Against all the polls, the money, advertising, and the non-stop media coverage, against all expectations and the betting agencies — the Extreme Climate Fix was a flop. The Labor Plan to cut Australian emissions by 45% percent is now gone — per capita this would have been a world record sacrifice in a country already increasing their renewable energy faster than any other.
Major betting agency Sportsbet were so sure Labor would win they paid out $1.3 million on bets two days early. Someone cleaned up with a $128,000 win for a party that lost. *
They called this a climate election and the people voted “No”
Activists thought it was safe to piggy back on a “sure thing”, and they went in hard. Volunteers even wore bright orange “I’m a climate voter” T-shirts.
“This will be a climate election“: Greenpeace
If Labor had won, they would be crowing right now about how it proved the people wanted action.
Political pollsters and bullied and badgered voters
Labor was tipped to win decisively in every poll. Even in the exit polls. So thousands of people told pollsters one thing, then they voted the other way, and hid that again on the way out the polling door.
This was not just the abject failure of climate change as a vote winner, it was also a crashing fail for the pollsters. Australians have been badgered and bullied into saying they believe in climate change and prefer the left-leaning parties. (They knew it was uncool to vote “right”.) But when the time came, they voted against them both.
Bullying works in public, but people vote alone.
To understand just how far they got it wrong, read Aaron Patrick yesterday:
The latest Ipsos poll predicted Labor would win 78 lower house seats on Saturday… Betting on seven commercial markets predicted Labor would win 83… the chances of 12 polls getting it wrong is 0.024 per cent.
Even though recent opinion polls have put the two sides within the margin of error, 44 polls since Scott Morrison became prime minister have pointed in the same direction: a narrowing contest, but one which Labor has exclusively led.
A Coalition win would represent one of the great upsets of modern Australian polling…”It’s virtually impossible for them to win,” says Andy Marks, a political scientist at Western Sydney University.
So much for academics.
The only seat that went with the climate spin-masters was the massive battle at Warringah, where GetUp threw everything they had at ousting leading “climate denier”, Tony Abbott. They may have succeeded at throwing out one of the best men in Australian politics, but I wonder if the people of Warringah will feel a bit used when they wake up and realize that the rest of the nation didn’t come with them.
Imagine the sweeping phase change if people felt free to share their thoughts and ask curious questions without penalty about a science topic? Imagine if the polls and momentum rolled the same way?
This will be a brutal shake for the Labor Party. A tough pill. They believed the polls and pushed aggressive, risky policies, doomed by their overconfidence.
Also potentially Liberals like Julie Bishop and Christopher Pyne were victims of the polls. They who left the party were probably assuming a big loss. Nice clean sweep for Scott Morrison. A few less Turnbull fans.
Australia missed a bullet today.
Let’s build another coal mine.