacklustre campaign by the SA Liberals which, notoriously, featured a television advertisement in which `Labor Party' was misspelt. SA Liberal leader Rob Kerin plans to step down after the defeat, which sees Labor holding 30 of SA's 47 seats.

Meanwhile in Tasmania, early suggestions that Labor would be pushed into a minority government, giving the Greens a share of power, have failed to materialise, with Labor maintaining majority government and the Greens in fact likely to lose one seat, which would also cost official party status. Yet again, the ability of the Greens to become a serious third force in Australian politics has been overstated; instead, perhaps, the real story is the ability of independents to take this role.

Both the Prime Minister and the Federal ALP are scrambling to take credit for the victories. I don't think either claim is credible, really. The fact that people appear to be pretty good at separating State and Federal issues when they go to the polling booth must surely be proven by the fact that many of the people who have returned Rann and Lennon must, on odds, be exactly the same ones who have kept John Howard where he is for the past 10 years.

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