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“I can’t stop myself from saying that the defeat of Morrison suits me fine.”
Said France’s outgoing foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. Clearly still holding a multi-billion dollar grudge, Le Drian had another go at outgoing PM Scott Morrison’s “brutality and cynicism” before casting forward to better days. “I hope we can resume frank and constructive dialogue with Australia in the future,” he said yesterday.
1. Labor’s Anthony Albanese will be sworn in as prime minister today in one of the fastest transitions to a new government in the nation’s history. After a quick trip to Tokyo, he has promised to “get down to business” when he arrives back in Australia on Wednesday.
2. Peter Dutton is the frontrunner to become Liberal leader following Scott Morrison’s resignation and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s expected loss on Kooyong. Around 10 moderate Liberal MPs lost their seats on Saturday, and that’s expected to deliver Dutton’s conservative faction greater power (PW).
3. A ‘Teal wave’ saw climate/integrity independents claim 6 seats from the Liberals. From Sydney’s northern beaches to bayside Melbourne and to Curtin in Western Australia, they say their success comes from the Liberal Party losing touch with voters in those well-to-do electorates.
4. The Greens have also had a big result scoring at least 3 lower house seats. They will also occupy 12 seats in the new Senate, making them + Labor the dominant progressive voting block.
5. Not so successful were Pauline Hanson and Clive Palmer. The One Nation leader is on track to lose her Senate seat after the party tanked in its Queensland heartland, and the United Australia Party chairman is also unlikely to get through.
Going deeper: Labor’s key team sworn in today
There’s no time to muck around… Today, Anthony Albanese will be sworn in as the 31st prime minister of Australia, along with deputy Richard Marles, incoming Foreign Minister Penny Wong, Treasurer Josh Fydenberg and Finance Minister Katy Gallagher.
● PM Scott Morrison’s concession of defeat on Saturday night has enabled Labor to move on quickly. Albanese started receiving high-level briefings from public service officials yesterday, and he will fly out to meet fellow Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) leaders in Tokyo on Tuesday.
● He will be accompanied by Wong, and Albanese is expected to hold one-on-one meetings with US President Joe Biden, Japan’s PM Fumio Kishida and India Narendra Modi during the brief visit.
● On the agenda (PW): an agreement to step up the provision of COVID vaccines to poorer nations, an initiative to reduce illegal fishing in the Indo-Pacific, and a discussion about the war in Ukraine, along with China’s territorial ambitions.
What it means: The world is already moving on without PM Scott Morrison… Global leaders have congratulated Albanese on his victory – and Pacific leaders reckon it means the sort of action on climate change they have been lobbying Australia to pursue.
What’s next: Chuck out the ‘blue book’, it’s ‘red book’ all the way… And after some more results are settled, ministerial portfolios will be divvied up. Reports say the Labor caucus will decide on the membership of the full ministry on 30 May.
Meanwhile, the Liberals ponder what – and who – next…
As some Liberal supporters are left to ponder defeat despite Australia coming through the pandemic in relatively good nick and a pretty good story to tell on the economy, others are already embarking on a painful soul-searching mission to acknowledge what went wrong and work out what’s next.
● The Coalition’s campaign spokesman Simon Birmingham said "There are issues that we will have to clearly address, and we have to have candidates that clearly understand those issues."
● On the issues, candidates advocating stronger action on climate change have done well across the board. And if the success of the Teal candidates is any measure, the integrity agenda also rated highly with people who have voted Liberal in the past in seats like Wentworth, Warringah, North Sydney, Higgins, Goldstein, Kooyong and Curtin.
● On the candidates, Birmingham said that gender was “clearly a factor” and “in every seat, the Liberal Party has lost to a female candidate. That is a very clear message.”
What does it mean: Coalition insiders refer to Saturday’s election as 151 by-elections, or at least 6 separate federal elections broadly covering the states. That’s a big post-mortem to be done to unpick that…
What’s next: To pick a Liberal leader… Outgoing ministers Peter Dutton and Angus Taylor are likely to put their hands up from the right, and Karen Andrews and Dan Tehan are also flagged as contenders. That could change if Josh Frydenberg get up, which even he says is “very very difficult”.
A very different House of Reps
They are being talked about as a “crossbench force” – depending on which tracker you’re looking at, the Greens, minor party and independent candidates are looking at taking 15 seats – the largest since World War II.
● The 6 crossbenchers from the last term were returned. Those are Greens leader Adam Bandt, Bob Katter, Rebekha Sharkie, Andrew Wilkie and Teal indis Zali Steggall and Helen Haines.
● Joining them could be another 3 Greens (from Brisbane, Griffith and Ryan), 6 Teals (from Goldstein, Kooyong, Wentworth, North Sydney, Mackellar and Curtin) and one independent (from Fowler).
What it means: There will be a lot said about that in the coming days – but they ran strong local campaigns. When it comes to the Teal wave, the conversation focuses on those well-credentialled women filling a gap that the Coalition wasn’t willing to when it comes to their main issues of climate change and integrity.
What’s next: Confirming the result will determine that. If Labor secures a majority as expected, the crossbench’s role will be different if some of them commit to supporting Labor in a minority position. But either way, it’s there’s a rewiring of federal politics going on, and it’s going to be fascinating to see it unfold.
Former Wallaby David Pocock is expected to win a Senate seat in the ACT – the first territory senator from a minor party. He joins Labor’s finance spokeswoman Katy Gallagher with Liberal minister Zed Seselja set to be turfed out.
Financial markets are expected to register little reaction to the change in government. The quick transition delivers certainty, but analysts say any signs of “loose fiscal policy” in the coming weeks and months would be punished (PW)
The Murugappan family are expected to return to Biloela in Queensland in the coming weeks. Labor promised to allow them to “go home” after they were removed when family members’ visas expired/refugee status claims were rejected.
NSW is now the only Coalition government in mainland Australia. Premier Dominic Perrottet said the result was a “reminder for both major parties (to be) focused on our people” (PW). A state election is scheduled for 25 March next year.
And the winner is… the ABC (PW). The public broadcaster had 910,000 viewers tune into its electoral coverage across the five major metropolitan cities, followed by Nine’s 397,000 viewers. The Seven Network drew 373,000 viewers, Ten had 78,000 viewers, and Sky News saw 125,000 viewers tune in.
China’s state-controlled media and key commentators have welcomed Scott Morrison’s election defeat. Beijing has not yet officially responded to the election outcome, and China-watchers say an automatic reset to the relationship is not on the cards (PW).
Best CV of the incoming crop of federal MPs? Sam Lim is the undisputed winner… The former dolphin trainer/police officer who speaks 10 languages has won the WA seat of Tagney, beating Liberal minister/Morrison bestie Ben Morton.
You bet you are, you bet he is…
Incoming PM Anthony Albanese and 4 key ministers to be sworn in at Government House – Canberra
9.00am – Directors of The Star Entertainment Group and its former chairman John O’Neill (who resigned on Friday) are scheduled to appear at the NSW Liquor and Gaming inquiry into its suitability to operate a casino
11.30am – The Australian Bureau of Statistics will release its experimental indicator of household spending using banks’ transaction data for March
Anniversary of Indian PM Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) winning re-election in a landslide (2019)
*All times in AEST unless noted
Today’s quote for the subject line is courtesy of former Filipino First Lady Imelda Marcos.