But is Labor capable of learning
Well, it may have been a bit of wishful thinking on my part predicting the election results [see post below], and I admit it, hopefully more gracefully than a lot of others. It was at least in the right direction, and the changes, even at a draw, are momentous.
However, around 10pm last night I didn’t feel quite so silly when the Coalition were ahead at one point by four seats with several still very undecided ones. The results were showing a national swing of 2.6% at that point, very close to the Newspoll I quoted.
Nevertheless, the reality of the results did surprise a lot of people when they turned out as most predicted. It was indeed a stunning victory for the Coalition and for Tony Abbott and represented a tectonic shift in national sentiment. It was, most importantly, a grindingly humiliating defeat for Gillard and Labor, given that they are a first term government, and given that the commentariat and their wishful thinking over the last few months has been so out of touch.
However, don’t expect any real questioning of the policy shortcomings by Labor or their media apologists, as they throw up all sorts of straw men to explain away where they went wrong. Michelle Grattan’s piece in the Sunday Age this morning is a text book exemplar of how the Left fails to understand their own worst failings.