So, the weirdest of elections just got nasty. Not only did the Queensland Labor Party lose the house (which was expected) they lost the furniture (which was always possible) and their clothes as well. In an 89 seat house they look like they'll have a maximum of 9 members. One of these, former Premier Anna Bligh, has already announced her resignation from Parliament. Far from losing in Ashgrove and leaving the rabble to govern themselves, President-elect Newman won easily with nearly twice the swing he needed and now gets to lead the biggest rabble in the history of the Queensland Parliament. Labor's deperate last minute plea to voters to provide a decent opposition and their reported tactic of pretending to be Greens and handing out how-to-vote cards with themselves as second preference were to no avail.
Of course we've known for a long time that the Labor Government was on its last legs, but this is unprecedented. I'd like to be able to say something witty and insightful about why, but honestly I have no idea. It was pretty clear that the government had run out of reforming steam, that privatisation undermined much of their traditional support, and mistakes like the Queensland Health pay debacle created the impression that they were incompetent. Still, they weren't that bad. Despite former minister Gordon Nuttall ending up in jail, the government as a whole didn't seem corrupt, and they didn't attempt to cover for Nuttall. Satisfaction with Bligh was down around 40%, not at zero. Satisfaction with Newman never reached 60%. Yet it happened. The LNP now has at least 75 seats, no opposition, and so many new faces in parliament that it looks like a first year politics course.
So what will happen? What are the LNP's policies again? Will they actually implement them, or will they find excuses to put a lot of them off? Will they slash and burn in the public service, or keep most things ticking over as normal? Only time will tell. Time for me to put my head down and finish that post about eels.