THE RESULTS ARE IN FOR THE 2022 ELECTION. THE ELECTORS HAVE SPOKEN. BUT WHAT DID THEY SAY?
There has been a never-ending stream of analyses being said and/or written on this subject on TV, on radio, in the newspapers, and in internet postings and discussions. It’s still going on. No doubt we will be soon be deluged by books on the subject. So what did voters say, and how will it impact MBI readers on Bribie Island?
There is no question that voters turned on the government. They demanded change. It is obvious they did not like the government’s platform which was really just more of the same. And they did not like many of those in government who were campaigning on that platform. This was particularly true in the inner-city electorates in virtually all capital cities. There was a national swing against the government of around 6% which is huge in Australian politics. Around 17 Liberal Party candidates lost their seats to “teal” independents or to the Greens. Voters demanded action on government integrity, issues regarding women, issues regarding First Nations people, and “climate change”. It will be of interest to see how the new government responds to this demand for change.
Here in the Longman electorate (which includes Bribie Island), sitting member Terry Young (LNP) was returned with a swing of -0.4% when compared with the 2019 election results. He defeated the ALP candidate, Rebecca Fanning, who suffered a swing of -1.3% when compared with the ALP vote in 2019. On a two-party preferred basis, Terry Young retained the seat with a 53.3 / 46.7 majority. In Australian politics, that is a significant majority.
So when the national swing against the government was around 6%, why was there only a small swing away from the government in Longman? The answer to that question can best be found in the examples set by the “teal” candidates. Every candidate set up a large cast of supporters. They canvassed their electorates at great length. They listened to what they heard. And they came up with policies and positions that responded to the concerns raised by voters. Here in Longman, Terry Young has been very visible. He set up a very efficient office that has helped him respond promptly to queries and concerns. Although the initiatives that have brought to Longman have been extremely modest, Terry Young has certainly been a strong advocate for the electorate. And people voted accordingly.
So why was there such a swing against the ALP? The answer again can be found in the example of the “teal” candidates. The ALP candidate did not bring together a large army of supporters. She was not all that visible. MBI readers commented that her support team did not respond to e-mails or phone messages. That is a real no-no in an election campaign. And the ALP did not come up with any policies and initiatives of significance that addressed issues here on Bribie. It was not surprising therefore that the LNP took a majority of votes in three of the four polling booths on Bribie, and four of the four booths along Pumicestone Passage. The large retirement community in the Bribie area obviously had memories of the 2019 election when the ALP proposed to eliminate franking credits and other retirement income sources that many rely on. And they voted accordingly.
So what does this mean for Bribie? Sadly, it does not mean a great deal. The initiatives that have come to Bribie in recent years have been very modest. With a local member now who is not a member of the party in power in Canberra, that is unlikely to change. No candidate in this election had any policy that addressed the major issues on Bribie. No policies on ways to address the decline in the lifestyle that Bribie Islanders thought they were buying into when they moved here. No policies to address the ongoing decline in the built and natural environments of Bribie. No initiatives to improve education and training facilities here on Bribie that would better equip school leavers so they do not have to leave Bribie to find employment and/or further education. No vision for any initiatives that would provide meaningful and sustainable employment. There were some noises about improving medical support on Bribie, but they were quite vague and lacked substance. About all that seemed to be proposed was more visitors with the resulting increase in services to cater to that tourist traffic.
So what impressions did the parties leave with MBI readers? Did any party address your concerns? What is going to happen on Bribie in the next three years?