Laura Tingle in the AFR writes of youth apathy threatening Labor hopes. Only 3641 extra voters aged 18 or 19 have enrolled to vote in the September 7 election and only 21,787 aged 20 to 24. The Australian Electoral Commission estimates that 400,000 voters aged under 25 have failed to enrol.
The question is why.
Worse still, the young seem to be especially reluctant in some marginal seats, where their vote just might make the difference.
In the Senate too a few votes could mean a lot. Steve Austin on ABC Local in Brisbane yesterday interviewed Glenn Druery from Independent Liaison who has been called “the preference whisperer”. He advises minor parties on their best chances of election via preferences.
His message to them is to put the major parties last. He reckons that if any of the fringe senate candidates this year get as little as 1% of the vote we could be surprised at how far they get in the count. Towards the end of the interview he did a quick run through giving his tips for the last seat in each state. In South Australia it’s probably Xenophon and then daylight, but whackos like shooters parties could surprise elsewhere.
I think the message is that if you vote below the line and want to show your disgust for Abbott’s mob by putting them last, then think again. Your vote could end up putting a nut job into parliament.
Meanwhile Bernard Keane at Crikey has a bit of cheer for Labor voters. The latest Essential Research poll has the major parties at 50-50 2PP. He finds that Labor could possibly just hang on with 49% of the vote. Someone said the other day that in 1998 Howard actually won with 48.5 % of 2PP. My memory is that as few as 3000 votes spread over a bunch of electorates could have made Beazley PM.
Keane runs through the figuring in each state and comes out with the surprising result of Labor 73, LNP 75, plus Katter and Wilkie. Wouldn’t that be fun?