There are many things about Australian politics that don’t make a lot of sense from a New Zealand perspective. One is the separation of state and federal governments. It’s funny because here in Melbourne, people seem to be far more interested in state politics, particularly at the moment as the Liberal government is limping along and trying to cling to power. It’s so fascinating that the state parliament’s website crashed on Tuesday because so many people were watching the stream of question time!
As you might expect, most of the state and territory governments are currently held by the Liberal/National coalition. Labor is only in power in South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT. Both SA and TAS come up to their elections soon, and it’s not looking good for the long standing Labor governments in those states.
However, here in Victoria, we’re seeing the opposite. After the Bracks/Brumby government lost power in 2010 Labor has been working their butts off in opposition, and its starting to pay dividends. Leader Daniel Andrews is often criticised for not setting the world on fire, but the solid performance from him and the entire Labor team is really paying off.
Today’s Age had a state political poll, and it’s great news for Labor. The opposition is now 8 points ahead of the government on a two party preferred basis. They lost a number of marginal seats in the lower house on very small margins, and with a swing like this, you’ll be seeing a landslide victory to Victorian Labor in 2014. Still, the election is a year away, and a lot can happen in politics. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens, and being part of the action!